In an earlier post, we addressed the unique role that emotional gratification has played in the Trump campaign and speculated on how the candidate might react to the plummeting levels of fun. In a recent post, Marshall goes a step further, from not-having-a-good-time to “psychic disembowelment.”
If you are campaigning on the fact that you're a winner but you're losing, the premise of your campaign just falls apart.
Just as polls created a positive feedback loop for Trump in the primaries, where they seemed to confirm that no transgression or conventional misstep could hurt him, he is now entering a negative feedback loop with the same polls. The perception of losing amplifies every misstep. It makes him lose more both because the premise of the campaign starts to collapse in on itself but, relatedly, the brittle edifice of a narcissistic ego starts to come under an insuperable strain.
Put simply, he gets more erratic.
I suspect that in a couple months this will become the sum of most of the Democrats attacks on Trump both because it undermines the central premise of his campaign ("I always win; and I can make you win too.") but also because these attacks cut visibly cut Trump so deeply, triggering a sort of psychic disembowelment. You can see this in the increasingly irritated and thin-skinned responses to criticism or any references to his flagging campaign efforts.
At some point in the not distant future, some reporter - probably a not altogether pleasant one - will ask Trump: "How does it feel to be losing so badly? Just on a personal level? Does it hurt? Do regret getting into this?" It won't be pretty because Trump's ego is fragile. From there I suspect you'll see it cropping up in campaign attacks from every direction.
As mentioned before, under normal circumstances, psychoanalyzing presidential candidates is almost always a waste of time, but these are clearly special times. Addressing Trump's motives and emotional problems is not only productive; it's practically unavoidable.