Does Donald Trump have Asperger's Syndrome

Column "indent" : Why Donald Trump is bullying against Greta Thunberg

Klaus Brinkbäumer was most recently editor-in-chief of “Spiegel” and now works as an author for “Die Zeit”, among others. For the Tagesspiegel he writes his weekly column "Spiegelstrich" about language and politics.

Before, how long ago that was, there was a separation: here the reality, exciting enough, and over there the fiction, all those wild films and comics, too over the top to be true. Has it ever been like that? Or, like the British, do we glorify old times that never existed?

In any case, no one would have made up the story, then or now, that a US president would attack a 16-year-old girl from Sweden with Asperger's syndrome because he was jealous.

She's on the cover of Time and he's not. She is the "Person of the Year" he would like to be, and he is not.

So that's why Donald Trump tweets, in the original including the usual misspellings: “So ridiculous. Greta has to work on her anger management problem, then watch a good old-fashioned movie with a friend! Chill, Greta, chill. "

Trump creates his own side reality

The man tweets at six in the morning, then throughout the day, until late in the evening and again early in the morning, but without a viewer, because he doesn't want others to see that he needs reading glasses. He comments on the impeachment process as "lynching" and "witch hunt", calls the Democrat Nancy Pelosi "sick" and "insane" and calls her own actions "perfect".

That he is creating a side reality is obvious: Trump is never just innocent, his critics are guilty and vicious, insane and socialist. The number of hearts, comments and retweets suggests that his audience is addicted.

I ask communications scientist Elisabeth Wehling, the smartest Trump explainer I know, what's going on.

Wehling, who conducts research in Berkeley, California, writes: “He is discursively in distress, is under attack. What is he doing? He goes into the facts, but does so strictly using his own frames (note: “Frames” are subject areas including the resonance space, i.e. the prejudices or feelings). That is strategically smart. And it escalates. That is also strategically smart. He ensures that his interpretation of the situation is discussed as broadly as possible, whether negative or positive. The media and democrats are turning his echo chamber into an echo arena. "

Trump strategically uses the word "witch hunt"

Isn't Trump just impulsive? In addition, desolate and vain?

Elisabeth Wehling writes: “It is all of that, but it should not be underestimated. Take the witch hunt. It's a core strategy. First, witch hunts are irrational and based on falsehood (witches do not exist). The frame implies that Democrats and the media act irrationally, are a threat to the country. Second, witch hunts are brutal and inhumane (pyre, drowning). The frame implies a willingness to use violence among democrats and the media. "

Trump loses control

I ask: In the weeks of the impeachment process, Trump once again increased the tone and frequency of his twittering. Is he losing control?

But Elisabeth Wehling writes: “No, Trump has always been rhetorically aggressive and derogatory. The ideology for which he was chosen is social Darwinist and authoritarian. That means struggle with all (discourse) means and an assumed hierarchy among people based on external attributes (skin color, gender, religion, ideology, etc.). Rhetorical aggression and devaluation are not only legitimate in this way of thinking, but also an instrument of selection. "

Greta Thunberg counters with humor

But you can also counter aggression, joking is not a bad tool. Greta Thunberg has changed her Twitter biography and now introduces herself as follows: “A teenager working on his anger management problem. Right now chilling and watching a good old-fashioned movie with a friend. ”She didn't make any spelling mistakes.

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