But all of this comes to a head in the third stage of Trump Employment Syndrome, which is binary: Eventually, after you’ve realized you can’t mitigate the worst outcomes or moderate the president at all, you must either disavow your self-worth and personal integrity or else stand up and speak out. Bolton chose the latter when he resigned (even if Trump says he fired him) and then spoke out. People in the former category understandably don’t want to weather the tweet storms from the president and his acolytes, so they remain compliant, despite the pleadings of their loved ones who aren’t in the cult or broke free.
I predict many of these people who are stuck in stage two will regret their stage three choice when with the demagogic fever one day breaks. This national nightmare will eventually end, and when it does there will be lots of lives that will need to be repaired and plenty of apologies rendered. Until then, we will endure more disinformation campaigns against people like Bolton.
I, for one, never felt more alive than when the president of the United States called me an “unstable nutjob” on Twitter. His bullying and intimidating methods have frozen many in his party, but when I began receiving them myself, I realized I was finally free. Bolton might learn that speaking the truth is the best method of recovery for Trump Employment Syndrome.