Whoever you vote for this year, choose a grown up.

I am studying psychopathology at AUT. De nada. Really, I've learnt so much. Like, life is not like lane swimming, it's more like open-ocean swimming. Playing UNO can help kids learn to deal with problematic transitions. Also: I've started to wonder if we have a 71 year old toddler in the White House.

People, cut me some slack here, everyone diagnoses everyone else when they start studying psychotherapy! And from my Junior Freud analysis, Trump is clearly pre-Oedipal.

"One thing that's always dangerous is telling Donald that he can't do something. Because then he wants to do it," Trump acolyte Roger Stone is quoted as saying in The Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump and the Storming of the Presidency by Joshua Green.


Steve Bannon, memorably described as looking like he's been crudely moulded from steak tartare by someone wearing mittens, is now two days gone off. He may suffer the most ignominious fate of the grandiose and become a footnote to history.

But Devil's Bargain, an insider look at the Trump presidency, doesn't dissuade one from the disturbing conclusion that Trump suffers from something more deeply shaky with his psyche than looking like a refrigerated meat patty.

I know Trump's personality disorder has been extensively diagnosed by sofa shrinks the world over, but that was before we realised he would equivocate in consoling a nation following a white nationalist march that included a Nazi flag and a murder of the innocent. Something has shifted and it is terrifying. We have put a baby in charge of the free world.

Babies fart and burp, put everything in their mouth, crawl backwards, gag and don't have a conscience. I love babies but I worry when one is in the White House.

Commentator Frank Bruni had the most-viewed article on the New York Times website when he characterised Trump as a whiner. "He whines in a way that makes the weak feel less vulnerable and more vicious. He makes feeling sorry for himself feel like fighting back."

Who else whines the most? You got it.

In Trump's own whiny toddler words: "No politician in history - and I say this with great surety - has been treated worse or more unfairly."

"With a commander-in-chief who often seems to act entirely out of the depths of a dark unconscious, we might all do better to read more of Freud," observes scholar George Prochnik.


And if you did read some Freud, you would conclude it is not Trump's ego that is out of control, it's his Id. (Yes I know Freud is currently as naffly out of fashion as round toed shoes or the Macarena but I'm arguing it is high time he made a comeback)

The Id Is the part of our personality structure that contains a human's basic, instinctual drives, our bodily needs, wants, desires, and impulses, particularly our sexual and aggressive drives. Babies are pure-Id. Trump is pure-Id.

All you need to know about this is that a baby does not distinguish between the satisfaction of one drive or another: love, hunger, hate, they're are all mooshed together.

In an adult, this may turn into the Achilles Complex, as seen in serial killers.

"His aggression is not directed at a specific object. It is directed at everything and everybody and takes the form of a generalised and mostly senseless, that is objectless, destructiveness," writes Demtria DeLia in The Achilles Complex: Pre-oedipal trauma, rage and repetition.

Objectless destructiveness might be age-appropriate for a baby but is deadly in a world leader.

Someone who can get to 71 years old and still have Trump-style tantrums is using regression, reversion to an earlier stage of development, as a way of coping with the unpleasantness of reality.

But the fact Trump was voted into the White House makes me wonder whether he's not the only one who needs to grow up; maybe we are all engaged in a culture-wide defence of regression.

You don't have to go far in popular culture to see how we worship infantile men and the man-child: the extended adolescence in the movies of Judd Apatow, the larrikin antics of All Blacks for example.

And not just men. More recently there has been a rise of "the woman-child" as Lauren Duca characterises her: Hannah from Girls and Amy Schumer might be examples of the genre, created since everyone pooped in the sink in ladette film Bridesmaids.

We can't do much about getting rid of Trump. But we have our own election coming up and we could try and elect a grown up. Even Jacinda Ardern at 37 might be developmentally more mature than Donald Trump.

No leader is perfect, but if we are going to have a "good enough" leader, we don't want to be left holding a Boss Baby.