In years long past, Americans could go for weeks without thinking about the president. That was one of the blessings of living in a stable democracy with a professionally run government. Sure, one might disagree with a policy or dislike a personality, but few people obsessed about whether the republic would survive.

Thanks to President Donald Trump, that has changed. The man is inescapable. It is hard not to think about him. Every new day brings a flood of belligerent tweets, grandiose lies, incompetent or destructive choices in governance and a general undermining of American institutions. Cable news, from Fox to MSNBC, is devoted to all things Trump nearly every minute of every day.

At a party a few nights ago, I ran into Brian Baird, the ex-congressman, academic and clinical psychologist. Of course, we talked politics, which these days means Trump. I noted the president’s nagging ubiquitousness and how it is driving a lot of folks to depressed distraction. Drawing on his psychology background, he compared Trump to an abusive father. Baird said we are like the kids who have to live in the same house with him and cope with his rants, his erratic behavior, his cruelty and his bullying day after day.

So, if Trump is making you feel awful, there is an explanation: He’s the abusive parent who simply won’t leave you alone.

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