With Donald Trump’s bizarre behavior that has been exhibited throughout his campaign, in which he does and says things that would sink any other campaign, and seems to be sinking his now that we are past the conventions, many people are questioning if he really wants to win.
Combining that behavior with the phone call between him and Bill Clinton that occurred in late May – after Hillary announced her campaign for the Presidency, but before Trump had made his final decision regarding his own bid – many of those same people that have questioned his will to win, have come to support the theory that there was a deal struck, in which Trump would purposely attempt to sabotage the GOP in order to get Hillary elected, with the number one question attached to these hypothetical musings being, “What else could it be?” In this situation I would like to apply a corruption of Hanlon’s Razor – Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by narcissism. – and posit a different theory.
This is Donald Trump, what you see is what you get.
He has always been like this, this is not some aberration from his normal behavior; it is only the high level of scrutiny that comes with a presidential campaign, that has pushed it to the extreme and brought it to the fore. He has consistently demonstrated a tendency to not heed advice, act in an authoritarian manner, utter the most hyperbolic statements, and contradict himself. No one has bothered to fact check him until now, or considered what the ramifications of giving him the nuclear codes would be.
While I am no psychiatrist or psychologist, I’m rating his chances of suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder towards the higher end of the spectrum, as the first question Trump uses to evaluate a situation is whether nice things are being said about him or not. People who says nice things, are good, great at what they do, and headed for success, while people who say bad things are failures, are the worst at what they do, and headed to the bottom of the heap in the junkyard of Loserville. The symptoms of NPD as listed on PsychCentral:
- Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
- Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
- Requires excessive admiration
- Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
- Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
- Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
- Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
- Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
I would say that describes him well, maybe even a mirror image, and when applied to this campaign, it is a better explanation of his actions than a desire to lose, or the existence of a conspiracy.
What is a more likely scenario, pertaining to the phone call, is that Bill looked at the roster of possible contenders for the GOP nomination and realized that Hillary had no chance to win the election, unless she had an opponent that was so terrible she would look good in comparison. With Trump having toyed with the idea of running for president for decades, seriously considering it this year, knowing him well and what a disaster he would be, he called him up to chat, and gave him the last nudge towards a decision that Trump wanted to make anyway, by playing to his huge ego; the sure and easy way to manipulate a narcissist.
Trump wants to win, as it would affirm both the grandiose view he has of himself, and his deep seated belief that he is truly the only person capable of solving all of our problems, as well as the attainment of a substantial amount of power. He is just using the same method he has used for his previous success; but in an environment which continually challenges your judgement, character, and qualifications – which is something that he is not used to – it only serves to bring out and highlight all of his negative behaviors.