Diary

Donald Trump: Narcissist-in-Chief?

This may have been described in previous entries here and it certainly has been referenced in articles in other outlets, but bears repeating here.  It is from the Mayo Clinic website:

If you have narcissistic personality disorder, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious. You often monopolize conversations. You may belittle or look down on people you perceive as inferior. You may feel a sense of entitlement — and when you don’t receive special treatment, you may become impatient or angry. You may insist on having “the best” of everything — for instance, the best car, athletic club or medical care.

At the same time, you have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation. To feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make yourself appear superior.

This is an almost perfect description of Donald Trump.  Consider one example when a deranged nut job Muslim shot up a gay nightclub in Orlando when Trump had this reaction, naturally, on Twitter:  “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, don’t want congrats…”  He followed that up with another Tweet: “…I called it and asked for the ban…”

In the face of an incredible tragedy, the story was not about the injured and dead, it was about Donald Trump.  The “congrats” and the use of the pronoun “I” are littered in his response.  There are numerous examples from the life and candidacy of Trump that indicate that he suffers from this personality disorder.

This writer, based on Trump statements from a variety of sources, took an online narcissistic personality disorder survey putting myself in Trump’s footsteps or mindset.  The result was scary- scoring a 37 out of 40 (the three odd responses were giving him the benefit of the doubt) which puts Trump somewhere in the 97.8% range meaning that 97.8% of respondents scored lower than Trump.  As a comparison, in 2009 the average score for the US population was 15.3.  We expect celebrities and public personalities to have higher scores and the average for this subset of Americans was 17.8.  Trump is way outside the norm.

What makes Trump’s narcissism interesting is that he seems to qualify under all the subtypes of the disorder.  There is the “unprincipled” type characterized by being amoral at times, unscrupulous, fraudulent, deceptive, arrogant, a charlatan and vindictive.  Trump checks all those boxes.  The amorous narcissist is hedonistic, a pathological liar and a swindler.  His lifestyle is defined by hedonism and the rest speaks for itself.

The compensatory narcissist is defined by creation of an aura of being superior, exceptional, admirable and noteworthy.  Most scary is the malignant narcissist who is “fearless, guiltless, remorseless, calculating…callous, aggressive and spiteful.  They anticipate betrayal and seek to punish the disloyal.”

There are likely many narcissists in the world who go about their business in everyday life.  We may know them as that a-hole fellow employee, boss or celebrity on television.  The difference between them and Trump is that they are not running for President of the United States.

To put a man like this in the White House would be a dangerous proposition because we are dealing with a person who satisfies not only the definition overall, but definitions across all the sub-types of narcissism.  The malignant narcissistic tendencies are the most serious since there are often antisocial and paranoid elements to it.

And Trump is certainly showing tendencies of paranoia with his description of something be “rigged” against him winning in November.  Of course, it has to be some amorphous outside source or cause; it is not because of him.  Another problem with this disorder is that it sometimes is not only associated with paranoia, but with depression.  Can you imagine a paranoid/narcissistic Trump in the White House not getting his way?  Unless cooler heads prevailed, he would either lash out or descend into depression.

Putting this megalomaniac narcissist in the White House may very well result in the first coup in American history and with good reason.  It would be a welcome coup.  But, I doubt it will come to that since he will never be elected in November unless something of titanic proportions occurs that shifts the election his way by happenstance.  And even though a narcissist, Trump is also a realist and knows he will not win despite the public persona to the contrary.

It is why he is laying down the “rigged elections” meme now- a preemptive excuse for his loss.  It is why he is using NFL scheduling conflicts to try to avoid debating Clinton which holds great risks for him.  He cannot stand on that stage and extol the size of his man parts, insult his opponent’s hair or height, or use his kindergarten tactics.  What worked in the primaries will not work in a general election campaign or debate.  It is also why he will never release his tax returns.  To do so would adversely affect his post-campaign persona.  After Clinton dispatches him in November he will have to return to being Donald Trump- billionaire.

This writer has no doubt that he is a billionaire, but not to such a degree that he claims and the truth is in those tax returns.  Like most narcissists, he exaggerates with a straight face his own importance and wealth.  That is, despite whatever objective, realistic criteria we use, in the mind of Donald Trump he is worth somewhere near $10 billion.  I suspect it is somewhere near $1-2 billion.  He is not “hiding something” in the traditional sense; he is preserving his post-candidacy legacy/lie.

Is this enough to tip the scales in favor of Hillary Clinton?  That is a decision everyone must make on Election Day.  To this writer, speaking purely from a mental health standpoint, Clinton would be less of a risk.  Unfortunately, nothing Trump could say or do at this point will change the minds of too many people.

Which makes this campaign season so disappointing to so many.  The choice comes down to a liar and corrupt Democratic candidate against a Republican with an obvious personality disorder that makes the concept of a President Trump dangerously scary.  This race would have been likely signed, sealed and delivered for the GOP with most any other candidate other than Trump.  At least with any other candidate maybe we would have a clash of ideas rather than the dialogue we hear now.