How did this happen? How did a man like Donald Trump find himself in the running for the highest office in the land? The inevitability of this quagmire is predicated on the nature of the man himself.
Initially, I believe he just enjoyed the attention he was getting. No surprise for a megalomaniac and narcissist. His usual bloviating in the realm of politics just happened to strike a nerve with the appropriately marginalized hate-mongers, and the situation grew exponentially like a virus. The more his ego was stroked, the more he got drawn into the vortex of the political process. Inexorably, he was swept into sea of egomaniacal quid pro quo until the inevitable day arrived when he had to fish or cut bait. His hunger for approval had by then become so ravenous for the attention, that he’d become convinced of the proposition of himself as a viable candidate with something valuable to offer.
Howard Gardner, the respected researcher and developmental psychologist at Harvard, called Trump a “textbook narcissist.” And he’s not the only one.
In fact, he fits the profile so well that clinical psychologist George Simon told Vanity Fair, “He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops.” This puts Trump in the same category as a number of infamous dictators like Muammar Gaddafi, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Saddam Hussein. And although there are narcissists out there who entertain us, innovate, or create great art, when a narcissist is given immense power over people’s lives, they can behave much differently. From <http://www.rawstory.com/2016/01/a-neuroscientist-explains-trump-has-a-mental-disorder-that-makes-him-a-dangerous-world-leader/>
Asked what, if Mr. Trump were their patient, they would “work on” with him, several of the therapists laughed. “I’d be shocked if he walked in my door,” said Behary. “Most narcissists don’t seek treatment unless there’s someone threatening to take something away from them. There’d have to be some kind of meaningful consequence for him to come in.” Simon concurred but added, “There is help available, but it doesn’t look like the help people are used to. It’s not insight-oriented psychotherapy, because narcissists already have insight. They’re aware; the problem is, they don’t care. They know how you’d like them to act; the problem is, they’ve got a different set of rules. The kind of approach that can have some impact is confrontational. It confronts distorted thinking and behavior patterns in the here-and-now moment when the narcissists are doing their thing…”From <http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/11/donald-trump-narcissism-therapists>
With horror, I say that Adolf Hitler was also diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Others in the group include Saddam Hussein, Jim Jones, Ted Bundy, Lee Harvey Oswald, Joseph Mengele, Joseph Stalin.
In a 1990 interview for Vanity Fair, Trump’s ex-wife Ivana said that “from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed.” And later, Trump even verified this statement as true.
Anyone familiar with Mein Kampf, and the many speeches of Hitler, will be familiar with this quote:
“Any further immigration of non-Germans must be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans who have entered Germany since August 2, 1914, shall be compelled to leave the Reich immediately.” (Adolf Hitler). From <http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/riseofhitler/25points.htm>
Trump’s statements about Mexican Immigrants being rapists and murderers, belies what the facts are. A grand majority of immigrants are peace-loving and law-abiding. His insistence that Muslims should be banned from the U.S., and that there should be a registry of Muslims, has done more than insult an entire religion, but it has played into the hands of ISIS, which featured the Donald in their recruitment video, just as predicted.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders cites the main features of narcissism thus: “grandiosity; an expectation that others will recognize one’s superiority; a lack of empathy.”
Yet, there are still groups of people who want a person like that to be the leader of the free world.
Recall Trump’s disgusting imitation of a disabled reporter?
To degrade people is really part of a cluster-B personality disorder: it’s antisocial and shows a lack of remorse for other people. The way to make it O.K. to attack someone verbally, psychologically, or physically is to lower them. That’s what he’s doing.” From <http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/11/donald-trump-narcissism-therapists>
We all recall the personal attack on Fox news channel anchor, Megyn Kelly, when he suggested her questions were out of line because she was on her period. He called a supreme court justice a “goat-fucking child molester.” He stated the John McCain was not a war hero, simply because he got captured and became a POW. He said Iowans had brain damage, when Ben Carson was polling ahead of him, there. The insults are relentless and characterized by Trump’s usual lack of a filter.
Narcissists are also quick to take credit for everything, if they feel it will elevate their status.
Narcissistic managers “lead with the main purpose of receiving personal credit or glory. When things go wrong or they make mistakes, they deny or distort information and ‘rewrite history’ in order to avoid getting blamed.” From <https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stop-walking-eggshells/201510/does-donald-trump-have-narcissistic-personality-disorder>
Trump took credit for Ford moving it’s Mexico plants back to the U.S. But,
In a statement to the Detroit Morning News, Ford confirms that Trump’s claim is false. “[A] spokeswoman confirmed Monday the automaker is not canceling its significant new investments in Mexico,” the paper reported. From <http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2015/10/26/3715936/trump-takes-credit-for-major-accomplishment-based-on-info-from-random-twitter-user-hilarity-ensues/>
In a tweet…Mr. Trump expressed all-capital-letters incredulity that Immigration and Customs Enforcement is “to launch large-scale deportation raids.” He not only said it was “about time” for the operation, but began his tweet by saying “Wow, because of the pressure put on by me …” From <http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/dec/24/donald-trump-takes-credit-homeland-securitys-plann/>
When ABC severed It’s association with a New Hampshire newspaper, Trump took credit for that too, tweeting, “I am pleased to announce that I had the Union Leader removed from the upcoming debate.” From <http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-takes-credit-for-ending-abcs-debate-partnership/article/2580088>
<“When I hit Hillary and Bill last week—but I did the right thing—but they start saying, ‘Bernie Sanders is surging, an amazing thing is happening.’ I did that. I did it,” Trump told his audience, adding, “This guy Bernie Sanders, give me a break. They say he’s a socialist, some would say he’s a communist.”> From <http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-01-24/trump-takes-credit-for-sanders-rise-against-clinton>
There, you have an example of two different features of NPD, in one quote.
Trump…said his rhetoric condemning the Iranian regime played an integral part in securing the release of four U.S. prisoners. “So I’ve been hitting them hard, and I think I might have had something to do with it,” Trump said at the South Carolina Tea Party Convention in Myrtle Beach, S.C. <From <http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/gop-primaries/266172-trump-takes-credit-for-iran-prisoner-release>
There are many more examples, and in fact, every time Trump speaks to reporters or to a crowd, he makes another statement of how great he is, and how he is responsible for things that other people get done.
Trump supporters are fond of saying that one reason they like him is he is not a politician. But in order to be a political leader, one must have a genuine understanding of how our political system works, and moreover, what the office of the president entails. It is also, in my considered opinion, crucial for a POTUS to be at their core a person of integrity, compassion, possessing a genuine need to help others and make the world a better place. Trump has shown no such understanding and in fact has never once delineated the specifics of his platform; the particulars of what he has to offer to the office and the nation. That’s because he hasn’t got a platform other than egomania, bullying and hatred.
The presidency is neither a circus, nor a card game. Not performance art. Yet every speaking opportunity for Trump is a stage for his alarming, hateful rhetoric, awash with racism, xenophobia, and misogyny. His, is an ill-advised stand-up routine that plays to the lowest common denominator of human discourse. He doesn’t give speeches so much as he delivers a series of epithets, disjointed, nonsensical and non sequitur in every way. Obnoxious, repugnant one liners, which only serve to divide, bully, and belittle.
Trump is now at the helm of a runaway train of nuclear devices, and the only way he can be stopped is by the voters keeping him out.
Meanwhile our nation desperately needs another president who will continue the positive changes in spite of GOP obstructionism; a president who will continue to right the wrongs that the Bush administration caused.
If, in conjunction with the zealotry of the tea party, and the aforementioned obstructionist legislature, an inept, Naziesque person like Trump is allowed to gain the office of president, we would be perilously close to World War III in no time at all, since one of the most important qualifications of the president is diplomacy. Trump’s tongue, which is hinged in the middle and loose at both ends, would inevitably say the very thing that would incite some already-volatile leader to press a button that will mean devastation and war. Without hyperbole, I can say I believe America as we know it would be over.
Perhaps the most disheartening, the most disgusting of all, is the prevalence of hate and intolerance and egocentrism present in the Trump electorate – that there are still such atavistic barbarians about, and more terrifying still, that they vote. Our free election society comes with its own tragic downside, and this election cycle is an amplified example of that downward spiral. Will the American voters be complicit in this feckless contempt for American sensibility? Will the more progressive and thoughtful and intelligent among us step up and speak with their vote? Time will tell.
But meanwhile, I wring my hands, shake my head and wonder what happened to the inherent goodness of human beings.