Sunday, July 10, 2016

Donald Trump: Textbook Narcissist

As noted in prior posts, mental health professionals have identified the driving force in Donald Trump's life: narcissist personality disorder.  The characteristics of this form of mental health disease ought to send Americans running screaming to embrace Hillary Clinton.  Not because Hillary is an exemplary candidate and doesn't have virtually tons of negative baggage, but because she's not mentally ill.  Yet another piece, this time in Salon, looks at the immense dangers Trump and his personality disorder pose for America and literally the world.  Some time ago I stated the case for why I was supporting Hillary: she is the lesser of the evils.  I can't understand why more rational conservatives refuse to see the danger posed by Trump.  Here are highlights from Salon:
Many people have pointed out that Donald Trump is a narcissist, but what does that actually mean? The late Theodore Millon, one of the co-developers of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, devised the subtypes of personality disorders and described the attributes of the “unprincipled narcissist” disorder as: deficient conscience; unscrupulous, amoral, disloyal, fraudulent, deceptive, arrogant, exploitive; a con artist and charlatan; dominating, contemptuous, vindictive. These personality attributes shape behavior patterns which, in the unprincipled narcissist, tend toward self-absorbed egotism. Symptoms include an excessive need for admiration, disregard for others’ feelings, an inability to handle criticism, and a sense of entitlement.
Identifying an unprincipled narcissistic disorder sheds a lot of light on Trump’s actions. For instance, his apologists are forever praying for and assuring themselves that soon Trump will stop promoting patently egregious lies, and that soon, very soon, Trump will pivot and become more presidential; and soon, very soon, Trump will quit attacking his former and now vanquished Republican rivals and move on to the main task of demonizing Hillary; and soon, surely, very, very soon, Trump will seriously up his campaign game. Nope. None of that is going to happen. They don’t understand the self-absorbed egotism that is the fundamental driving essence of Trumpness.
  To Trump, lies are not bad in the sense that there are negative moral attributes attached to them. Lies are just convenient tools that he uses to stroke his self-indulgent puffery, to incite his followers, or to provide a means of damaging his opponents. There are no moral components in Trump’s considerations about whether to say a particular thing or not, only whether a narrative will advance Trump’s ambitions as he sees them at that time. . . . . So many lies that teams of fact-checkers can’t keep up any more than Ethel and Lucy could package all the chocolates.
Similarly, positions on issues are not conclusions derived from analysis of facts and ideas from the perspective of some foundational political principles. . . . . The position isn’t about the issue; it’s about Trump. It’s about the self-absorbed egotism. It’s the greatness of being Trump in the moment that is the driving motivation, so positions on issues are not fixed if Trump wants to tell the story a little differently, and lies are unbad if Trump needs to tell them to keep the self-aggrandizing tale going.Another key feature of Trump’s particular personality disorder is his pronounced vindictiveness. Some Republicans wonder aloud why Trump keeps attacking other Republicans and doesn’t move on from the primaries mindset to the main-event general election. He cannot. He has been dissed not only by the effrontery of being opposed, but after the vanquishing of his enemies, they still refuse to endorse him. Intolerable!  . . . . He can’t stop and he can’t control it.
And so it goes in the Grand Old Party, which has seen fit in past elections to threaten the country with contenders to be president of the United States and leader of the free world such as Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Tom Tancredo, Sam Brownback, Rick Perry, Ben Carson, Rick Santorum, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Carly Fiorina, each of whom brought in their own coterie of followers who proved by their support that they have a very limited capacity to rationally analyze the consequences of their actions balanced by an almost unlimited degree of gullibility. Perfect marks to be conned, lied to and cheated.
We are just a few short weeks from when Chief Birther Donald Trump, an unscrupulous, amoral, vindictive, con man, sweeps into Cincinnati and becomes the scariest and most profoundly unqualified person to ever be nominated by a political party in the history of the United States.
The Republican Party will pay a heavy price when America rallies against him.

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