Progressive Views: Narcissism

by Carol Carpenter
For the “Progressive Views,” Boerne Star, Friday July 3, 2020

Protest on Capital hill. Signs spell out the word "Narcissit" and "Resist"
Image provided by “Miki Jourdan” on Flickr is licensed under CC-BY 2.0

When a person, regardless of political party, reaches the very pinnacle of political power and prestige in America, we have the right to expect this person to have certain necessary qualities. Top of the list would be experience on how our government works. He or she should know there are three equal and independent branches of government that check and balance each other. That they are staffed with dedicated employees who serve to the best of their ability the American people. Leadership skills are a must for a president. Among these would be listening to experts and considering their advice; dependability, so that we can rely on the president to make well thought out decisions. The president should be respectful of and adhere to the protocols in all areas of government, including the military. Integrity is a quality that must be evident in the president. This involves honesty, trustworthiness, accountability and dedication. The president should be knowledgeable about the important issues concerning the country and the world. Finally, our president must be compassionate, and have a noble respect for the people for whom he or she is responsible.

From the very beginning, it was obvious that candidate Trump was not blessed with any of the qualities listed above. His demeanor was so disturbing that 27 psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health experts felt they had a civic “duty to warn” the nation. They did so in a book titled, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.” Unfortunately, the manuscripts submitted by these experts accurately predicted the destruction his presidency would levy on the nation.

One of the authors, Craig Malkin, Ph.D. writes that all of us score somewhere on the narcissism scale. Those scoring 9 or above are in the realm of narcissistic personality disorder. “Pathological narcissism begins when people become so addicted to feeling special that they’ll do anything to get their ‘high,’ including lie, steal, cheat, betray and even hurt those closest to them.” If their addiction to feeling special increases, their pathological narcissism blends with psychopathy, “a pattern of remorseless lies and manipulation.”

Another author, Lance Dodes, introduces the term “sociopathy.” Sociopaths experience a total lack of empathy, making them unable to feel guilt. “Their manipulation is intentional; they are controlling and will harm others for personal power or gratification. Sociopathy is a major aspect of the term, malignant narcissism.” Otto Kernberg is a professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College. He defined malignant narcissism as having these components: narcissistic personality disorder; antisocial behavior, paranoid traits, and sadism. Do these traits manifest themselves in the behavior of our President? You decide.

Narcissistic personality: Fantasizing about power, success, and attractiveness. “I alone can fix it.” Trump at the Republican Convention. (2016). I could stand in the middle of Fifth Ave, shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters. (2016). I’m rich, really, really rich. (Said many times in the campaign). It’s hard for them to attack me on my looks, because I’m so good looking. (NBC’s Meet the Press, Aug. 2015).

Antisocial behavior: Antisocials lie, exploit and violate the rights of others; and they have neither remorse nor empathy for those they harm. Trump insists his inauguration crowd was the largest ever seen. (Nov 2016). Trump University was a scam. Students took Trump to court and won. Thousands of children were taken from parents at the border with no provisions made to return them. Many are still living in filthy tent cities. Some have been deported while their parents are awaiting asylum decisions. (2017-May 2020). On the Access Hollywood Tape, Trump said, “I might start kissing a woman, I don’t even wait. When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything…grab them by the [private parts].”

Paranoid traits: Democrats, anyone who opposes him for any reason, the free press, and government employees doing their jobs lawfully are, according to Trump, out to get him. Those he deemed insufficiently loyal to him were fired. They swore an oath to the Constitution, not to Trump.

Sadism: Is defined as any enjoyment in being cruel. March 16, 2018, just 26 hours before his retirement as deputy director of the FBI, an organization he had served with distinction for over twenty years, Andrew McCabe was fired by Trump. He tweeted, “McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard-working men and women of the FBI-A great day for Democracy.”       

I cannot adequately begin to describe, in 750 words, how completely unfit Trump is to be president of the United States.

Carol Carpenter is a local Democrat

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