Donald Trump and the Cult of Narcissism

The US election campaign is winding down and there’s not much left to do except the counting. There’s been an absolute, batshit-crazy amount of talk, writing, crying, and gnashing of teeth over it. And with good cause.

For multitudinous reasons, the country that I live next to and admire is poised to possibly elect as its president one of the least qualified people they could possibly find anywhere. An orange-tinted, intellectually challenged, morally bankrupt, emotionally unstable pussy-grabber.

Yes. Pussy-grabber. It’s not my term. I borrowed it off Bill Maher, but it is lovely, isn’t it?

I’m dismayed at the depth and degree of racism, prejudice and outright anger that Trump’s presidential bid has uncovered. Seriously, it makes me cringe. And it seems that the people who follow him can’t be dissuaded by any degree of outrageous behaviour on his part. He tells whopping great lies. His idea of foreign policy is to build a wall. He makes really inappropriate sexual comments about his own daughters. He has demonstrated what borders on hatred, or at the very least, a profound contempt for women, the handicapped, blacks, Hispanics and anyone else who’s not a white male, except for Muslims of course. He has called for Clinton to be “locked up.” Some of his followers are even shouting for her to be “executed.” He has associated with white supremacists. He loves Putin. He steals. He cheats.

More than once, I have found myself speechless at his inane pomposity, sanctimony and juvenile belief in his own superiority.

A number of moons ago, no one believed that Trump would get very far. He was seen as a hard-right, narcissistic fruit loop who couldn’t find his own ass with both hands and a map. He was incapable of leading a trip to the toilet.

How times change.

Now he’s a hard-right, psychopathic fruit loop who still can’t find his own ass with both hands and a map.

He’s amped himself up.

And so have the rest of us. Some people are now starting to refer to him as another Hitler. Is that going too far?

Is he a narcissist? A psychopath? Someone who is just exploiting those characteristics in order to get elected? But then, wouldn’t that make him a narcissist/psychopath anyway?

Donald Trump, anyone? (Photo courtesy of the Glenbow Museum, Calgary.)

Donald Trump, anyone? (Photo courtesy of the Glenbow Museum, Calgary.)

Should those terms even be bandied about? The terms narcissist, narcissism, narcissist, psychopath and psychopathic have been very popularly, very loosely used over the last few years. Have they started to lose their impact, their importance, through overuse?

Is this one of those times when those words really do apply to someone and people are ignoring them because vocabulary fatigue has set in?

I’m feeling some caution here. I’m not a counsellor, psychologist or psychiatrist, but I’m convinced that I was married to a narcissist. I started writing publicly about that experience, right here, in this blog. So, from one point of view, the one that says that I am not equipped to do any diagnosing, I really shouldn’t have done that.

I follow others who also write about narcissism and its effects. They are insightful, smart, knowledgable and experienced. And me, I’m writing about it right now. Am I just part of a sort of weird cult that thinks and writes obsessively about narcissism? A cult that will eventually disappear, the idea and popularity of writing about narcissism having burned itself out?

Yet …

On the other hand, I’m an intelligent, well-read person who can figure things out. And I know that I was married to a narcissist, especially now that I have some distance from that experience. I know that it’s important to write about it, to read about it, to reflect on the importance it has had in my life. I know about narcissism.

Various professional psychiatric organisations in the US have warned their members not to weigh in on Trump by giving some sort of diagnosis. And that’s how it should be, otherwise there could be a great deal of abuse.

But … I know they can’t comment, that to do that would fly in the face of every ethical precept.

But. But, but, but.

This man is dangerous.  And a lot of people aren’t getting that.

I believe that at the very least, Trump probably has narcissistic personality disorder. He strongly reminds me of my ex-narcissist. So yes, I’ve just done a pseudo-diagnosis and hung another label on him. Sometimes, you just have to use a label and call him what he is. A pussy-grabber?

But all joking aside, I believe that as a result of his NPD, he’s not fit to be president of a row-boat society, let alone a country that has a huge military and a large nuclear arsenal.

If he wins, he will be so blithely unaware that he will be open to manipulation from other world leaders and from his own government. His judgement – about anything – will be unreliable and suspect. He will be unpredictable. He will be uncaring and exploitative. He will be vindictive and petty. Once there, he won’t really want the actual job. For him, this is only a trophy. And it’s one he will want to keep for life.

Is there a sort of “narcissism fatigue”? Perhaps. Are some of us too preoccupied with this personality issue and therefore stealing some of its thunder, so to speak? Maybe.

Could this be part of the reason why people aren’t taking Trump’s obvious drawbacks as seriously as they should?

Or is it more important to people to do a protest vote than to think about its consequences?

Many people might say that all Trump is doing is saying what he thinks, and that that’s no different from what I’m doing. Hummm.

What I do know is that years of reading, writing and thinking about narcissism tells me that a Trump government will be an absolute mess, and maybe worse.

I hope that I’m worried about nothing. But then, that’s only the beginning, isn’t it? Because really, the reasons for Trump’s popularity need some serious sorting.

What do you think?