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. Β 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?


24 thoughts on “Donald Trump and the Cult of Narcissism”

  1. I am very scared of Trump and his followers…brrr 😨 I would be very worried about seeing what would happen to US politics if he took over… ! Great post.

  2. Hey used to be back alley friend. In one word:Yep.
    We are heading south for 5 months on Friday so have a great winter. Jim

  3. I think he’s a quintessential asshole. American culture just seems to love cock-sure, brash, douchebags like Trump. Anyone who has studied US political history with a critical lens is well aware that Americans, for reasons I can’t yet explain, are very very susceptible to the Trump variety of demagogue, particularly when times are tough, as they are right now. It suggests a lack of grace in the disposition of many Americans. It’s almost as if they really don’t have faith in the God so many of them profess an affinity for. If they did, they would never be so inclined to believe scumbags like Trump are the harbingers of their salvation. He’s a false God and its blasphemous to anyone with true faith to hear so-called religious devotees praising him in any way.

    That said, Trump is only on the surface different than Ronald Reagan. Reagan was a better actor, smoother and more polished in delivering the same dog-whistle ugliness that Trump touts more crudely today. Make no mistake, Reagan’s politics were in no way different than Trump’s. That knowledge will only slightly defuse my absolute shock and horror in the event of a Trump victory tomorrow. However we did survive two terms of the demented puppet who sold America on “trickle down economics” in the 80’s – which got them in the economic that has so many of them loving Trump in the first place; and during the Cold War no less. So I hold out hope we can survive the nightmare of a Trump presidency.

    We shall see.

    1. Thank you. πŸ™‚

      I agree that there is a lot of hypocrisy going on. Donald Trump and the ten commandments? Yikes. But he keeps saying that he “loves the bible” and people seem to keep believing him. It’s to the point where I’m wondering if people do believe him or whether many of them have decided to vote for him in order to just stir up crap. It almost seems vengeful to me – and maybe that’s what’s going on. A lot of his followers do feel as if they don’t count for anything.

      Thanks for mentioning the similarities to Reagan. And yes, the world did survive him – a good thing to remember.

  4. Well said. This guy scares the crap our of me. As an average white male if I said and did the things he’s said and admitted to doing, I’d be staring at the world through an 8X10 cell. I think the guy really ahs severe mental health issues. I’m concerned about his reaction if he loses. (Oh please, let him lose!)

    1. Thank you. πŸ™‚ He scares me, too. And you’re quite right, many, many people would be in jail if they had behaved like him.

      M and I are also worried about what’s going to happen if he loses. He’s got quite a large following that feels powerless and disenfranchised. It almost seems to me that they are deliberately trying to create a mess so that they can be heard – a sort of Brexit thing.

      In any event, I think we’re going to see some major flying crap whether he wins or doesn’t.

  5. He does have some of the mannerisms of Hitler (self-agrandising) and has used a similar politics of hate and appeal to self-serving attitude.

    Fortunately he lives in a world of tightly bound bureaucracy which will hinder him. We only have to survive and try to limit the damage by protesting it until those who elected him awake from their entranced state.

    In other words there is still everything to play for and we must. I’m a Brit by the way but even we can make our concerns known. It needs to be an international effort, that’s the united strength of mutual concerns. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you. πŸ™‚ And thank you for travelling through my dusty archive. You’ve reminded me of some old stuff, both good and bad.

      I haven’t thought of this post as one of my best. I wanted to communicate the idea that because of the popularity of the idea of narcissism as a buzz word, few people would realise that #45 is, in fact, a narcissist. Later I realised that his constituency wouldn’t know, wouldn’t want to know and wouldn’t give a crap because narcissism is an “elitist” concept. Thinking rational commentary about DT is more about preaching to the converted (as opposed to perverted, which is what he does πŸ˜‰ ).

  6. Just reading this now and your post was very prophetic. I think his job description should read “snake oil salesman.” I am not sure what else he offers, except a lesson on the dangers of tweeting. One can only hope that the continued “witch hunt” will end this long nightmare, but that would discount his supporters’ power and mean that everyone else would have to get out and vote in the midterms. Fingers crossed. Allan

    1. Thank you very much. πŸ™‚ Imho, Trump is a complete narcissist. Given what’s happening now with Manafort et al, it’s probably going to get a lot worse as he feels more and more threatened and the rats start abandoning the ship. Yup, people are going to have to get out and vote. In the meantime, I hope Canada has learned its lesson and works on diversifying its markets …

      1. Agreed. Build on markets with Central and South America, Asia and the EU and Britain. This whole “Blame Canada” thing is getting very old, especially when he blames us for the California fires. I had no idea people could be this stupid.

  7. Great reading this. I’ve been afraid forever now. Afraid we won’t get him out and afraid we will. His followers see nothing wrong. Make excuses for him. From the start he’s reminded me of my ex. And that’s enough to have known he was bad news for one and all.

    1. Thank you. πŸ™‚ The fact that his own party members would rather retire than deal with him shows an extraordinary level of control (intimidation?).

      I agree. He needs to be ousted, and the sooner the better, but he may refuse to leave which is also a distinct possibility.

      1. True. Rather than stand against him, I’ll retire. I’ve been listening to hearings and fear that like his whole life, he’ll skate by emboldened by that. I think I’ve never disliked a person more than him and find it impossible to understand what people like. People who have nothing in common with him and who he would squash if they crossed him.

        1. My understanding is that his policies are having a very negative effect on his base supporters, so yes, he will squash them. In true narcissistic fashion, he only cares about himself and will throw anyone (or anything) under the bus to save himself.

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