We know he has a personality disorder, but Trump has never had to deal with the negative side effects of his mental problem. However, with Muller’s noose tightening, his reaction when forced to face the grim reality of his situation for the first time in his charmed life could easily endanger our country and its citizens.
By now there should be little doubt in anyone’s mind that there is something demonstratively wrong with Donald Trump’s personality. Daily we have evidence on the national news of his outrageous pronouncements and behavior. He lies far more often than he tells the truth. He attacks viciously, both friend and foe, anyone who dares not to do his bidding and those he feels have failed him. He is an incessant braggart and is totally devoid of empathy. He projects supreme self confidence, but is uniquely thin skinned and attacks immediately anyone who dares to criticize him.
In the psychiatric profession there is a term used to describe people who possess an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others – those who behind a mask of ultra confidence hide a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism. It’s called “Narcissistic Personality Disorder”. In an article I published on this blog March 3rd of this year entitled, “‘Does Trump Have a Personality Disorder? – An Analysis”, I listed the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, which is used to diagnose Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I also illustrated that Trump is walking, talking example of each of the 12 criteria set forth for diagnosing that affliction.
However, you don’t have to take my word in this matter; there are plenty of expert opinions on the subject which are easily accessible:
- Developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education: “Remarkably narcissistic,”
- Clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis: “Textbook narcissistic personality disorder,”
- Clinical psychologist George Simon, who conducts lectures and seminars on manipulative behavior: “He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops because there’s no better example of his characteristics, otherwise, I would have had to hire actors and write vignettes. He’s like a dream come true.”
Other leaders who were believed to have narcissistic personality disorder include Muammar Gaddafi, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Saddam Hussein. That statement alone should cause concern because when true narcissists obtain great power they have a strong compulsion to become dictators. Surely have seen this tendency in Trump. Only the checks and balances of our system of government prevent him from trying to seize total control of our government. In fact he often complains about limitations our justice system and the balancing effects of Congress place on what he obviously believes is his supreme role as President. Some say he doesn’t understand the limitations of his office. I believe he now understands those limitations perfectly; he just hates them and will bypass them if at all possible.
However, I am more worried about the future than the present. Normally narcissists are very unhappy because they find that the people around them dp not agree with their exalted view of themselves. They have trouble with relationships, both business and personal, which cause them a multitude of problems in their private and public lives. Thus they often have problems with depression and/or anxiety, may misuse drugs or alcohol, and may even indulge in suicidal thoughts or behavior. However, Trump seems to have been spared these complications all of his life because of his money and power.
With his money Trump did not have to try hard to seek out business contacts and partners, they came to him or were easily approached. His employees paid him proper homage or else. There are any number of businessmen and vendors who will put up with manipulative, self important people who have the money to finance business deals which will ultimately put cash in their pockets. Some people will apparently put up with anyone who they believe are able to help them achieve their goals. Any number of beautiful, glamorous women will make them selves available to a narcissist worth tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars. This is particularly true because narcissists are so totally sure of themselves they can be quite charming, especially early in a relationship. And it’s amazing the number of “friends” a rich man can accumulate regardless of the defects in his personality.
So Trump has been able to plow through life not really ever feeling the downsides of his personality disorder. His money and status as a VIP have always protected him. Even when he failed miserably he could always blame someone else for his failures and there were always those (perhaps the Russians) who were ready to provide him with the money to start over. However, Trump’s new position as Commander in Chief is an entirely new endeavor for him and things have not been going particularly well in this new stage of his life. Notice that as the situation worsens, he seems to be getting more combative and more defensive, and he now seems to be using his tweets more than ever to deflect blame and attention away from his problems.
Unlikely as it may seem, prior to getting into politics Trump appeared to believe that the position of chief executive of the United States was more like being a feudal king of a country that was vastly superior to its neighbors. At least he seem to believe that being President was much like his former position as unchallenged head of his various companies. He apparently believed that the leaders of other countries would do his bidding if he was nice to them or roared at them loud enough. He seemed to believe that Congress, especially a Republican led Congress, would do his bidding, that he only had to set high level objectives and they would do all of the hard work as his minions in his company had done for years and present him with final legislative products for him to sign. He definitely believed that that he would have absolutely dominion over the various agencies of the executive branch of government. And most of all he believed, as only true narcissist would, that as President his ”subjects” would acknowledge his inherent superiority and that he would bask in their approval.
However, this is not the reality that Trump awakes to every morning. A tin pot dictator armed with Nuclear weapons insults him and issues provocative threats almost daily. Leaders of other important nations are reluctant to cooperate in achieving his goals. Leaders of countries which should be his allies are often visibly disturbed by his statements and actions. Congress has proved to be totally unmanageable from the Oval Office and has produced nothing he can brag about. Some important Republican Congressional leaders have even dared be openly hostile. Trump has also learned to his dismay that he sometimes cannot even exert total control over his executive branch organizations, especially the Department of Justice, at least not without dire consequences. Like a junky deprived of his drugs, when Trump becomes desperate for a dose of the adulation he knows he richly deserves, his staff has to set up “political rallies” in friendly venues. As a result of his unexpected impotence as President, Trump is visibly frustrated. And now the Muller investigation appears to tightening ever closer to his inner circle.
The question remains how will this textbook narcissistic President react if and when, because to the Muller investigation, he totally loses control of his destiny? What will happen if members of his administration, perhaps members his own family are indicted? How will Trump react if and when impeachment proceeding are initiated. The truth is that we don’t know. Perhaps in the typical fashion of a true narcissist Trump will cast blame on everyone but himself, even on his closest associates and family members, figure out some way declare victory and simply quit.
One can only hope, but without a proper psychiatric evaluation we can never know what other demons might exist along with narcissism in that totally unconventional brain of his. As the Muller’s investigation has proceeded Trump has become increasingly combative and agitated; what if that increases unchecked? What if in his normal style Trump decides to fight the “injustice” of possible impeachment and at the same time grows increasingly unbalanced with his finger still on the nuclear button? How unbalanced might he become before the Senate renders its final judgment on his presidency? If he becomes unstable will his own cabinet members or the Republican led Congress have the fortitude to invoke the 25th Amendment? The truth is we have no answers to any of these questions. That is why Donald Trump may truly represent a clear and present danger to this country and its citizens.