In the wake of the riot at the Capitol on January 6, Donald Trump’s mental illnesses (narcissim and psychopathy) reached their apogees.
His insatiable and ever-greater need for attention is akin to an opioid addiction. His fatal overdose finally came in the guise of an insurrection — real time, on national television, recorded for posterity.
Now, Trump is getting more attention than even he craved, including the spectacle of a second impeachment.
But, contrary to what many of his enablers are now claiming in order to assert their innocence, Trump did not suddenly go mad or resort to inciting violence on November 3 or January 6. His narcissism and psychopathy have been on full display for all to see, for years, if not decades.
Over five years ago, in Obamagram #100 in October 2015, I suggested that he had a “Narcissistic Personality Disorder.” http://www.obamagrams.com/group-7/100-will-the-narcissist-help-to-restore-sanity/
Then in Obamagram #104 in June 2016, I added “Antisocial Personality Disorder” as an explanation for his aberrant behavior. http://www.obamagrams.com/group-7/104-the-dsm-has-the-answers/
In #100, I included this Mayo Clinic summary of the criteria for NPD from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5):
- Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
- Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
- Exaggerating your achievements and talents
- Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
- Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
- Requiring constant admiration
- Having a sense of entitlement
- Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
- Taking advantage of others to get what you want
- Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
- Being envious of others and believing others envy you
- Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner
It is remarkable how many of these perfectly describe Donald Trump.
In that Obamagram, my diagnosis was spot on, but my prognosis (his defeat) was way off. It was five years premature.
You can read the criteria for ADP in #104. They include “Deceitfulness” and “Callousness.”
I followed up with three other commentaries:
#105 “Addiction to Attention” in September 2016:
#109 “Tweetocracy” in February 2017:
#110 “Selfishness” in June 2019:
During the 2015-16 primary campaign, several of his opponents had him perfectly pegged. Then after he won, and in the height of hypocrisy, all of them caved. They became sycophants, fearful of the bully, becoming his enablers. Senators Cruz, Graham, Rubio, and Paul, to name a few.
Last September, just before election day, I wrote BidenBrief #8: “Will He Go? https://bidenbriefs.com/bidenbrief-8-will-he-go/ In it, I cited Amherst College professor Lawrence Douglas’ prescient book of the same name. I included some excerpts from the book, along with my comments in brackets.
…in case of a slender victory by his Democratic challenger…chaos beckons. Trump will not go quietly…
…the only power Trump really craves is the power to command attention…
The certified results from every state and D.C. will then be quaintly sent by registered mail to the president of the Senate—that is, Vice President Pence. By the terms of the Twelfth Amendment, Congress will convene in a joint session to count the votes and declare a winner. This is set by law for January 6 following the election—in 2021 [more than two months after the election] …
[The combined electoral college and mail-in ballot delays could be fertile grounds for chaos this time.]
[I think you get the picture. It is now much clearer to me. Unless Joe Biden wins decisively and early, we may have another historic crisis on our hands. One that may be even bigger than the pandemic, the recession, or this moment of racial reckoning.]
In reaction to that Brief, one reader said I was being “as bombastic as Trump.” Hmmm??
As a country, we do need to take more seriously the legitimate grievances of those who feel left behind or ignored. Much like we need to finally address our history of racial injustice. But, we need to do so in a sane and sober way.
Please, as always, pass it along.