Playing with a full deck?
Our president has been diagnosed by some mental health experts as having a narcissistic personality disorder. This is based on his obvious self-absorption, compulsive behavior, near-intuitive lying and loose association with reality.
Although he calls Trump “a world-class narcissist; grandiose, self-absorbed, unempathic etc,” Dr. Allen Frances, former chair of the Duke University School of Psychiatry, says Trump exhibits little actual disabling psychological distress, impairment or other evidence of psychosis. Frances describes Trump as “more bad than mad.”
President Donald Trump’s irrepressible narcissism is a personality disorder, not a psychosis. The major symptoms are paranoia, an antisocial personality and sadism, all of which Trump has exhibited to varying degrees. His repeated lying (multiple examples), a disregard for the rights and feelings of others (the Trump University fraud and repeated sexual assault allegations) and his persistent demonizing of the press, minorities and anyone else who opposes him are classic symptoms of malignant narcissism.
His unrestrained impulsiveness emerged after he viewed upsetting pictures of gassed Syrian children on the TV News. Without further investigation or consultation he immediately launched 59 Tomahawk missiles at Syrian dictator Assad’s defenses. A sudden lethal move such as this, especially one that is contrary to our longstanding Middle-eastern policies, is disturbing to say the least. One journalist commented: “A foreign policy based on Trump’s gut reactions to the images flashing before him on cable news is dangerous.”
Another expert observed, “If we take Trump’s words literally there is little doubt that he is delusional. The only question is one of degree.” A delusion is a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact. Examples: Despite the total absence of any supporting evidence, Trump still insists that his New York office was bugged by President Obama. Also, in the face of contravening photographic proof, he still claims his inauguration drew the biggest crowd size of any in history. But is that delusional, or just plain lying?
As previously noted, Trump seems to lie instinctively and reflexively. As Hitler and others before him realized, Trump seems to understand that desperate, angry people who feel they have been dispossessed are in no mood to hear logical arguments based on fact. They prefer to be seduced and comforted by “alternative facts” (read: lies) and false promises. They want answers, not explanations, choices or challenges.
Dr. Allen Frances says, “Human irrationality in the face of stress has a long past and may, unfortunately, enjoy a great future.” But again, much of America’s perceived stress was largely a Trump invention designed to stir up the emotions of his potential supporters. In fact, the economy, along with job growth, was up, crime was down and about as many Mexican illegals were going home in 2016 as were coming north. But, as I’ve said before, if a lie is repeated often enough people will begin to believe it from the mere repetition.
After Obama saved some major corporations from bankruptcy early in his first term, in 2012 U.S. economic growth began a steady climb, stock and bond prices rose, we enjoyed 72 continuous months of private-sector job creation and the rates for most types of crime declined. Most lowskilled job loss has been due to technological displacement, not to immigrants, illegal or legal, or from U.S. corporations fleeing to escape exorbitant taxes. Let’s get real about our situation before we get into more trouble from listening to Trump’s lies. We made a start with November’s congressional elections.
George B. Reed Jr., who lives in Rossville, can be reached by email at [email protected]south.net.