Alfie Kohn summarizes my own thoughts about the soon to be elevated Denier In Chief.

Even before he ran for president, Trump had been Exhibit A for the axiom that it's possible to be rich and famous without being a successful human being, psychologically or morally speaking.

Donald Trump has distinguished himself as someone who is:

* given to boasting, preening, and swaggering to the point of self-parody;

* not merely thin-skinned and petulant but vindictive when crossed or even criticized;

* restless, with the attention span of a toddler;

* desperately competitive, driven to sort the world into winners and losers, and to regard other people (or countries) primarily as rivals to be bested;

* astonishingly lacking not only in knowledge but in curiosity;

* not merely given to uttering blatant falsehoods on a more or less constant basis but apparently unaware of the extent of his dishonesty, as if the fact that he believes or has said something makes it true; and

* possessed of a sense of absolute entitlement -- such that if he wants to kiss or grab an attractive woman, for example, he should of course be free to do so -- along with a lack of shame, humility, empathy, or capacity for reflection and self-scrutiny.

It's not just that he lacks the cognitive wherewithal to view himself as others view him (or to reflect on his failings) but that his psychological makeup is such that he can't bear to stop and think about who he is;...

Similarly, while his speech rarely ventures beyond elementary-school vocabulary or grammar, what's more alarming than his cognitive limitations is his egocentrismOne careful analysis found that he inclines not only to the monosyllabic but to the megalomaniacal:  The single word he uses more than any other is "I" -- and his fourth-favorite word is his own name. Donald Trump seems to me a textbook illustration of how a lifelong campaign of self-congratulation and self-aggrandizement (acquiring as much as possible and then pasting his name on everything he owns) represents an attempt to compensate for deeply rooted insecurity.

He doesn't even bother -- or maybe just lacks the sophistication -- to conceal how desperate is his craving for attention and approval, how precarious is his mental state.

The vulnerability, the naked need, would almost occasion our pity were it not for the potentially catastrophic consequences when someone with this profile is in a position of power.

This is not someone who is merely narcissistic in the colloquial, casual sense of the term, meaning that he's selfish or self-centered.  This is someone with a psychiatric disorder in all its flagrant, florid particulars.

How is it possible that almost half the voters, even those who like his values and disliked his ... opponent, could have listened to him taunt and lie and bully his way through a campaign and then said, "Yep.  That's who should be in charge of the country"?

It's not just that he's an extreme risk-taker, but that he takes those risks purely in the service of his own wealth and glory.

... what he has is an overwhelming need to be the center of attention, to be liked, feared, admired.

His hunger for approval means he's likely to keep surrounding himself with those who tell him what he wants to hear and flatter him -- the engine of Shakespearean tragedies.  His belligerence and volatility, that hair-trigger temper, are the last qualities you want to see in someone holding a position of power, particularly when they're coupled with a childish us-versus-them view of the world: xenophobic nationalism and compulsive competitiveness.  His disorder leaves no room for consensus and collaboration.

John Oliver urged us to keep reminding ourselves, “A Klan-backed misogynist Internet troll is going to be delivering the next State of the Union address.  This is not normal.”  Furthermore, we'll need to remember that what's abnormal here isn't just a set of positions and policies but the psychological state of the person who will be in charge. [emphasis mine]

It was a toss-up whether this belonged in Psychology or Dark Atheists.

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Replies to This Discussion

The only thing sadder than the accuracy of the above report is the superficiality of those who voted for Drumpf. The fact of the matter is that voting for sizzle and failing to recognize the absence of steak has become the hallmark of too many American voters.

What is even worse is that the report, like my comment here, are too late. Unless the Electoral College can be bothered to act in America's best interests, we are facing a four-year holding action against an administration which will likely endanger too many people and things to count.

Part of my anxiety is that we'll get a Shakespearean tragedy long before 4 years pass.

Ruth, a more likely result would be likely something out of Shakespeare crossed with the Keystone Kops. I've said many times that the second you introduce the first irrationality, any number of further madnesses can follow. The post-factual world created by Trump & Company takes the Republican bubble and expands it beyond any sane boundaries. There genuinely is no telling what we can expect from here.




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