Narcissus, the Greek mythological figure , was a boy who fell so in love with his own reflection in a pool of water that, according to one version of the story, he jumped in and drowned.
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Psychiatrists and psychologists now use the term narcissism to describe feelings of self-importance and self-love. A certain amount of narcissism is healthy, and helpful—it brings with it confidence, optimism, and boldness.
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Someone with more than an average amount of narcissism may be called a narcissist. But extreme narcissism can be pathological, an illness—and potentially a danger, as it was for Narcissus. McAdams wrote in The Atlantic. Not everyone agrees that Trump meets the diagnostic criteria for NPD. Trump causes severe distress rather than experiencing it and has been richly rewarded, rather than punished, for his grandiosity, self-absorption and lack of empathy. But from the perspective of the public at large, the debate over whether Trump meets the clinical diagnostic criteria for NPD—or whether psychiatrists can and should answer that question without directly examining him—is beside the point.
The goal of a diagnosis is to help a clinician guide treatment. The question facing the public is very different: Does the president of the United States exhibit a consistent pattern of behavior that suggests he is incapable of properly discharging the duties of his office? Read more: Is something neurologically wrong with Donald Trump? Here are the nine:. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance e. Has a sense of entitlement i. Is interpersonally exploitative i. They may react with disdain, rage, or defiant counterattack. As Trump himself might put it, he exaggerates accomplishments better than anyone.
He avoided military service , yet claims he would have run, unarmed, into a school during a mass shooting. And Trump, through an invented spokesman, even lied his way onto the Forbes Last Thanksgiving, Trump was asked what he was most thankful for. His answer: himself , of course. A number of years ago, he made a video for Forbes in which he interviewed two of his children.
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The interview topic: how great they thought Donald Trump was. When his own father died, in , Trump gave one of the eulogies. Throughout his remarks, the first-person singular pronouns—I and me and mine—far outnumbered he and his. Thank you, Mr. Read more: Trump never stopped campaigning long enough to govern. And Trump, despite being president, still seems envious of President Barack Obama. Just watch the Access Hollywood tape, or ask any of the hundreds of contractors and employees Trump the businessman allegedly stiffed, or speak with any of the two dozen women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, sexual assault, or rape.
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Trump has denied all their claims. Finally, 7 Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings or needs of others? It was the bloody mess on his expensive floor. It changed color.
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Trump gave an extraordinary call-in interview to a metropolitan—New York television station just hours after the Twin Towers collapsed. He was asked whether one of his downtown buildings, 40 Wall Street, had suffered any damage.
I would have told you. Most recently, in July of this year, in a stunning scene captured on video , Trump met in the Oval Office with the human-rights activist Nadia Murad, a Yazidi Iraqi who had been captured, raped, and tortured by the Islamic State, and had won the Nobel Peace Prize in for speaking out about the plight of the Yazidis and other victims of genocide and religious persecution.
Her voice breaking, she implored the president of the United States to help her people return safely to Iraq. Trump could barely look her in the eye. She told him that ISIS had murdered her mother and six brothers. Another equally unforgettable video documents Trump visiting Puerto Rico shortly after Hurricane Maria, tossing rolls of paper towels into a crowd of victims.
In October , a gunman burst into Shabbat morning services at a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh and sprayed worshippers with semiautomatic-rifle and pistol fire. Eleven people died. We were treated so warmly. Small protest was not seen by us, staged far away. The Fake News stories were just the opposite—Disgraceful!
source link Read more: The fight to make meaning out of a massacre. What kind of human being, let alone politician, would engage in such unempathetic, self-centered behavior while memorializing such horrible tragedies? A second disorder also frequently ascribed to Trump by professionals is sociopathy—what the DSM-5 calls antisocial personality disorder. People with sociopathic traits have a flaw in the basic nature of human beings … They are lacking an essential part of being human.
Trump is a pathological liar if ever there was one. And given what federal prosecutors in New York said about his role in directing hush money to be paid to the porn star Stormy Daniels, a strong case can be made that Trump has committed multiple acts of obstruction of justice and criminal violations of campaign-finance laws. Were he not president, and were it not for two Justice Department opinions holding that a sitting president cannot be indicted , he might well be facing criminal charges now.
His impulsiveness has buffeted his presidency as well: Think of his first ordering, then calling off, the bombing of Iran in June, and his aborted meeting with the Taliban at Camp David just last month. Or consider his impetuous, unvetted personnel decisions, such as his failed selection of Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician, as Veterans Affairs secretary, and his choice of Representative John Ratcliffe as director of national intelligence.
And lack of remorse?
Trump hardly ever shows remorse, or apologizes, for anything. The one exception: With his presidential candidacy on the line in early October , Trump expressed regret for the Access Hollywood video. But within weeks, almost as soon as the campaign was over, Trump began claiming , to multiple people, that the video may have been doctored—a preposterous lie, especially since he had acknowledged that the voice was his, others had confirmed this as well, and there was no evidence of tampering.
Take the pathological lying. And so Donald Trump has lied about his net worth , the size of the crowd at his inauguration, and supposed voter fraud in the election. Lying to prevent narcissistic injury can metastasize to a more significant loss of touch with reality. This is a serious matter: Trump seems to be continually slurring words , and recently misread teleprompters to say that the Continental Army secured airports during the American Revolutionary War, and to say that the shooting in Dayton had occurred in Toledo.
This is a lot to digest. But when you line up what the Framers expected of a president with all that we know about Donald Trump, his unfitness becomes obvious. No president before him, at least in recent memory, has ever displayed such obsessive self-regard. For Trump, Trump always comes first. Bad faith? Trump has repeatedly used executive powers, threatened to use executive powers, or expressed the view that executive powers should be used to advance his personal interests and punish his political opponents. Look at the way Trump is using the presidency to advertise his real-estate holdings—most notably and recently, his apparent determination to hold the next G7 summit at the Trump Doral resort in Florida.
Ultra vires? A duty of diligence and carefulness? Trump is purely impulsive, and incapable of planning or serious forethought, and his compulsion for lying has enervated any capacity for thoughtful analysis he may have ever had. Fiduciaries must be honest.
Presidential narcissism and personal ego have frequently displaced the national interest. Today, the most obvious—and stunning—example is his conduct toward Ukraine: While trying to pressure the Ukrainian president to restart an investigation against Biden, Trump ordered the withholding of vital military aid to that country, thus weakening its ability to withstand Russian aggression and undermining the interests of the United States.
But the list goes on: Last summer, in a narcissistic effort at self-aggrandizement, Trump told the Pakistani prime minister about a conversation he had with the Indian prime minister—leading India to deny , indignantly, that any such conversation had ever taken place. Trump reportedly even lied about trade talks with China —announcing that phone calls had occurred that never occurred and that the Chinese denied took place —in an apparent attempt to pump up the stock market and take credit for it.
Trump made that investigation about himself, and in the course of doing so, committed what appear to be unmistakably criminal acts. It was primarily an investigation about what the Russians had done to interfere with that election and to help the Trump campaign. At its core, it was a counterintelligence investigation—an effort to protect the country, to defend our democracy.