Reflections on a “Narcissist” – Why a Trump Presidency scares the Bejesus out of this Psychologist!

10/19/2016 07:36 pm ET Updated Oct 19, 2016
Illustration by Paul Szep
Illustration by Paul Szep

It’s no wonder the country is obsessed with the 2016 Presidential election. All of our basic Maslow-esque needs are in jeopardy. We need jobs, water, energy, and national security. We require a leader that can cross party lines and racial lines, but not someone whose main purpose is to self-aggrandize.

Some narcissism in a leader can be charming, but when it's “HUGE,” we end up being the ones drowning in their reflection through their eventual aggression, big risk taking and unwillingness to compromise. These three main factors suggest how Trump’s mind works in my opinion, and how this may color his presidential decisions. As a psychologist, I’m afraid - VERY afraid.

He is “Hands-On”

Hands-on in this case doesn’t mean you will find him digging a foundation with one of his building crews. Trump has very high narcissism. This leads him to strong feelings of entitlement, arrogance, and a general disinterest in others' feelings, indicated by holding a belief that he should be able to grope women.

Trump actually states, “When you’re a celeb you can do whatever.” You can see this connection to his beliefs and behavior being substantiated not only by Jessica Leeds who described him as hands on, “like an octopus”, and Rachel Crooks, who said he introduced himself and started kissing her cheeks and then her mouth. Still more sexual assault cases against Donald Trump have surfaced since; Kristin Anderson, who accused Trump of touching her under her skirt at a NYC nightclub and former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos.

Someone with such impulsivity, which is derived from his vast ego, may lead to an even bigger ego explosion if he were to hit the white house. Such arrogance could also leave him vulnerable to manipulation by others, as he has shown he cannot resist a beautiful woman, even if she may eventually turn out to be a Trojan horse.

He Wants to “Trim the Fat”

We need a president that can focus on trimming the fat off the 19.4 trillion dollar deficit, not one who is hyper-focused on the superficiality of female weight. Sure there is an obesity epidemic in the U.S., but how are 5th grade bullying tactics going to help?

He describes the former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado as “Ms. Piggy,” Rosie O’Donnell as a “fat pig,” and has also described J.Lo as having a “Fat a* *.” Trump even kept a “fat photo” of an employee taunting, “You like your candy.” Joan Rivers's past red carpet commentaries at their most shocking were always kinder and more constructive - and at least she was doing her job as a comedian.

Besides bullying, is he changing the American diet by some tactic from “The Art of the Deal” that I missed? I don’t think so, but rather it’s arrogance, anger, and defensiveness. Here, what you see is what you get. A person who harshly criticizes people wants control and power through tearing down, not by building or finding real answers. While many narcissists are protecting their insecurity, Trump truly loves himself to the point that there is no room for love or even empathy for others. A president with a “Me, Myself and I” philosophy, and also who treats people as “less than” is representing the “few,” not the “all.” We need a leader to lead outside the “perfect world” of his Mar-a-Lago Estate and Trump Tower.

He is Focused on Issues of Race

We certainly need a president focusing on issues of race, yet Trump’s authoritarian style of business, coupled with his aggressiveness and impulsive rhetoric, makes his focus on race potentially divisive, not a unified one.

At the Democratic National Convention, Trump implied that Ghazala Khan, mother of Army Captain Human Khanshe, was forbidden from speaking due to the couple’s Islamic faith, when in fact, she was simply overcome with grief. Trump's response following the beating of a Black Lives Matter protester Mercutio Southall Jr. at his rally stated, “Maybe [the protester] should have been roughed up. It was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.”

Also, Trump did not initially disavow support from the Klu Klux Klan (KKK), and accused Judge Gonzalo Curiel of ruling against Trump University, “because he was Mexican” (though he was born in Indiana). In 1992, Kip Brown, a former employee at Trump’s Castle, stated African Americans were called off the floor when Trump and Ivana were coming into the casino.

As people we can’t help but be influenced by our past. Trump’s father has alleged ties to the KKK, as he was arrested in 1927 at a KKK rally in Queens, NY. When Donald was president of his father’s company, they were also sued more than once by the government for not renting properties to African Americans and had to pay hefty fines. Building physical walls and banning religious groups from entering the country would create deeper divides; not only physically but psychologically as well, with the potential for more violence and less national security. It is likely to breed more hatred toward us and within us. As shown, if one cannot unite a party with this rhetoric, how can they unite a country?

Donald Trump’s basic personality traits suggest a presidency that could be like a 4-year hurricane - we would all find ourselves drowning in his reflection. Like a cross between PT Barnum and Rich Uncle Pennybags, Trump in these last remaining weeks will continue to try and “Be a Boss” at running for president, but with his narcissism, it’s only a matter of time before the horse drawn carriage turns into a pumpkin, and it will be too late . The country will see whatever “charm” that might remain turn into further arrogance; whatever “intelligence” that might exist turn into more “I know-it-all;” the “confidence” turn to aggression;” the risk-taking turn to “impulsivity,” and the undecided turn to Hillary.

Illustration by Victor Juhasz
Illustration by Victor Juhasz
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