Saturday, January 21, 2017

Why it bothers me that our new leader is a narcissist...


This morning, I read an epic rant by singer-songwriter Janis Ian.  I follow her on Facebook because she's funny, intelligent, and very talented.  Not only does she make lovely music, she also has things of substance to say-- or sing, as the case might be.  Anyway, Ms. Ian has been vocally expressing her discontent that our new President is Donald Trump.  And many people who follow her page have been chastising her for expressing her views.  They tell her to "get over it", "put on her big girl panties", and "suck it up".

As someone who has also been vocal about how much I dislike Donald Trump, I have also been on the receiving end of such comments from Facebook friends and followers.  And I feel pretty much the same way as Janis Ian does.  Don't like my posts?  Don't follow me.  It's as simple as that.  I'm an adult and I have the right to express myself as I see fit.  At least I still do for the time being.

I don't like Donald Trump.  It has little to do with the fact that he's supposedly a conservative.  I can empathize with conservative leanings.  Maybe I don't like a lot of the social policies championed by the GOP, but I can appreciate some of the fiscal ones.  Some, I say... not all.  I know there are decent people who are Republicans, people who are reasonable and have solid reasons for backing conservative policies.

Donald Trump, to me, is not someone that decent, God fearing, family loving, fiscally conservative people ought to be backing.  To me, it doesn't make any sense.  Here's a man dripping with riches, living in a fucking gold tower in New York City.  Yes, he's filthy rich, and Republicans like that.  But did he get that way by being fiscally conservative?  No.

These same people going around praising Jesus and talking about how abortion is morally wrong have just elected a man who's had three wives, one of whom has posed nude for all the world to see.  She is certainly pretty enough and makes for a nice ornament to hang off of her husband's arm.  He's old enough to be her father.  And while they were married, this man bragged about how he sexually assaults women because he's "a star".  Will Donald Trump still want Melania by his side if she gets fat or sick or somehow loses her looks?  I'd be very surprised if he did.

Does this man have the best interests of the American people at heart?  Maybe the men...

Now, in fairness, Trump's main opponent has her own baggage.  Hillary Clinton stood by a man who behaved disgracefully with a 21 year old White House intern.  She even blamed the 21 year old for messing around with a married man.  And that's definitely not cool.  But although I see Bill and Hillary Clinton as narcissistic people, I don't think they necessarily have full on narcissistic personality disorder.  There is a difference between having narcissistic tendencies and being a full blown narcissist.  

DSM-5 criteria for "garden variety" narcissistic personality disorder include these features:

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

Many people think Donald Trump is more of a malignant narcissist than a "regular" narcissist.  Malignant narcissists are much worse because they completely lack empathy and act more like predators than simply people with thin skins and inflated egos.  Malignant narcissists are only interested in themselves.  They do not do anything for anyone that does not involve a payoff of some sort.  They fly into unreasonable rages and act impulsively, often in extreme ways that are very damaging to other people.    

Will we still have Medicare after Trump?

I've mentioned before about how, if I had kids, I couldn't see them sending a letter to Trump.  Would he even care about that?  Bother to respond?  Probably not.  What can little kids do for Trump, other than allow him to corrupt their impressionable minds?  Actually, if I had kids, I don't think I'd want them to write to Trump or be influenced by him.  I think he's dangerous.

People who have never been exposed to someone with NPD probably don't recognize the signs very acutely.  Narcissists are very good at saying and doing things that make them look innocuous, charming, even helpful...  But once you see past the mask of respectability, you quickly spot a monster with no ethics.  You develop what Dr. Phil calls a "psychological sunburn" toward narcissistic behavior.  You start to be able to spot narcissists at twenty paces.  

It boggles my mind that so many of my Christian friends are so excited about a Trump presidency.  I don't see how he aligns with them at all.  But then, we have seen other examples of people who seem to present themselves one way, then show everyone that they aren't really that way after all.  Josh Duggar comes to mind.  He's not the sweet, innocent, God fearing man he led people to believe he was.  I suppose we should be grateful that at least Donald Trump's narcissism is over the top obvious.  No one should be surprised when he does something completely crazy and extreme that puts people at risk.  He doesn't care about anyone who can't do anything for him.  At least, in that respect, he's blatantly honest.

I feel very fortunate that I married a man who doesn't have a narcissistic bone in his body.  Last night, Bill made biscuits and gravy for dinner.  I was drinking beer and commiserating with some friends about the inauguration.  Bill brought me my dinner at my computer, along with a little container of salt.  I mentioned on Facebook that my sweet husband had brought me dinner and had thought enough of me to include salt, thinking I might need it.  I actually already had some salt, thanks to a sample we got when we visited salt mines in Austria last year.  It wasn't lost on me, though, that my husband was thinking of me, not himself.

I wrote that Bill is the type of person I'd want to see in the White House.  Someone who takes necessary action and appreciates the role of a public servant, yet has enough consideration and empathy to think of other things people might need.  I have no desire to be the First Lady and I don't want to share my Bill...  ;-)  But I wish someone like him would run a successful campaign.  There is a place for narcissistic behavior in a leader.  There has to be, because people who aren't somewhat self-interested won't survive the election process.  But there should be even more room for people with heart and concern for other people.  Donald Trump doesn't have that, so that's why it bothers me that he's in charge.

But there's nothing I can do about it other than vent on my blog... so I'm going to close this post and get ready for our big plans to eat German style Mexican food tonight.

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