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Sat Mar 28, 2020, 06:01 AM

David Corn: Beyond Narcissism, Trump's Other Personality Flaws Are Putting Americans at Risk


Beyond Narcissism, Trump’s Other Personality Flaws Are Putting Americans at Risk
His obsession with revenge and his fatalism are endangering the nation.
David Corn
Washington, DC, Bureau ChiefBio | Follow

Throughout the coronavirus crisis, critics of Donald Trump have repeatedly referenced his profound and outrageous narcissism. It was partly this pathology that led Trump to downplay the threat and resist widespread testing for weeks. An honest acknowledgement of the mounting problem and a rising number of positive tests would inconvenience his reelection prospects. For a narcissist, the most immediate personal need is the most important one. So Trump viewed the burgeoning crisis as a threat to him, not the nation, and he took the steps he usually does in so many circumstances: He denied the threat, claimed he knew better than the experts, and relied on bluster and BS. He did all that instead of adopting early measures that could have slowed the transmission of the virus.

But beyond the narcissism, two other fundamental elements of Trump’s character are likely shaping his response: his obsession with revenge and his sense of fatalism. And both are exceedingly dangerous for the American public.

Trump has long acknowledged his love affair with revenge. Before Trump ran for president, he often gave speeches sharing the supposed secrets to his success. At the top of that list was his devotion to retribution. In 2011, he told the National Achievers Congress in Sydney, Australia, that there were several lessons not taught in business school that successful people must know. And one of those lessons was this: “Get even with people. If they screw you, screw them back 10 times as hard. I really believe that.”


In a 2004 interview—again with Playboy—Trump was asked, “Do you think Trump Tower and your other buildings will bear your name a hundred years from now?” Trump’s answer was chilling: “No, I don’t think so…I don’t think any building will be here—and unless we have some very smart people ruling it, the world will not be the same place in a hundred years. The weapons are too powerful, too strong.” The odds are, Trump was saying, that the world would be destroyed.

That’s Trump on the subject of nuclear war not a global pandemic. These remarks, though, do suggest Trump nurtures an overall sense of doom. And might that influence how he views the crisis at hand? In recent days, he has blithely talked about soon encouraging people to return to work and normal life, even though public health experts say this will lead to a greater spread of the virus and tens of thousands additional deaths. Trump, however, has raised this troubling notion with a que-sera-sera attitude, insisting this course of action would be best to rescue the collapsing economy. His message has been a fatalistic one: Hey, we just have to accept this tremendous amount of death so we can start working and shopping again. If you believe the world won’t survive another 100 years, that could well make sense.

Trump asserts he is a “wartime president.” But an effective commander in chief at war needs to possess certain qualities. He must be able to put national interests ahead of his own. He must unite a nation and transcend political rivalries. He must motivate the citizenry and inspire bravery, resilience, and hope. A narcissist fixated on revenge who holds a dark and apocalyptic view of the future is not the man for the job. Trump does not have the necessary psychological tools for this mission. To the extent this nation survives the coronavirus attack, it will be because governors, mayors, other local officials, and courageous first responders and front-line health care workers beat back the virus and save those American lives they can. Trump cannot be the wartime president Americans require at this horrific moment. He’s not that kind of human being.

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Reply David Corn: Beyond Narcissism, Trump's Other Personality Flaws Are Putting Americans at Risk (Original post)
babylonsister Mar 28 OP
uponit7771 Mar 28 #1
Turin_C3PO Mar 28 #3
Amaryllis Mar 28 #2

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Mar 28, 2020, 06:24 AM

1. I wish they'd start the messaging in the swing states now; Trump is a cruel moron and hurts America

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 28, 2020, 05:39 PM

3. Calling Mr Bloomberg...

He needs to start running ads in swing states. He promised he would help the nominee and now’s the time to get started.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat Mar 28, 2020, 05:30 PM

2. A lot of the people he hangs out with are the "bring on the apocolypse so we get the rapture"

brand of fundy Christian.

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