Trump 'Concession' Suggests Narcissistic Personality Disorder

If you think President Richard Nixon was paranoid to the point of having an enemies list, consider the Donald J. Trump statement following his crushing defeat by Sen. Ted Cruz in the Wisconsin primary. Trump did not make the statement personally, lest he provide enough ad hominem sound bites to last a generation. Rather he and his myth of invincibility hid from the camera he usually loves. The statement blaming his loss on everybody and everything but himself, and with the first word after his name being a lie, reads:

Donald J. Trump withstood the onslaught of the establishment yet again. Lyin’ Ted Cruz had the Governor of Wisconsin, many conservative talk radio show hosts, and the entire party apparatus behind him. Not only was he propelled by the anti-Trump Super PAC’s spending countless millions of dollars on false advertising against Mr. Trump, but he was coordinating `with his own Super PAC’s (which is illegal) who totally control him. Ted Cruz is worse than a puppet -- he is a Trojan horse, being used by the party bosses attempting to steal the nomination from Mr. Trump. We have total confidence that Mr. Trump will go on to win in New York, where he holds a substantial lead in all the polls, and beyond. Mr. Trump is the only candidate who can secure the delegates needed to win the Republican nomination and ultimately defeat Hillary Clinton, or whomever is the Democratic nominee, in order to Make America Great Again.

A somewhat delusional Donald J. Trump “withstood” the “onslaught of the establishment” like the Titanic withstood the iceberg. He got clobbered and then whined about it. Such is his narcissism is that he can’t admit defeat, and any more onslaughts withstood like Wisconsin will be his undoing. The self-proclaimed “unifier” then reached out to “Lyin’ Ted Cruz” supporters the way he reached out to Cruz’s wife Heidi with a personal threat:

"Lyin' Ted Cruz just used a picture of Melania from a G.Q. shoot in his ad. Be careful, Lyin' Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!" he tweeted Tuesday evening, just minutes before polls closed in Arizona. Trump tweeted and deleted a similar version of the Tweet about 10 minutes earlier….

Trump appears to be referring to a Facebook advertisement targeted to Mormons that shows Trump's wife, Melania, posing nude. That ad was produced by an anti-Trump super PAC, Make America Awesome, which has no known connection to the Cruz campaign.

Ted Cruz posted nothing about Trump’s third wife. Nor is there any evidence of coordination between Cruz and any super-PAC and if Trump has evidence to the contrary, let him produce it. As has been pointed out, nobody is trying to steal the nomination. Cruz and his supporters are trying to win the nomination Trump has not yet earned. Nobody can steal what you don’t yet have. 

Trump hid from the media Tuesday night because he does not like tough questions or losing. That’s why he dodged a debate in Iowa He prefers a fawning press that has provided him with $1.8 billion worth of free air time. As the Atlantic notes in its March 16 issue:

Trump’s knack for securing free media coverage is undoubtedly a skill honed during his time as a reality-television star. The presidential candidate always seems to know just what to say and do to tap into coverage when it’s to his advantage. He surely also knows when it’s strategic to shun the spotlight. That secondary consideration is likely at play in Trump’s decision to sit out the now-canceled Fox News debate. The network has previously confronted Trump over apparent inconsistencies in his record and statements that would sink any other candidate during past debates.

Trump likes to threaten and insult people who don’t worship at his altar. The “unifier” who speaks of “little Marco” and “lyin’ Ted” and thought Carly Fiona’s face was unsuited for the Oval Office has a problem with anyone who does not join his cult of personality in which he tells people to raise their hand and pledge allegiance -- to him. In addition to Carly and Heidi, Trump has also attacked another strong and threatening woman, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, of whom he tweeted:

Crazy @megynkelly says I don't (won't) go on her show and she still gets good ratings. But almost all of her shows are negative hits on me! (10:14 AM - 19 Mar 2016)

In Iowa, where Cruz again out-organized Trump, Trump had to invent another excuse for losing. Cruz stole the election from him when members of Cruz’s staff passed on an initial CNN report that Ben Carson was not going directly to his home in Florida to “change clothes.” Implying Carson was quitting the race. Trump called that a “dirty trick,” forgetting how he once compare Carson to a pathological child molester. As CNN reported:

Donald Trump said Thursday that Ben Carson's self-described "pathological temper" is incurable -- adding that it's like the sickness of a "child molester."

"It's in the book that he's got a pathological temper," Trump told "Erin Burnett OutFront," speaking about Carson's autobiography. "That's a big problem because you don't cure that ... as an example: child molesting. You don't cure these people. You don't cure a child molester. There's no cure for it. Pathological, there's no cure for that."

The pathology of Donald Trump is now being questioned by clinical psychologists who have observed his petulant, sometimes profane, and arguably paranoid rhetoric. In the November 11 edition of Vanity Fair, Henry Alford quotes a number of clinicians who think Trump’s behavior is indicative of what is called “narcissistic personality disorder”:

For mental-health professionals, Donald Trump is at once easily diagnosed but slightly confounding. “Remarkably narcissistic,” said developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education. “Textbook narcissistic personality disorder,” echoed clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis. “He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops because there’s no better example of his characteristics,” said clinical psychologist George Simon, who conducts lectures and seminars on manipulative behavior. “Otherwise, I would have had to hire actors and write vignettes. He’s like a dream come true.”

There is what is called the “Goldwater rule”, named after the 1964 Fact magazine article in which psychiatrist’s were polled about Senator Barry Goldwater’s fitness to be President. The American Psychiatric Association considers it normally unethical to make and express psychological evaluations from afar and without the person’s consent. But we are not talking about a candidate’s political views, but rather his publicly displayed personality. As the article notes:

Mr. Trump’s bullying nature -- taunting Senator John McCain for being captured in Vietnam, or saying Jeb Bush has “low energy” -- is in keeping with the narcissistic profile. “In the field we use clusters of personality disorders,” Michaelis said. “Narcissism is in cluster B, which means it has similarities with histrionic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder. There are similarities between them. Regardless of how you feel about John McCain, the man served -- and suffered. Narcissism is an extreme defense against one’s own feelings of worthlessness. To degrade people is really part of a cluster-B personality disorder: it’s antisocial and shows a lack of remorse for other people. The way to make it O.K. to attack someone verbally, psychologically, or physically is to lower them. That’s what he’s doing.”

Right now Donald Trump is dealing only with the press and other candidates. But do we really want his hands on the nuclear football or dealing this way with world leaders? Would he use the IRS and FBI, as Nixon wanted to, to “spill the beans” on his opponents? Dare we risk finding out?

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.               

If you think President Richard Nixon was paranoid to the point of having an enemies list, consider the Donald J. Trump statement following his crushing defeat by Sen. Ted Cruz in the Wisconsin primary. Trump did not make the statement personally, lest he provide enough ad hominem sound bites to last a generation. Rather he and his myth of invincibility hid from the camera he usually loves. The statement blaming his loss on everybody and everything but himself, and with the first word after his name being a lie, reads:

Donald J. Trump withstood the onslaught of the establishment yet again. Lyin’ Ted Cruz had the Governor of Wisconsin, many conservative talk radio show hosts, and the entire party apparatus behind him. Not only was he propelled by the anti-Trump Super PAC’s spending countless millions of dollars on false advertising against Mr. Trump, but he was coordinating `with his own Super PAC’s (which is illegal) who totally control him. Ted Cruz is worse than a puppet -- he is a Trojan horse, being used by the party bosses attempting to steal the nomination from Mr. Trump. We have total confidence that Mr. Trump will go on to win in New York, where he holds a substantial lead in all the polls, and beyond. Mr. Trump is the only candidate who can secure the delegates needed to win the Republican nomination and ultimately defeat Hillary Clinton, or whomever is the Democratic nominee, in order to Make America Great Again.

A somewhat delusional Donald J. Trump “withstood” the “onslaught of the establishment” like the Titanic withstood the iceberg. He got clobbered and then whined about it. Such is his narcissism is that he can’t admit defeat, and any more onslaughts withstood like Wisconsin will be his undoing. The self-proclaimed “unifier” then reached out to “Lyin’ Ted Cruz” supporters the way he reached out to Cruz’s wife Heidi with a personal threat:

"Lyin' Ted Cruz just used a picture of Melania from a G.Q. shoot in his ad. Be careful, Lyin' Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!" he tweeted Tuesday evening, just minutes before polls closed in Arizona. Trump tweeted and deleted a similar version of the Tweet about 10 minutes earlier….

Trump appears to be referring to a Facebook advertisement targeted to Mormons that shows Trump's wife, Melania, posing nude. That ad was produced by an anti-Trump super PAC, Make America Awesome, which has no known connection to the Cruz campaign.

Ted Cruz posted nothing about Trump’s third wife. Nor is there any evidence of coordination between Cruz and any super-PAC and if Trump has evidence to the contrary, let him produce it. As has been pointed out, nobody is trying to steal the nomination. Cruz and his supporters are trying to win the nomination Trump has not yet earned. Nobody can steal what you don’t yet have. 

Trump hid from the media Tuesday night because he does not like tough questions or losing. That’s why he dodged a debate in Iowa He prefers a fawning press that has provided him with $1.8 billion worth of free air time. As the Atlantic notes in its March 16 issue:

Trump’s knack for securing free media coverage is undoubtedly a skill honed during his time as a reality-television star. The presidential candidate always seems to know just what to say and do to tap into coverage when it’s to his advantage. He surely also knows when it’s strategic to shun the spotlight. That secondary consideration is likely at play in Trump’s decision to sit out the now-canceled Fox News debate. The network has previously confronted Trump over apparent inconsistencies in his record and statements that would sink any other candidate during past debates.

Trump likes to threaten and insult people who don’t worship at his altar. The “unifier” who speaks of “little Marco” and “lyin’ Ted” and thought Carly Fiona’s face was unsuited for the Oval Office has a problem with anyone who does not join his cult of personality in which he tells people to raise their hand and pledge allegiance -- to him. In addition to Carly and Heidi, Trump has also attacked another strong and threatening woman, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, of whom he tweeted:

Crazy @megynkelly says I don't (won't) go on her show and she still gets good ratings. But almost all of her shows are negative hits on me! (10:14 AM - 19 Mar 2016)

In Iowa, where Cruz again out-organized Trump, Trump had to invent another excuse for losing. Cruz stole the election from him when members of Cruz’s staff passed on an initial CNN report that Ben Carson was not going directly to his home in Florida to “change clothes.” Implying Carson was quitting the race. Trump called that a “dirty trick,” forgetting how he once compare Carson to a pathological child molester. As CNN reported:

Donald Trump said Thursday that Ben Carson's self-described "pathological temper" is incurable -- adding that it's like the sickness of a "child molester."

"It's in the book that he's got a pathological temper," Trump told "Erin Burnett OutFront," speaking about Carson's autobiography. "That's a big problem because you don't cure that ... as an example: child molesting. You don't cure these people. You don't cure a child molester. There's no cure for it. Pathological, there's no cure for that."

The pathology of Donald Trump is now being questioned by clinical psychologists who have observed his petulant, sometimes profane, and arguably paranoid rhetoric. In the November 11 edition of Vanity Fair, Henry Alford quotes a number of clinicians who think Trump’s behavior is indicative of what is called “narcissistic personality disorder”:

For mental-health professionals, Donald Trump is at once easily diagnosed but slightly confounding. “Remarkably narcissistic,” said developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, a professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education. “Textbook narcissistic personality disorder,” echoed clinical psychologist Ben Michaelis. “He’s so classic that I’m archiving video clips of him to use in workshops because there’s no better example of his characteristics,” said clinical psychologist George Simon, who conducts lectures and seminars on manipulative behavior. “Otherwise, I would have had to hire actors and write vignettes. He’s like a dream come true.”

There is what is called the “Goldwater rule”, named after the 1964 Fact magazine article in which psychiatrist’s were polled about Senator Barry Goldwater’s fitness to be President. The American Psychiatric Association considers it normally unethical to make and express psychological evaluations from afar and without the person’s consent. But we are not talking about a candidate’s political views, but rather his publicly displayed personality. As the article notes:

Mr. Trump’s bullying nature -- taunting Senator John McCain for being captured in Vietnam, or saying Jeb Bush has “low energy” -- is in keeping with the narcissistic profile. “In the field we use clusters of personality disorders,” Michaelis said. “Narcissism is in cluster B, which means it has similarities with histrionic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder. There are similarities between them. Regardless of how you feel about John McCain, the man served -- and suffered. Narcissism is an extreme defense against one’s own feelings of worthlessness. To degrade people is really part of a cluster-B personality disorder: it’s antisocial and shows a lack of remorse for other people. The way to make it O.K. to attack someone verbally, psychologically, or physically is to lower them. That’s what he’s doing.”

Right now Donald Trump is dealing only with the press and other candidates. But do we really want his hands on the nuclear football or dealing this way with world leaders? Would he use the IRS and FBI, as Nixon wanted to, to “spill the beans” on his opponents? Dare we risk finding out?

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.