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The Dangerous Case Of Donald Trump

highlander

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I've been reading this book and have to admit it was a bit eye opening. It's basically got contributions from a bunch of psychologists, psychiatrists and mental health professionals about his mental state. Some of it is obvious bashing but other parts were, I thought balanced and fair. The portrait that emerges isn't pretty. Key themes I found are the following:

1. There is something wrong with him - Actually more than one thing it seems. A study indicated that 50% of presidents before 1974 suffered from some kind of mental illness so that's not the big thing. It's the number of things he has in combination that seems to be the concern.

2. He's a Narcissist - It turns out Narcissism seems to common among people who arise to such positions. A healthy amount of it is ok but the general consensus is that he's not a healthy type. The biggest issue that was described is that he surrounds himself with "yes men". The guy who wrote the Art of the Deal and spent the better part of a year with him said he never once heard someone disagree with him in that entire year. I think you want a president that listens to different perspectives and makes thoughtful decisions based on those perspectives. It seems he doesn't really do this.

3. He is a bully - I don't know how anyone could disagree with this. Any kind of criticism is met with sharp attacks in return and be damned with the truth. I've gotten used to it and some of the things are funny, but he's the president of the United States for God's sake. He's apparently made statements about using nuclear weapons - why do we have them if we can't use them, etc.

4. He is focused on NOW and gives little thought to the future - I hope it isn't true but several of these people say this is the case, one reason being that his actions are often destructive to himself. He reacts in the moment like a child in a schoolyard - beating his chest at the slightest provocation.

5. He is paranoid - There seems to be plenty of evidence of this. They compared him to Richard Nixon. At the least, he seems to have some kind of persecution complex.

6. He's a sociopath - At first, I had a hard time with this but the general consensus that he doesn't trust anyone and he doesn't really care about other people very much. I mean, look at this list. A number of these obviously apply.

Profile of the Sociopath
  • Glibness and Superficial Charm
  • Manipulative and Conning - They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.
  • Grandiose Sense of Self - Feels entitled to certain things as "their right."
  • Pathological Lying - Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.
  • Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt - A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.
  • Shallow Emotions - When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.
  • Incapacity for Love
  • Need for Stimulation - Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.
  • Callousness/Lack of Empathy - Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others' feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.
  • Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature - Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.
  • Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency - Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet "gets by" by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.
  • Irresponsibility/Unreliability - Not concerned about wrecking others' lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.
  • Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity - Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.
  • Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle - Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.
  • Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility -Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.

6. He's suffering cognitive decline - He's the oldest president we have had so it isn't entirely surprising. It does seem clear that he is far less articulate than he was 15 years ago - using words like "huge", "tremendous", the incoherent rambling sentences, etc. His father suffered from Alzheimer's and that does seem to run in families.

7. He is delusional - It seems clear that one of two things is going on. Either he is a compulsive liar or he has his own distorted sense of reality. I am reminded of Elizabeth Holmes - the founder of Theranos.

Anyway, that's what I've taken out of it so far. There was some debate as to whether he is crazy like fox or just crazy. I likely vote for the latter.

It's easy to think of him as sort of entertaining character who is shaking things up and (in my case) implementing some policies that I agree with. The key point of it all is that it's dangerous to have a person like this with their hand on the nuclear trigger. How would he fare if circumstances like the Cuban Missle Crisis occurred - or when there was a false alarm that 2500 Soviet warheads were headed towards the US in Carter's administration. Is he the kind of guy you want in that position?
 

rav3n

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Most recently, he suggested using nukes to stop hurricanes and that China had called to restart trade negotiations but China said 'nope'.
 

SearchingforPeace

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Partisan polemics are generally useful only in supporting confirmation bias.

If Trump annoys you and you don't want to vote for him, don't.

I find most summary of faults like these, which I personally argued against people on similar lists for Obama, are generally worthless. It is simply "I don't like X so I create a big justification for why X is (evil, stupid, immoral, etc)." They were foolish about Obama and foolish about Trump.

Are there legitimate reasons to criticize someone? Sure. The Iraq War was stupid and Bush listened to the idiot neocons. Obama should have thown 10,000 bankers in jail instead of bailing them out and letting them steal 7 million homes. Etc.
 

тень

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I wonder how much money these people were paid to write this horseshit. Clearly by now people should learn that this crap is easily manipulated for public viewing. Its like trying to type someone by behavior. It is entirely speculation. It is also similar to self-diagnosis. Unless you are a paid professional seeing Trump in person for psychoanalysis, your opinion means absolutely nothing.
 

Red Herring

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I think that, his politics aside, you have to really be exeedingly blinded by extreme ideological bias not to see that he has some serious mental issues.

He is a habitual, maybe compulsive liar. That's a fact. There is a public track record.

He is intellectually declining. That much is clearly visible. Just look at old Interviews and compare that to his current verbal incoherence. It's hard to deny.

Personally, I think he has an absolutely disgusting personality and a breathtaking level of narcicism, but that is not the main issue here. It's his instability and lack of competence while surrounding himself with yes men.

He is dangerous.
 

Lark

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It'd be nice if people cared enough about the character of politicians not to elect people to like this to office but unfortunately dangerous or not its still too much of a case of no one cares whether or not they are dangerous or crazy so long as they are "our dangerous and crazy".

It does raise a lot of questions for the whole judgement on limited vs. participatory democracy, most of the pundits willing to restrict the enfranchisement in different ways, like JS Mill, predicted things like this. Even just that movie Idiocracy forecast this.

Though I also think there's questions to be asked about how Trump got that way, if you watch a lot of the material from years ago he was not always like this, I'm willing to believe that some of it could be a performance (as I think all politicians do) but not all of it.

As [MENTION=8936]highlander[/MENTION] says he would not be the first President of the US to have mental health issues, plus a hell of a lot of those traits, including the sociopathic ones, ARE trending right now, people want to exhibit those and think they will make them successful, even if it wont make them healthy and I definitely think they are deeply rooted in the social character and social unconscious of the english speaking world.
 

Agent Washington

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I'm of the opinion that it's quite obvious he has issues. You don't need to even be a psychiatrist to see that. But yes, this makes sense. A lot of sense. Wasn't aware about his cognitive decline, but uh. That's definitely not boding well.
 

Doctor Anaximander

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He's a brute who appeals to many people's basest desires for a strongman. To some extent, we the people are to blame for nurturing and encouraging the sort of culture that allowed someone like him to attain cultural capital in the first place.
 

Virtual ghost

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Politics aside - the guy obviously has issues. Drama and flip-floping on daily basis are just too much for such high position. America has about 250 million grown ups and can do better than this.



In these parts we had strongmen like this and in the end always someone had to pump out all the mess that was left behind (and we are still pumping). This is exactly why I claimed that he will probably win, since I already watched from first hand this entire movie of how desperate people are submitting to the charismatic with issues. So the real question is what do you do about the people who empathize with prosecuted messed up strongman in which they see themselves.
 

highlander

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Partisan polemics are generally useful only in supporting confirmation bias.

If Trump annoys you and you don't want to vote for him, don't.

I find most summary of faults like these, which I personally argued against people on similar lists for Obama, are generally worthless. It is simply "I don't like X so I create a big justification for why X is (evil, stupid, immoral, etc)." They were foolish about Obama and foolish about Trump.

Are there legitimate reasons to criticize someone? Sure. The Iraq War was stupid and Bush listened to the idiot neocons. Obama should have thown 10,000 bankers in jail instead of bailing them out and letting them steal 7 million homes. Etc.

Actually it is not that he annoys me. I always thought he was a somewhat entertaining character. I felt him completely unqualified to run for the office but he was elected - so my thought was lets see what happens. On the one side, I have agreed with some of his policies (I'm generally a republican on economic issues and lean towards the democratic side on social ones).

You should really the book. Some of it would irritate you because it clearly partisan but I found a number of chapters to be quite thoughtful and placing things in a larger perspective. It seems the guy very likely suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Have you known anyone who had this and do you realize how toxic they are to everyone around them? For someone to have this and be president - it is absolutely frightening. Look at my second post above and listen to the two videos.

I wonder how much money these people were paid to write this horseshit. Clearly by now people should learn that this crap is easily manipulated for public viewing. Its like trying to type someone by behavior. It is entirely speculation. It is also similar to self-diagnosis. Unless you are a paid professional seeing Trump in person for psychoanalysis, your opinion means absolutely nothing.

I believe they came from a set of papers that were presented at a conference. People don't usually get compensated for that sort of thing. These guys are mental health experts and I have to say that much of what they are saying sounds completely logical.

He's a brute who appeals to many people's basest desires for a strongman. To some extent, we the people are to blame for nurturing and encouraging the sort of culture that allowed someone like him to attain cultural capital in the first place.

The book goes into some details on this. People who are tyrants and have these kinds of personalities do arise to positions of power. It has happened many times in history. He tapped into the collective discontent in the country within certain groups and tells them what they want to hear. The interesting thing is there are a couple of chapters written by Jungian psychologists and one core theme that emerges is that he is a reflection of the US society and the ills that affect it - the collective shadow if you will. We bear a narcissistic wound and he represents the success that we can aspire to - or something like that.
 

тень

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I believe they came from a set of papers that were presented at a conference. People don't usually get compensated for that sort of thing. These guys are mental health experts and I have to say that much of what they are saying sounds completely logical.
.

They are not immune to political bias either, or immune to social indoctrination by the media. It is really ironic, and I can't see myself trusting "experts" that haven't had a one on one with him, and no bias. Also, Trump is known to present a "character", and has got it so engrained in his habit, to avoid certain things like the corruption of words. What you see on TV, is not the real Trump. He is an actor, and a master at manipulating the media and public image. Also, even if he wasn't, all of those traits are common among CEOs, politicians, and various other positions. Trump isn't unique, everyone just has a hate boner for him. I just say pot, meet kettle.

If you want something interesting to read, read about how Trump executes "The art of war" in politics.
 

SearchingforPeace

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Actually it is not that he annoys me. I always thought he was a somewhat entertaining character. I felt him completely unqualified to run for the office but he was elected - so my thought was lets see what happens. On the one side, I have agreed with some of his policies (I'm generally a republican on economic issues and lean towards the democratic side on social ones).

You should really the book. Some of it would irritate you because it clearly partisan but I found a number of chapters to be quite thoughtful and placing things in a larger perspective. It seems the guy very likely suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Have you known anyone who had this and do you realize how toxic they are to everyone around them? For someone to have this and be president - it is absolutely frightening. Look at my second post above and listen to the two videos.



I believe they came from a set of papers that were presented at a conference. People don't usually get compensated for that sort of thing. These guys are mental health experts and I have to say that much of what they are saying sounds completely logical.



The book goes into some details on this. People who are tyrants and have these kinds of personalities do arise to positions of power. It has happened many times in history. He tapped into the collective discontent in the country within certain groups and tells them what they want to hear. The interesting thing is there are a couple of chapters written by Jungian psychologists and one core theme that emerges is that he is a reflection of the US society and the ills that affect it - the collective shadow if you will. We bear a narcissistic wound and he represents the success that we can aspire to - or something like that.

You do realize, I hope, that a motivated individual could easily create a case that every politician suffers from Narcissitic Personality Disorder?

And a litany of other things?

Trump Derangement Syndrome, like Obama Derangement Syndrome before it, leads people, even would be professions, to have extreme bias.

It is extremely difficult to have an honest assessment of a president during their lifetime. Reagan was actually attacked similarly to Trump by partisans, yet is generally viewed well today. Thanks to historians, we now know a lot of horrible things about JFK and LBJ that really make their personality, character, and psychological make up seem awful.
 

Peter Deadpan

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I don't know how a single person didn't see this immediately, years ago.

Also, YOU CAN'T TYPE HIM BASED SOLELY ON HIS PERSONALITY DISORDER.

Okay. I'm done. :happy2:
 

Red Herring

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Reagan was actually attacked similarly to Trump by partisans, yet is generally viewed well today.

Interesting comparison given that according to his own son Reagan's Alzheimer started while he was still in office.
 

Z Buck McFate

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You do realize, I hope, that a motivated individual could easily create a case that every politician suffers from Narcissitic Personality Disorder?

And a litany of other things?

Trump Derangement Syndrome, like Obama Derangement Syndrome before it, leads people, even would be professions, to have extreme bias.

It is extremely difficult to have an honest assessment of a president during their lifetime. Reagan was actually attacked similarly to Trump by partisans, yet is generally viewed well today. Thanks to historians, we now know a lot of horrible things about JFK and LBJ that really make their personality, character, and psychological make up seem awful.

I need to preface this by saying I'm in physical pain right now - if I'm terse, please don't take it personally. That said, I think we (as a nation) have gone a step further than the usual <current president> Derangement Syndrome and now experience "Trump Derangement Syndrome" Derangement Syndrome; absolutely any criticism of Trump gets dismissed as the invalid byproduct of Trump Derangement Syndrome. A big part of the reason is because tribal hostility has gotten a lot worse since his term started, and it's gotten worse because he is so divisive and antagonizing himself - and pointing stuff like that out (how it makes him a shitty, unfit leader) is precisely the kind of thing that gets dismissed with the big red Trump Derangement Syndrome button. Trump supporters and apologists hit this button at the drop of any hat, and they do it with a stunningly righteous conviction that the OTHER side simply isn't paying attention to how they distort reality.

It's relatively self-evident when people have the capacity to try to understand the other side, as opposed to instantly always already trying to point out how unwanted information is the delusional product of the other side's confirmation bias.

(Will probably come back to edit - have to bolt right now).
 
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