By Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are probably aware that Donald Trump is running for president of the United States. When he first started campaigning, many blew it off as a joke. As a public figure over the past decades, Trump has shown himself to be a less-than-likable guy. And, with no previous political experience, it seemed unlikely that he’d secure a nomination. Unfortunately, we were wrong. Now that Donald Trump is so close to the White House, I think it’s time we take a serious look at who we are dealing with.
Many people have noted that Donald Trump is a narcissist, but few have taken the time to really explain what that means. Based on DSM-5 criteria, Mayo Clinic has this synopsis on its website:
- 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
Few people could argue with the fact that Donald Trump displays most, if not all of these personality traits. He is well-known to think very highly of himself even though he does not always earn such praise. When he is questioned or has his flaws pointed out, Trump is not shy about retaliating with everything from name-calling to lawsuits. His penchant for hateful rhetoric and temper tantrums are classic signs of narcissism.
Much like a spoiled toddler Trump will do whatever it takes to get what he wants, including lying and taking advantage of others. Take for example Trump University. Donald Trump and his associates put together a program that used false claims to make millions of dollars for themselves. The “university” operated much the same way as many other multi-level marketing schemes. Clients would pay for online classes or to attend seminars based on promises of wealth and happiness. After they received very little for their investments, the instructors would explain that more was needed to find success. Clients, many of whom were “elderly or uneducated,” were then encouraged to put more money into the program and move on to the next level.
Some clients lost tens of thousands of dollars by investing in the program and Trump University is currently under legal scrutiny in several jurisdictions. New York attorney general, Eric Schneiderman is quoted as saying, “It’s fraud. This is straight up fraud.” However, instead of taking responsibility and refunding unhappy customers, Trump deflects criticism by claiming he himself is the victim in this case due to the fact that one of the judges looking intoTrump University is of Mexican heritage.
Unfortunately, it seems that Trump’s style has endeared him to a portion of the American population. Instead of seeing him a tyrant who reacts without thinking when he doesn’t get his way, he is being portrayed as a man of action who demands success. Time will tell if Trump gets a seat in the oval office, but I for one hope it never happens.