If I was editing “American Psychologist,” the magazine of the American Psychology Association, I would be sorely tempted to introduce a new feature – Sociopath of the Year. Choosing a winner, of course, would be easy: the infantile Donald J. Trump.
Knowing that I would be criticized for attempting to mainstream a scholarly publication, I might agree to do it just once, and declare Trump the magazine’s “Sociopath for Life.”
Trump is considered by many to be a narcissistic sociopath, which I guess is worse. Given what we know about President Numb Nuts, it’s certainly not a stretch. The term “psychopath” has also been bandied about, and that’s even worse still, possibly landing Trump in Charles Manson country. Could you have imagined Manson as president?
Trump’s narcissistic episodes just this year are legion – including his inauguration, when he exited a vehicle in a self-absorbed trance to rush up the stairs and greet Barack and Michelle Obama, leaving Melania Trump behind. It made for a sad picture as she walked roughly 10 paces behind while holding a gift for the Obamas.
Looking at the more recent past, Trump decided that Thanksgiving was the perfect occasion to give thanks to himself, unleashing a Tweet between rounds of golf that listed numerous things he feels should be credited to him.
The Time Magazine kerfuffle was stone-cold classic Trump. Donnie the Narcissist just can’t conceive of a situation where he isn’t the most interesting man in the world, so when he came to believe there was some doubt about him being named Time’s Person of the Year, he decided to try to sabotage the thing and then, naturally, attempted to co-opt it. As usual, his clumsy plan backfired spectacularly and the avalanche of embarrassment that followed would have silenced any normal human being.
However, we know what we’re dealing with here – nothing seems to embarrass President Numb Nuts; he never admits to being wrong and has an annoying habit of increasing the volume instead. So once again (for, what, the 1,723rd time since last November?) we find ourselves asking how such a dysfunctional dolt ever made it to the White House.
It’s a question that is still being seriously evaluated. Tanya Basu of the Daily Beast wrote a piece published today (11-26) called Why Do Narcissistic Sociopaths Succeed? Bottom line – a mix of remorseless overconfidence, brute dominance and charisma appeals to a lot of people. They know Trump’s an asshole and probably wouldn’t seek him out as a friend or associate, but he’s their asshole, and they paradoxically seek validation in their support of him. So while a majority of Americans wonder how such an awkward, despicable simpleton is president, the people behind him–the minority–see someone entirely different, and the result is a world now saddled with chaos in one of its most vital countries.
As for Time Magazine, I’d kinda like to see it name North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un as its Person of the Year, or LaVar Ball. Imagine the Tweets.