Yet another thing I hold against Donald Trump: he has raised the level of how people view narcissism to such a degree that it’s hard to recognize, let alone acknowledge, a garden variety narcissistic personality-disordered human.
“Sloane is such a self-involved, narcissistic bitch,” I complain to Eleanor about a mutual, childhood friend.
“At least she doesn’t claim ‘her memory is great, maybe the best ever,’” Eleanor replies. “Like you know who.”
“But she does look in the mirror constantly and relate every story I tell back to her.”
“You only talk to her on the phone.”
“Do you actually believe that her daughter is both the head cheerleader and valedictorian of her high school class – like she says she was? I don’t remember this tidbit. Do you?”
Eleanor laughs. “Maybe she established The Sloane Legacy at a summer school?”
“Narcissists exaggerate their achievements and talents.”
“But I’ve never heard her declare,” Eleanor’s voice changes pitch and her hands are suddenly animated: “People love me. And you know what, I have been very successful. Everybody loves me.”
And there’s the rub. The narcissist-in-chief has raised the bar so high he has made a mockery of the legend of Narcissus–so grandiose is his disorder, so deep his insecurities. Few can compare. Even fellow narcissists like Sloane find some of his quotes cringe-worthy.
And that’s yet another thing I hold against Donald Trump. Even when he does something just and good – like signing bipartisan criminal justice reform into law – or makes a valid point about China’s theft of intellectual property– he sullies it by his haughty, bombastic delivery of the news.
Every interaction–human or otherwise–is a contest that Donald must win. Even if the scoreboard is only his Twitter feed. Winning is the narcissist’s life blood. They must be admired constantly lest the cavernous self-loathing that drives such behavior grow even deeper.
Does Trump actually think? He clearly doesn’t analyze. He reacts – and then tweets those gut reactions much to the consternation of every financial professional I know.
Who in their right mind speaks like this? Seriously–who in their right mind is this grandiose?
“I actually don’t have a bad hairline.” Or delusional. Not even Narcissus himself
Narcissus, the legend behind the man was, according to Greek Mythology, the beautiful son of Cephissus, the River God, and the nymph Liriope. So perfect was his visage that he fell in love with his reflection in the lake. So enamored was he that he couldn’t bear to tear himself away from his watery self, leading him to drown. Immediately after his last breath, a flower – wait for it–a Narcissus sprung up in the middle of the lake where he’d been staring.
Now it’s the boy from Queens, our Narcissist-in-Chief, who holds power over all of the hip Manhattanites who lumped him with those people–the ‘Bridge and Tunnel crowd”. Fuck you, rich city kids and NFL owners–I don’t need your club anymore anyway. I’m President of the United States of America.
And fuck us, America. Donald Trump may be a political anomaly and the reason the electoral college gets abandoned, but he is a logical manifestation of our nation’s selfie-centric, Snapchat-it-or-it-isn’t-real, FOMO-obsessed culture. He is us. The worst of us, reflected back through Twitter and “Fake News” on phones that get smarter and smarter even as a population is dumbing down.
I fear the America Trump reflects back to us. The American Dream unites, Trump divides and blames – then leads our basest aspects to victory by belittling those who are deemed not us. This divisive brand of patriotism often devolves into genocidal madness. I am afraid.
I need a drink.
I’m going to call Sloane and ask her to join me.