Make no mistake; Donald Trump does not want to be President. Could you imagine him showing up at the job at 9am every morning for four years, doing boring things behind the scenes he doesn’t enjoy doing that someone else has put on his calendar?
No. He wants the fun of the chase and the constant attention he so easily gets by saying outrageous things and then having the freedom to blame the media or the election being rigged to explain why he loses. He’s going to lose because that’s exactly what he wants. If he wanted to win, he’s smart enough to do the things that would make it more likely to happen.
It’s no news that Donald Trump has Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The interesting wrinkle in Trump’s case is that narcissism is fed by an extreme fragility making it emotionally dangerous for him to even glimpse at the possibility that he may have done something wrong. For example, if I screw up in some way and someone says, “Hey, Vikki, you screwed up!, I can look at what I did and say, “Whoa, you’re right, that was a mistake,” and still feel that basically that I like myself and I’m okay even though I made a mistake.
For an extremely fragile narcissist, being told he screwed up makes him feel so badly that he can’t even entertain the fact that he may have made a mistake. Permitting himself to acknowledge that he did something wrong opens the door to him feeling worthless because it goes against his credo that he’s the smartest person in the world and only he can save America. He has to deny and export the error to someone else, using the first rebuttal that comes to his mind, even if it’s ludicrous.
It’s fascinating to watch. Trump’s lovin’ the spotlight and the fact that he’s the lead story on every night’s news. If he toned it down in a true effort to the win the election, he’d lose the thing he craves, attention. He doesn’t care what the content of that attention is; he just needs it.
Trump and I were at the same elementary school, Kew-Forest in Queens. I don’t remember him – he was years ahead of me. From what has been written about his relationship with his father, it’s safe to assume that he older Trump loomed large in his life and that he needed to prove to his father that he was worthy, maybe even perfect. It’s likely that there was not a lot of tolerance for failure.
Euripides or Aristophanes, where are you when we need you? This archetypal story about a man’s desperate need to prop up an intensely fragile identity is the stuff of both Greek tragedy and comedy, combined. It’s riveting watching. If only it weren’t so destructive.
I’m a psychotherapist, family therapist and the author of The Divorce Talk: How to Tell the Kids – A Parent’s Guide to Breaking the News without Breaking Their Hearts; Runaway Husbands: The Abandoned Wife's Guide to Recovery and Renewal and My Sister, My Self: The Surprising Ways that Being an Older, Middle, Younger or Twin Shaped Your Life. I can be found online at www.vikkistark.com.