Assuming, as I think we should, that Trump egregiously displays all of the standard symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) or, simply, pathological narcissism, we should begin to direct more attention, anger, disgust, impatience, and the available means of persuasion toward members of Congress who, by their silence and inaction (with very few exceptions to this generalization), are now absolutely complicit and thus individually and collectively responsible for his behavior in office, including the myriad harmful consequences that directly and indirectly follow therefrom. It is not likely that Trump will experience, without therapeutic intervention, spontaneous remission of his mental illness, which means he will continue to exhibit a conspicuous inability to distinguish facts and reality from wishful thinking and illusions (perhaps occasional delusions as well), which means he will continue to lack a disposition to truth, indeed, he will continue to shamelessly lie (and lack any sense of guilt for same) in both private and public fora, and the office of the Presidency and the actions of the President will continue to be, first and foremost as well as in the last instance, in his mind, all about who he is, how he is perceived, what he thinks and believes, how everything in the social and political world redounds in the first place to the effects on his self-esteem and esteem. Perhaps this explains why Trump seems to particularly relish meeting with monarchs and those of royal background generally, in addition to displaying a feckless fondness for authoritarian leaders. Encounters with those holding executive power in democratic regimes, however, he finds deeply discomforting.
Trump’s tenure is quite troubling and (potentially if not already) extremely dangerous to our individual and collective welfare and well-being, as well as to the welfare and well-being of countless people all over our planet. Trump should voluntary leave office or be impeached, plain and simple: any alternative at this point makes a mockery of even the pretense to minimally legitimate democratic governance, which itself is considerably more than that which flows, for better and (and more often for) worse, from the pinnacle of power in our government enshrined in the office of the Presidency.
- Alford, Ryan. Permanent State of Emergency: Unchecked Executive Power and the Demise of the Rule of Law. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2017.
- Fromm, Erich (Barbara Weinberger, tr. and Wolfgang Bonss, ed.) The Working Class in Weimar Germany: A Psychological and Sociological Study (Harvard University Press, 1984; German edition, 1980; the study itself and Fromm’s analysis and conclusions date back to the 1930s, and the Frankfurt Institute, largely in the person of Max Horkheimer, and for reasons not well understood yet probably far from compelling ones, declined to publish the study).
- Kernberg, Otto F. Borderline Conditions and Pathological Narcissism. Rowman & Littlefield, 2004 (1975).
- Kernberg, Otto F. Severe Personality Disorders: Psychotherapeutic Strategies. Yale University Press, 1984.
- Moore, Burness E. and Bernard D. Fine, eds. Psychoanalysis: The Major Concepts. Yale University Press, 1995.
- Morris, Alex. “Why Trump Is Not Mentally Fit to Be President,” Rolling Stone, April 5, 2017.
- Pettigrew, Thomas F. “Social Psychological Perspectives on Trump Supporters,” Journal of Social and Political Psychology, Vol. 5, No. 1 (2017): 107-116.
- Wills, Garry. Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State. Penguin Press, 2010.