Saturday, July 11, 2020
Donald’s Detumescence: Narcissism’s Scary End-Stage
Of course you thought detumescence refers to erections.
And, if so, you are partially correct.
Merriam-Webster’s definition is:
Subsidence or diminution of swelling or erection.
As Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, delineates in her book, Too Much and Never Enough, Donald Trump endured a nasty combination of abuse and neglect during his childhood. The trauma, intermixed with whatever genetic predispositions were present, created a bona fide narcissistic personality disorder. Psychoanalysts would consider his condition particularly severe, namely one of malignant narcissism.
For more information on Trump and his mental condition, see these prior posts:
Given the superficiality of the American public—almost half of which elected a reality TV star with no political or military experience—no one can feel confident that Trump will be voted out in November 3rd, 2020.
We’ll have to wait, well, until November 4th.
Meanwhile, Trump’s in trouble.
He knows it.
The polls are bad, even ones taken by his personal propaganda wing, Fox News.
Trump stokes every possible division, racial divides, fascist fears, even communist fears.
He’s ignoring the coronavirus.
Many Americans who previously voted for him will not again. And, again, dim-witted as he is, he’s aware he’s slipping.
What happens to a de-compensating, malignant narcissist?
A number of scary things, even terrifying ones.
We Americans should be well aware of dangers looming as the November election approaches.
As narcissism enters its terminal phase, expect every single one of its disturbing symptoms—externalization of blame, lack of empathy, self-aggrandizement, and psychotic denial—to worsen. End-stage narcissists are prone to narcissistic rage. Their already-poor judgment becomes more impaired. Most terrifyingly, Trump might foment chaos in order to distract voters.
What might Trump’s deterioration look like in the next few months?
- As noted, narcissists externalize vulnerability. They cannot handle consciously feeling weak or inadequate. This explains Trump’s adoration for autocratic dictators. (They do the same thing). It explains the record-setting turnover in his cabinet. He’s never the problem: it is always the other party. Expect this to noticeably worsen—more firings, more blaming of others. He will level mean, cruel, sadistic, and unprecedented personal attacks against Joe Biden.
- Trump’s almost complete inability to empathize with others will become more obvious. His microscopic capacity for empathy will decline in direct proportion to the degree to which he feels attacked. If you thought dissing Gold Star parents or Tammy Duckworth was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Even now, as Covid-19 deaths approach 200,000 in our own country, Trump has said nary a word about these losses or the pain suffered by loved ones of the afflicted. In fact, his tiny empathy will disappear entirely and be replaced by vicious attacks on others.
- Trump’s grandiosity overlaps with the delusional level of denial described next. Immediate examples? Proclaiming, in just the last few days, that Covid results in mild symptoms in 99 percent of cases. Not true. Commuting the sentence of Roger Stone, threatening to cut federal funding to schools that teach online, and reporting his “perfect” scores on a cognitive rest offer examples from just the last 24-hours. Trump has an idealized fantasy, makes it real, and then feels surprised at its negative effects.
- The psychotic denial follows next. Why psychotic? Because it is out of touch with reality. Trump’s calling the Black Lives Matter logo a symbol of hate is another immediate example. There will be more; they will likely exponentially expand.
- The concept of narcissistic rage begins our slide towards the truly terrifying. Mary Trump offers multiple examples in her book about her uncle. Malignant narcissists have an outer-shell of haughty arrogance barely concealing extremely fragile self-images. When they fail—evident in several US Supreme Court decisions not going his way—narcissists become enraged. By the time you’ve read this post, more examples will have occurred. You can expect even greater invective against Joe Biden. There will be more anger towards China, and even towards our allies like Canada and Europe. Mary Trump was not exaggerating when she includes the phrase, the world’s most dangerous man, in the subtitle of her book.
- The phenomenon of poor judgment is evident in all of the above. It is a coalescing idea. From his lack of empathy to his narcissistic rage, Trump cannot judge situations—not in the interpersonal realm (multiple affairs and marriages, impulsive terminations of staff, lack of friendships, and imperial appointments of family members to senior advisor positions) nor in the political one (ending the Paris Climate Accord, exiting the Iran Nuclear Deal, inviting Putin into the G7, ad infinitum).
- Finally, and emerging from a combination of these possible behaviors, lying-in-wait like Hashish-intoxicated assassins, Trump may do something extremely dangerous as the election grows near. Remember, he’s the guy who didn’t know that Finland was a separate country or that the UK has nuclear weapons. (See Bolton’s book). Trump likely has no awareness that attacking North Korea will instantly result in millions of South Korean deaths—all by conventional weapons aimed and ready-to-fire. He might see a North Korea attack as a way to distract the public, to garner support for a war time president. Or, perhaps he’ll pick a fight with the Chinese over the disputed South China Sea islands? Whichever scenario, or one no one can imagine, impulsive decisions along these lines could literally lead to World War III.
Check out the ICD-10 or the DSM-V criteria for narcissistic personality disorder.
There are nine of them.
Trump meets them all.
If you’re not afraid of Trump’s behavior in the next three months, then you, too, live in denial.
Much more dangerous than Covid-19, the unravelling of a malignant narcissist—especially one inhabiting the most powerful post on the planet earth—could make chainsaw murders look like child’s play.
Bolton, J. (2020). The room where it happened: a White House memoir. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Trump, M. (2020). Too much and never enough: How my family created the world’s most dangerous man. New York: Simon and Schuster.
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