by Ruth Riddle:
The term narcissist has been linked with Donald Trump from early in his career, but never more than since becoming president and the media began their relentless attacks. The media gave the term a negative connotation, so let’s define terms. Many discussions get bogged down in semantics and connotations.
Definition of NARCISSISM (MERRIAM-WEBSTER)
1. Egoism, egocentrism
2. Love of or sexual desire for one’s own body
For purposes of this discussion, we will use Definition 1. Narcissus of mythology embodies Definition 2, which is not part of this discussion.
First, President Trump has a big ego – indeed, he is egocentric. He would not have earned the appellation, The Donald, were it not for his ego and the sheer force of his personality. He is bigger than life. His image is burned into everyone’s brain. He dated and married the most beautiful women. He sired the most intelligent and handsome children. He lives in the greatest city, New York City. He loves hyperbole, like these statements.
Second, he built an empire around his iconic image. Trump is the brand. It is synonymous with success and Trump the man in the Brioni (not Armani) suit and top coat. Within his empire, he provides opportunities for others to succeed, but he clearly asserts the Trump brand as integral to their success. And, who has perpetuated the successful image more than the Trump children themselves.
Third, he has the magic. Hotchkiss referred to “magical thinking” as one of the seven deadly sins of narcissism. However, Trump’s magic is magnetic. It draws talented people to him. In his presence, their abilities are heightened, and their own narcissistic tendencies are employed to positive effect.
Fourth, and very important, there is healthy narcissism, which Freud said is an essential part of normal development. It is related to self-esteem. It is joy in oneself and the ability to feel joy while accomplishing difficult tasks.
The above combination underpins his leadership success. He flatters. He abuses. He brags. He is sensitive to criticism. He is arrogant. He is riveting. His style is inimitable. There is no contemporary politician that comes close to the Trump style. He is envied. He is criticized. Many are eagerly swept into his magical orbit, if only for a short time, but long enough to create a dynamic that pushes forward the Trump agenda.
His America First slogan is part of his narcissism. He is America! He can only lead the best. Remember the definition: ego. Trump’s ego is intertwined with his love of America. He is enjoying the challenge of Making America Great Again. No second- or third-place finishes for a narcissist.
Be glad of Trump’s narcissism. He will lead America out of the failures of past administrations and into a successful future, with every American’s ego and constitutional protections intact.