Does Donald Trump need therapy?
Abuse of Power
Pent Up Problems
Ideology takes priority
We are left with concern for Donald Trump
Abuse of Power
The abuse of power generates a pathology which affects the abuser and the abused. Citizens become susceptible to the political persuasions of the one exercising power and also engaged in the pursuit of greater power. In a negative psychological and political climate, the abuser of power endeavours to generate a mentality exuding adoration, loyalty and slavish devotion. The followers becomes increasingly dependent upon the range of views of their leader that act as a magnetic force upon of their consciousness.
The addiction to power serves the self-interest of the political figure, who revels in celebrity status. The leader enjoys his control over the immediate environment at his rallies and to be in control of himself at the same time. This capacity to exercise power at a rally safeguards the leader against the underlying fear of loss of control. The ever-increasing desire for power produces more and more demand for recognition. This craving for admiration becomes a tightrope for Donald Trump, whose inner life might well easily swing between varying degrees of gratification and despair.
Donald Trump’s sense of well-being and self-worth will then depend upon his capacity to draw attention to himself. His authoritarian manner and gross comments about individuals and groups give himself a distorted sense of influence over the lives of others. This psychological phenomenon expresses itself as the craving for recognition from as many as possible and the subsequent rejection of those who refuse to submit to his views.
The impact of abuse of power extends itself into their feelings thoughts and intentions of certain citizens owing to their desire to identify themselves with Trump as a model of greatness. They want to be part of a history making epoch. This provides the adherents to Trumpism with a sense of their own aggressive power, not unlike their hero who they seek to emulate. He employs numerous views to draw attention to himself or to reject others. He needs controversy to get attention.
Trump also repeatedly places his focus on a legitimate issue. Commentators report that the majority of his supporter are poor and white, who know successive US governments, whether Democrat or Republican, have let them down. Huge US corporations have pressurised the government to enter trade deals so big businesses can exploit cheap labour overseas in poor environmental conditions to maximise profits and avoid paying taxes – money that would support the poor. Governments and big business have ignored the daily needs of millions of US citizens. They are left unemployed, working on minimum or low hourly rates, in debt and struggling to feed their families. Many live on a cheap diet of junk food affecting their health and peace of mind. There is next to nothing in the way of a social welfare system compared to the European Union.
In American society, outbursts of blame never seem never far from the surface of the life of many citizens. His followers blame others for their circumstances – politicians in Washington, Mexicans/Muslims entering the USA and the politics of the past. Trump also directly advocates the ideology of greed, the right to attack and blame, the desires of the self, aggressive competition and a social system based on winners and losers. Rich or poor, his followers identify themselves with the same belief system.
His views expose the painful social issues within in the United States.
Trump’s ego gets in the way of need for some deep soul-searching in the USA. The conglomeration of his ego, namely the frequency and volume of his use “I” and “my,” has an unhealthy impact on himself and others. The pursuit of power then operates out of trumpeting self-interest rather than deep concerns for the welfare of people, near and far. His pursuit of hegemony, namely the dominance of one group over others, leads to an increasing amount of fear and tension between poor white people on the one side and Mexicans and Muslims on the other side, even though all suffer under the American political/corporate system.
Like far too many politicians, Donald Trump exudes a poverty of anything remotely spiritual.
Mexicans and Muslims can do nothing or very little to protect themselves from the discrimination heaped upon them. Previously, millions of others, who have now become Trump supporters, also felt an impotency but now they have a public figure, namely Trump, and a handful of his politically charged one-liner statements, to vilify others.
The wrath of those converted to Trumpism could descend upon marginalised communities, who feel disenfranchised and oppressed. Trump wants to expel from the USA more than 11 million people with their families to their countries of origin, build a 3000 kilometre wall to keep out Mexicans seeking work in the USA and stop Muslims from visiting America.
He uses his position to reject and alienate those deemed as unwelcome and unwanted. Such prejudice towards people shows a disturbed personality whose perception have become distorted through unresolved negativity and vilification.
The leader who rants against entire communities of people attracts tens of millions of supporters who start to think much the same way. His followers have a right to protest about their living circumstances but Trump lacks the vision and skills to make fundamental changes for all the struggling residents in the US regardless of religion, ethnic background, colour or number of years living in the country. The billionaire and his billionaire colleagues are part of the problem, not part of the cure. Trump cannot make America great again.
The social circumstances for the majority of Americans were never great in the past. The distorted view of the past, the present and promulgation of fulfilling the American dream and become mega-rich in the future reveal a delusion. Is it surprising there is so much anger and violence in America when the society is built on such a delusion?
Is the daily propagation worldwide of the American dream used to repress the realities of the American nightmare?
Pent-up Problems of Trump
When things go wrong for the leader, there is a falling apart of the inner life, which releases a range of dark emotional and mental energies. These energies become permeated with fears and blame at the leader’s inability to get his own way. He realises he is losing control over events. He then directs his unresolved anger towards others, indulges in sexual innuendos and makes threats to those who differ in view.
In its perverse condition, the mind of the leader desperately wishes to reassert his power, dominance and control over people and situations. The preservation of personal authority then depends upon the capacity to humiliate others. He attacks those who dare to question his jaundiced views, narcissism or his undermining of large groups of people. His rejection of Muslim visitors or refugees to American make people of such faith feel to be misfits, even if they have lived in the US for decades.
Trump’s current public prominence serves to give glorification to the self. The obsessive need to pursue recognition and adoration from others takes priority. In this vulnerable and dependent condition, the satisfaction of the self of the leader depends for its affirmation upon those who trump his name.
The persona of Donald Trump, and others with a similar personality disorder, depend equally upon the adversaries, as much as the followers. The adversaries also give confirmation to the existence of the self of the leader, who has become addicted to approval and disapproval, praise and blame, admiration and condemnation. The self of Donald Trump absorbs both sides of the polarity since it confirms to Donald Trump “I exist” and “I am somebody.” Abusers of power become more and more addicted to prestige and a determination for many people as possible to submit to their will.
The unresolved psychological dynamics of an influential figure manifest in public and private meetings, in political and personal life. Swayed by the apparent detachment of the billionaire bully to criticism, there is a failure among far too many US citizens to recognise that Trump comes across as a global version of the school bully and his followers who pick on others in the playground.
If we follow Trumpism, we would be left with the impression that Washington politicians, Muslims and Mexicans get in the way of making America great again.
These displays of public of intolerance hide Donald Trump’s internal conflicts around fear of failure, rejection and humiliation. The demand for attention and the internal dynamics of fear of loss of attention struggle with each other for dominance in the inner life.
Trump comes across as impulsive, reactive and hostile with the idealization of himself and devaluing and ridicule of those who disagree with his view of himself. This indicates intense contractions in the personality with distressing consequences for himself and others. He shows an absence of respect for differences, reveals emotional instability and consequently he makes regular histrionic outbursts.
A disturbed inner life becomes increasingly dependent on the voices of other people, whether offering congratulations or condemnation. Fears of rejection triggers the desire to strike first to get the other to back off or he will attack immediately if feeling rejected. These reactions show a lack of emotional intelligence.
A person suffering from a depth of hidden inadequacy will express excessive degrees of reaction to whatever he or she sees, hears or reads. The excess of reaction gives the leader a sense of being alive and a temporary flight from the weight of the lurking despondency. This keeps the forces of inadequacy as far from the conscious mind as possible.
Ideology takes Priority
Ideology takes priority over compassion. Trump’s ideology consists of adherence to the exploitation of power and determining the notion what is good and what is bad. The desire to perpetuate the belief in what is good and the coercion to usurp what he considers bad, expresses ideological standpoints. Those who crave power and cling to it produce a series of repetitive one-liners to install into audiences the same belief and ideology of what is good and bad.
The statement of Machiavelli ((1469-1527) summarises numerous politicians, including Donald Trump, who show scant regard for ethics and empathetic concerns for present and future generations. Machiavelli recommended that ‘a prudent ruler cannot, and must not, honour his word when it places him at a disadvantage … Because men are wretched creatures who would not keep their word to you, you need not keep your word to them’. Trump will rubbish influential figures with whom he competes for power. When they lose support and endorse his candidacy, he speaks well of them.
Control relies upon the loyalty and conformity of those subservient to these expressions of power. The leader will experience deep fears of loss of control, of situations getting out of hand. For example, Donald Trump feared that his public rally in Chicago would get out of control. Loss of control triggers unresolved anxieties. Trump then withdrew from speaking at the rally. He left the police, bodyguards, his followers and the disbelievers to resolve the differences between themselves. Trump lacked the inner strength to face an audience yelling a diversity of views. Instead, he cancelled his appearance and disappeared. His flight from responsibility revealed one of the flaws in such a personality. All too human….
We are left with concern for Donald Trump
We are left with real concern for the emotional and psychological well-being of Donald Trump. He reaches his 70th year on June 16, 2016. He probably weighs between 90 -100 kilos (200 to 220 pounds, around 14 stone to 15.5 stone), pot-bellied and with flaccid skin. He looks very overweight and perhaps left with only a handful of years of active life.
He has surely experienced decades of unresolved moods around the need for self-esteem and self-aggrandizement. Trump seems hooked on the desperate search for an intensification of his inner self making him totally dependent on the experience of success and failure, winning and losing. The self of Trump claims the glory for success and the same self must place blame on another (s) for failure. There is a desperate need to hold to this conviction as a safeguard against despair and the terror of feeling an utter failure. With life passing by rapidly and death getting closer, he lives in a very narrow world charged with pleasure and pain with fear of failure, loss and extinction.
All the power and accumulation of wealth cannot guard Trump’s inner life from a sense of worthlessness and a future saddled with ongoing inadequacy, as well as the probable crippling impact of the ageing process. Trump remains vulnerable to high blood pressure, a heart attack and weakening of the cohesion of his mind as he fights a lonely and losing battle with others and himself.
Despondency about the present and future haunts the life of those living in such circumstances. Medication can only offer a measurement of relief from the despondency that grips the mind in times of failure. No amount of luxury and sycophantic individuals can dissolve such despondency that saturates the inner life. Trump cannot hide the probable bouts of despair from loved ones either.
Part Two of Three. Part Three on next blog.