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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/29/15

What Makes Trump Supporters Tick? Can You Say Narcissism and Authoritarianism?

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Trump is a narcissistic, blustering, offensive, abusive bully and buffoon. He is, among all the billionaires in the world, the most desperate for attention, the fastest to attack critics. There is widespread agreement that he is a narcissist. That tells us a lot about his supporters.
Trump is pulling between 25 and 32% in polling. That's about the same ballpark for the percentage of people who were victims of child abuse of one kind or another. It's also about the same percentage for right wing authoritarian types.
I recently did an interview with Scott Kyler, an expert on patriarchal, authoritarian people. He explained authoritarians as people obsessed with rules, who very much follow self-proclaimed experts on how life should be and moral. Someone who is authoritarian is seeking a leader to follow and blindly obedient. They are very conventional, very submissive to authorities, seeking people to dominate them.
We also talked about narcissists. People who are in abusive relationships are very often abused by parents who are narcissistic and sometimes also psychopathic. All psychopaths are narcissists. Victims of childhood abuse may become abusing narcissists or they may, and often do enter into relationships with abusive narcissists. It's a vicious cycle. It makes sense that most authoritarians who seek out leaders to be submissive to, are recreating the life they grew up in. They were abused as children and they seek leaders who will abuse them.
I asked Kyler what people who are in relationships with narcissists and dominating authoritarians should do. He replied, "if someone does have a lot of these traits, just run-- get away from the relationship."
The problem is, being in that relationship is addictive.
I also interviewed Daniel Shaw, author of Traumatic Narcissism. He discussed how Eric Fromm's book, Escape from Freedom, explains how Germans became Nazis.
"...there is a human tendency not to own one's own freedom, but to give it over to someone who is stronger. Freud talked about the Oedipal complex where a young person had to overcome domination by the father..."
Narcissists take up all the oxygen in the room. If someone challenges a narcissist, he or she will be shamed and accused of selfishness. There's only room for one person in a narcissistic relationship-- the narcissist. Narcissists, Shaw explains, "Establish dominance by diminishing and subjugating others-- creating dependence. The traumatizing narcissist feels dependent on no-one, but in actuality, depends on the shamed, dependent others."
Ross A. Rosenberg, author of The Human Magnet Syndrome, a book about narcissists and how to deal with them, says, "a narcissist enjoys when you get upset." Think of how much Trump enjoys his reputation as a rude bad boy.
Shaw describes how cult leaders can do no wrong, in terms of their followers.
Rosenberg explains, "If you are a child of that kind of parent you will never get unconditional love. if you are a child of a narcissist -- you are going to figure out how to make that parent love you-- and be pleasing, learning that love is conditional, and learning to repress your own needs... ...they learn early on that love equals taking care of others while sacrificing your own needs." This helps to explain how so many middle and low income people can vote for people who treat them badly and selfishly neglect their constituents interests.
I asked Rosenberg how to detect a narcissist. He replied, "They do not handle criticism or constructive feedback, they talk about themselves." Trump anyone?
To sum things up. About 30% of the population has been a child abuse victim. Narcissists are often the abusers. Trump is a flaming traumatizing narcissist. Abuse victims can become authoritarians-- seeking dominators, and they are attracted to narcissists because they have learned pathological ways to get positive attention from them, in between the abuses they are subjected to.
By the way, I asked Rosenberg about healthy people and their relationship to narcissists or co-dependents (victims of narcissistic parents.) He answered, "the healthy person is going to be repelled by the co-dependent person."
It seems that writing about Trump draws out the worst, nasty, abusing comments. I'm not writing this for people who post such comments. I'm writing it so readers can understand the psychodynamics of Trump and his supporters. Please keep your comments civil. Any nastiness posted in comments will lead to loss of posting privileges. It will be assumed that any nasty name calling or attacks are actually requests to be banned from the site.
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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media.

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He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites,

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, (more...)

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