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By FaithGardner, Daily Kos Staff
Yes, the hallmarks of narcissism are painfully obvious in the president of the United States. The endless projection. The delusion of grandeur masking a paper-thin skin that punctures under the most benign criticisms. The nonstop gaslighting. But you know who else every single one of these attributes describes?
Trump's deplorable, unmovable base are cult-like followers who could watch him shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and still follow him, who give no shits that he is a serial sexual assaulter and defender of molesters, who get fleeced by his tariffs, by his family's blatant disregard for the emoluments clause, and yet continue to vote for him even when it seemingly serves no interest of their own. Kool-Aid drinkers in the most macabre sense of the metaphor, they will follow him right to hell and never look back. None of it makes any logical sense, until you realize they are serving their own interests. Because none of the details matter if you see yourself in the narcissist delivering the rhetoric that feeds your own sense of narcissism.
Trump's base is nothing more than a collection of narcissists, and I find this a lot more interesting than the fact that Trump himself is a narcissist. Trump simply represents the abhorrent qualities of his entire base.
All these qualities listed under the narcissistic personality could not only describe Trump, but the party that props him up, and let us count the ways. (The list was compiled from the traits listed in this article from Psychology Today on "Understanding the Mind of a Narcissist"; the parentheticals are my own.)
*Has a grandiose sense of self-importance and exaggerates achievements and talents. (White supremacy. Patriarchy. Rulers of every uterus everywhere. Neo-Confederates who still see the South as heroes of the Civil War.)
*Dreams of unlimited power, success, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love. (The great Steinbeck paraphrased quote about the poor seeing themselves as temporarily embarrassed millionaires comes to mind. Even the slogan "Make America Great Again" smacks of a nostalgic, over-idealized dream of what this country should strive towards.)
*Believes he or she is special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people or institutions. (cough... literal Nazis are winning primaries... cough)
*Requires excessive admiration. (Ever notice how white Republican men need constant validation they aren't being repressed in some way, and how our media happily obliges, writing puff piece after puff piece over poor, misunderstood Trump voters?)- Advertisement -
*Unreasonably expects special, favorable treatment or compliance with his or her wishes. (An unwillingness to compromise on even the most inarguable of issues -- gun control's a great example. Because, you know, a Republican's freedom is more important than your children being safe from massacres that may or may not happen in their classrooms.)
*Exploits and takes advantage of others to achieve personal ends. (They support deregulation of everything, at the expense of human health and life.)
*Lacks empathy for the feelings and needs of others. (Racism, homophobia, xenophobia, bigotry, bullying, straight-up hate crimes.)
*Envies others or believes they're envious of him or her. (Paranoid views of immigrants, people of color, feminists, etc. "They're taking our jobs!" "We're the minority now!")