Friday, June 17, 2016

What's wrong with Trump?

Mental health professionals and a GOP bundler see the reasons for that question. Trump exhibits traits of narcissistic personality disorder, experts say but the answer raises another question: "how bad is it?" Trump's personality is explored in this Huffington Post article - snippets follow.

Okay, so our guy is insane,” said one GOP fundraising bundler privately after getting his first up-close view of his party’s presidential nominee at a recent California fundraiser.

As it happens, some mental health professionals have been pondering Trump’s state of mind for months, and appear to have arrived at a consensus. From his exaggerated claims of immense wealth and his aggressive insults against those who challenge him, to his expectation that all Republicans should fall in line to support him, Trump exhibits symptoms of what the American Psychiatric Association defines as narcissistic personality disorder.

“The boldness, the risk-taking, the attention-seeking, are classic narcissistic traits,” said W. Keith Campbell, a University of Georgia psychology professor and co-author of The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement.

The only real question: whether Trump merely possesses many of the traits, or if his condition warrants the full-on label of “disorder.”

One element Campbell said he does not understand, however, is Trump’s propensity for misstatements, particularly those that are easily refuted and don’t necessarily advance his image.

“I think people who are narcissist can be dishonest, but a lot of that dishonesty is in the service of themselves,” Campbell said. “Why, when there’s no upside, do you lie at all? Unless that’s just your default position.”

That, more than the self-regard, is what unnerves the GOP bundler, who said he sees it as undermining his ability to tell donors what Trump would do if elected. “Lying for the sake of lying. You’ve got to watch out for those guys,” he said.

But the pro-Trump crowd clings to the idea that Trump can remake himself, to become the "nice Donald Trump," so as to be more appealing, or at least less toxic, to the general electorate. And that leads to another question.

Will the nice Donald Trump please rise?

... waiting ... waiting ... waiting ...

Why wait? Molly Ball explains There's No Such Thing as Nice Trump in her report in The Atlantic. She has interviews with the Pro-Trump crowd and the Never Trump crowd and reports on the Mitt Romney conclave at which the family dysfunction played out. Here's a sample.

The Republicans who oppose Trump are rather bearish on this prospect. To them, the judge controversy proved conclusively that there will be no new-and-improved general-election Trump, and showed they were right all along about his divisive tendencies.

“I am getting I-told-you-so delivered to my house by the truckload every day,” Rick Wilson, the Florida Republican consultant who has vocally opposed Trump from the beginning, told me. “I am eating up the I-told-you-so like a fat kid eats cake.”

Wilson had little patience for the idea that Trump might still turn it around. “He’s 70 years old. He’s a narcissistic sociopath. He’s not going to change,” he said. “There is no better version of Donald Trump, no mindful, serious, presidential version, only the reality-TV, con-man, pro-wrestling dipshit Donald Trump.

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