THE PERSONA OF DONALD J. TRUMP

Just who is Donald J. Trump? What kind of person is our President?

As an informed citizen, an experienced social observer and writer, I’m going to try to capture Mr. Trump’s persona. Although I am a “card-carrying” psychiatrist, I will not use psychiatric terminology or offer a diagnosis. Nor will I comment here on his policies and politics.

I will instead only use the words and behaviors demonstrated by Mr. Trump repetitively and consistently over many months.

Obviously many people find Mr. Trump’s self-presentation appealing. They feel he is outspoken and “shoots from the hip.” His words are not carefully chosen or well-thought out. He is not guarded, nor is he diplomatic, and his followers like that he is not “politically correct.”

His fervent supporters are drawn to his candor, his ebullience and self-confidence. They like his often-expressed anger at real or perceived problems and at enemies at home and abroad.

They are impressed that this billionaire is “plainfolks.” He seems to have a doting family, and that he speaks “plain English” and doesn’t talk down to them. He appears able to simplify complex domestic and international issues so that they’re understandable to them, using his preternatural gift for aggressive sound bites. They also love his forceful promises that he’ll soon change everything for the better.

No matter how negatively he comes across to “liberal elites” (his avowed nemesis), his millions of acolytes and supporters repeatedly say, “Finally, someone tells it like it is!”

Here are some truisms about Donald Trump (not alternative facts, not post-truths):

* President Trump is a prolific tweeter, especially in the middle of the night, usually deploying those 140 characters to ‘get even’ by insulting someone…

* He is often petulant and angry, vengeful at anyone he perceives to be in disagreement with him…

* Mr. Trump intuitively sizes up people with whom he’s fighting, and selects a real or imagined vulnerability with which he pummels them. These pointed zingers, such as “Crooked Hillary,” “Little Mario,” “Lyin’ Ted,” “Low-Energy Jeb,” play well to his audiences and are effective in disarming his opponents…

* He is frequently aggressive and bellicose, picking fights within his own party, with Democrats, international leaders, celebrities, reporters, and just about anyone with whom he takes offense…

* He has been nasty and rude to many people. He has the instincts of a tough “street-fighter,” and has hurled cutting insults at women, political opponents, minorities, physically-challenged individuals, journalists, critics and many others…

* Mr. Trump is self-centered, narcissistic and given to braggadocio. Multiple recordings show his pronouncements to be filled with gushing praise for himself and his extraordinary abilities and successes…

* He is intemperate, impulsive and unpredictable, keeping everyone, both allies (colleagues) and opponents (competitors), on guard and “off their game”…

* He is thin-skinned and insecure, taking umbrage at anyone who deigns to ridicule or disagree with him, and he’s seemingly compelled to respond via angry tweets or public rebukes…

* Mr. Trump is a shrewd businessman, who plays fast and loose with rules and regulations. To that end, he is remarkably litigious, and keeping creditors or opponents tied up in courts is his M.O.

* Mr. Trump deals in superlatives: Words like “best,” “worst,” “amazing,” “terrific,” “terrible,” “strongest,” “greatest,” “perfect,” “wonderful,” pepper his speeches. It is vital for him to be at the very top (“the biggest crowds,” “hyuge,” “they love me”), and to be publicly acknowledged as great…

* President Trump is a bloviator and exaggerator. He is ostentatious, pompous, and full of himself in his utterances and lifestyle…

* He is a stretcher of truth, a denier of facts, and often makes up his own data which he comes to believe. He is frequently mendacious, stating untrue “facts” about information, numbers, his level of knowledge and previous fallacious statements he’s made…

*Mr. Trump is by his own admission, “not a reader,” and gets his news from television and social media. At times he appears to be ignorant about the basic workings of government, American and world history, social issues, international affairs and the role of diplomacy…

There are other personal characteristics which are relevant, but let’s summarize:

President Donald J. Trump is a driven man with profound needs for self-inflation, power, success, achievement, recognition and adulation. His moods and behaviors are capricious and erratic, and even when he appears calm there is a palpable wariness and suspiciousness, One senses a pervasive “chip on his shoulder,” with simmering anger and acrimony beneath the surface, which can easily be triggered.

He is able to “reframe“ a setback in his own mind to believe and insist that he won, and he will brag to others of his “victory.” When he recognizes an obstacle to winning, he is convinced that jealous others prevented his ascendancy, and he won’t forget their calumny: They will be rebuked.

It is vital to Mr. Trump to always win; never lose; never show weakness; never admit the possibility of losing, or after losing, that he lost; and never apologize or compromise.

These are recurrent and predictable personality features of President Donald J. Trump. I leave you to draw your own conclusions…

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