0 0 Colin McGinn Colin McGinn2017-03-07 17:35:412017-03-07 17:35:41Trump Psychology
People say Trump is a narcissist. I don’t think so: I think Trump hates himself and with good reason. What he loves is his image–that garish, vulgar, money-saturated image. This is why he hates to be criticized and disrespected: it hurts his image. Once you grasp that everything he does is meant to promote his image it begins to make more sense. There is really nothing to him apart from his image.
This is what I meant by earlier referring to his character as fictional. It is quite impossible and shouldn’t exist yet it actually appears to exist.
And this jars with our normal attitudes to fiction.
It forces us to regard something impossibly non-existent as if it were (or could be) actually existent.
There probably is nothing to him apart from his image – we are what we pretend to be. There really is nothing other than the person you see. But I don’t see why that would make him hate himself.
I’ve just been reading James Russell’s “Psychology as King of the Ghosts”, which I rather liked (mainly the psychology bits). You get a couple of mentions.
He hates himself because he is aware of his nothingness. He is clearly very insecure and needy, can’t sleep, with a weird mouth, and the mind of ten-year old. The image attempts to make up for all that.
At what level is he aware of his nothingness and of his hatred of himself? I don’t imagine that it often reaches the level of consciousness.
He is also deeply insecure about his manhood, which feeds his self-hatred. Apart from his publicly boasting about the size of his penis, he is concerned about the size of Trump Tower. “Can you make my building taller?” Mr. Trump asked. No, he was told.” That quotation and more appear here: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/02/nyregion/donald-trump-tower-heights.html?_r=0
One need not be a Freudian to guess what his real concern is.
The obsession with size seems more general: size of bank account, size of crowds, size of ratings numbers, size of dwelling space. Then there is the talk of “big-league” or “bigly” and the constant exaggeration. Perhaps he even wants to tell the biggest lies. Does he want to start the biggest war?
Pr. McGinn, I am now going to disrespect you. I think your analysis is uninformative. We all dislike being criticized and disrespected. We care about the image ourselves we have created in our lives: “I’m erudite”, “I’m courageous” whatever. Trump is no different. He created an image for himself as a dealer and a winner. I would more likely agree with you if you had used the word ‘reputation’ instead of ‘image.’ In the end, all any of us has is our reputation.. And we all fight to maintain it.
Yes we do fight to defend our reputation, but the question is how far we are prepared to go in that fight–how much lying and exaggeration we engage in. Trump does a lot. Also, I see abnormal levels of insecurity and ego-fragility in him, for which he tries desperately to make up.
I am unknown, so I do not get such attention. I can imagine though that it does grate after a while. Nevertheless, I think ego-fragility is a sign of our times. Facebook is an example, so are campus speech codes, safe spaces and trigger warnings. We live in an adolescent age. More people than ever before refuse to grow up.
Can’t argue with that!
Why does Trump not apologize? Because it would be so exhausting, given the frequency.
i think he is typical of the breed. They brag, exaggerate, blow things out of proportion, outright lie at times and when you call them it they shrug their shoulders and dismiss your accusation. Words are tools for the task of the moment. Honesty is a tool; sometimes it’s useful sometimes not. Never look back.
He seems like a breed of one to me–no one quite like him. Of course, it’s a matter of degree, but degrees add up.
A nightmarish figment that feeds on animus
I’ve run into a few like him in my life.
But have they been elected president or anything close to it?