By Hal Brown
This is the Raw Story article that brought to mind an aspect of Trump's personality, of his psychopathology, that is probably the most benign. It is the obsession he has with how he looks, his vanity.
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Trump is famously vain, to the extent that he reportedly had his official presidential photographer carry a stool so that she could take photos from angles that made him look taller and slimmer.
Here's a reminder of how his vanity made the news when he represented the United States at the 100th anniversary of D-Day remembrance:
Vanity Fair: “Trump remained in a dark mood during his weekend trip to France to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I… On Saturday morning, Trump skipped attending a rain-soaked ceremony at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery to honor the Battle of Belleau Wood. When his absence became a scandal, the White House said the decision had been made because Marine One reportedly could not fly in the rain, and Secret Service did not want Trump traveling by motorcade. One Republican briefed on the internal discussions said the real reason Trump did not want to go was because there would be no tent to stand under.”
Said the source: “He was worried his hair was going to get messed up in the rain. John Bolton and everyone was telling him this was a big mistake.”
Therapists like me often refer to Trump using terms like malignant narcissism or sociopathic narcissism. Jennifer Senior introduces a non-clinical catchphrase that resonates with me:
That news conference was, to me, the most frightening moment of the Trump presidency. His preening narcissism, his compulsive lying, his vindictiveness, his terror of germs and his terrifying inability to grasp basic science — all of it eclipsed his primary responsibilities to us as Americans, which was to provide urgent care, namely in the form of leadership.
Jennifer Senior, NY Times OpEd “The President is Unfit for This Crisis. Period.”
This observation jibes with the conversation I had with Nicholas Christakis, author of “Blueprint” and an epidemiologist at Yale, last Friday...
“I’m in the deeply ironic position at the moment of strongly discouraging social connection, despite the fact that it’s the central focus of my book — and my life’s work,” he says. “But it’s going to take us working together in this unnatural way — one that goes so against our evolutionary past — to confront this epidemic.”
What’s so frightening — so hideous — is that our president is least equipped to do just that. This crisis has unhelmed and unmasked him. He’s incapable of leading. When it comes to Trump, truth, decency and self-possession have been in quarantine from the start.
|After reading this I have nothing else to add.|
The last sentence above is from what I wrote in Daily Kos.
I just found this article: Trump preening and sweeping away all guardrails that have protected US democracy: Biden (March, 2020) Biden may have beaten Jennifer Senor to using the word "preening" referring to Trump, but he didn't say he was a preening narcissist. As far as I can tell Senor deserves credit for this.
“Donald Trump isn't interested in doing that work. Instead, he's preening and sweeping away all the guardrails that have long protected our democracy, guardrails that have helped make possible this nation's path to a more perfect union...."
Looking up just the words Trump and preening you'll also find these articles:
Foreign Leaders Look At Donald Trump And See ‘Preening, Clueless Clown’ Says Pulitzer-Winning ‘WaPo’ Columnist
"Aides said he talked about Ivanka Trump's breasts, her backside, and what it might be like to have sex with her, remarks that once led (former Chief of Staff) John Kelly to remind the president that Ivanka was his daughter," Taylor writes.