This is exactly what people have been saying: of all of Donald Trump’s traits that make him dramatically unfit for the Presidency (and for any leadership position whatsoever) – and there are a great many – his narcissism is by far and away the most terrifying.
As a narcissist, he considers himself to be the pinnacle of human thought and experience on literally every topic. He cannot comprehend the need for outside education or information – nothing that anybody else could tell him about any subject could possibly match the instinct that his gut provides. The point of having people in his orbit is not to provide him with information and advice: it is to soothe his ego. Psychologists call this “Narcissistic Supply” or sometimes just “Narcissist Fuel.”
Narcissists are, generally speaking, hyper-compensating for deeply buried and repressed feelings of inadequacy; because of this, they require constant reassurance of their genius and perfection. Thus the Narcissistic Supply is almost-literal fuel for their psyche. Without it, their psyches collapse and they lash out uncontrollably as their fragile egos can’t handle it. Anything perceived as threatening or challenging them is considered as such.
A President of the United States is not expected to know everything; they are instead surrounded by the top people in various fields of diplomacy, statecraft, intelligence gathering, military strategy, etc., and expected to be able to assess the information being provided as part of the process of making important decisions. Narcissists are fundamentally incapable of this, because anything that challenges their worldview is considered an attack on their perfection, and thus, an attack on them. Such disloyalty cannot, in their minds, be tolerated.
Eventually an administration run by a narcissist – and Trump is as pure a case of NPD as you will ever find – will devolve into a cadre of yes-men telling the narcissist that everything they’re doing is perfect even as the world burns around them. Foreign leaders can manipulate the narcissist with ease, by flattering their egos and planting the seeds for destructive ideas in their heads. Putin, who spent decades with the KGB, knows this game well, and has played him like a fiddle; as such, the Intelligence Community folks who tell Trump no, that Putin is not his friend, that he’s an adversary to the US and a menace to the West, are contradicting his gut. At best, they’re not providing him fuel, and at worst, they’re doing active Narcissistic Injury which will result in them being kicked to the curb and replaced with someone more “loyal” – exactly what we’re seeing here. This firing-and-replacement nullifies the entire IC by reducing them to the status of shouting into an empty room. Which is terrifying.
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