Photo: Getty Images
When he flips to Fox News, Trump notices a caption that sums up everything: “News outlets around the world are covering Trump.” Turning to me on the sofa, he gestures at the screen with satisfaction, “The key word is covering.”
So much exposure comes at a price. As he watches, Trump maintains a quiet but constant critique of “dishonest” and “inaccurate” statements. He would like to “open up the laws” on libel to protect people like himself, he says — but adds with a shrug, “I don’t know exactly what it means to do that, or exactly how it works.” Nor does he care, because what matters more than accuracy is the sheer fact of being covered. Own the airwaves, own the campaign, run the world. To be certain that I’ve grasped this point, he expands on the theme:
“You see what this is, right? It’s ratings. I go on one of these shows and the ratings double. They triple. And that gives you power. It’s not the polls. It’s the ratings.”
From TIME piece “Donald Trump’s Wild Ride” by David Von Drehle; unfortunately, it is available to subscribers only.
Pay attention, dear readers, to the mental, emotional, and moral vacuity of our future Narcissistic Psychopath in Chief expressed in his words above.
Ratings is all that matters, in case this has not yet been clear. Substance, like facts and values — that’s for suckers.
He plans to subvert the nation’s laws — and curtail human rights, notably that to free speech — to protect his own overblown tender ego. Being uncurious and arrogant, unencumbered by guilt (or scruples, or even shame), he freely admits that he has no idea what it would mean to “open up the [libel] laws,” but he plans to do it because he, like the tremendous narcissist that he is, does not want to hear the truth about himself.
He is so invested in maintaining the false reality which he has created for the purposes of protecting his fragile ego, and which his authoritarian followers so eagerly and unquestioningly embrace, that he is willing to enshrine his delusions in and through this country’s laws.
One can only guess how he would deal with the foreign critics who would not be subject to those laws.
The Drumpf Chronicles will be an ongoing series on this blog, somewhat against my better judgment. Because apparently you can take a girl out of politics (or so she believed), but you cannot take politics out of the girl (as she’s learning). I thought we — OK, I — would be done with it as the Bush era was largely put behind us (yes, naive, I know); obviously, I was wrong. The problem of psychopathology and its impact on the world’s affairs, politics especially, is as urgent today, if not more, as ever.
I will refer to The Donald as (Herr) Drumpf, if only because his name sounds better in the original German.
Herr Drumpf’s rise to power, both in spite of and thanks to (though mostly the latter) his glaring psychological defect — the character disorder known as narcissistic psychopathy — is a lesson that we cannot afford to ignore, even though so many want to. So Drumpf Chronicles will attempt to hammer the lesson for those children who is not learning, with a full understanding of the futility of those efforts. But somebody’s gotta do it (for her own sake, if nothing else).