When President Donald Trump speaks without a script, there is no telling what he might blurt out.
In his recent campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, he went off the rails again. This time, he let slip a personal reflection that was remarkably revealing about the nature of his psychologically twisted mind.
“I always hear about the elite,” he said. “You know, the elite. They’re elite? I went to better schools than they did. I was a better student than they were. I live in a bigger, more beautiful apartment …I think – you know what? I think we’re the elites! They’re not the elites!”
Wow! This guy is in desperate need of many years of intensive psychotherapy to untangle all the knotted kinks packed into that doozey!
This disclosure is highly revealing about Trump’s psychological torments, and it explains quite a lot about the reasons behind his repugnant behavior that we see so often.
Clearly, Trump is suffering on a very deep level from rejection. Even though Trump is rich and famous himself, and even though Trump travels in circles of elites, he does not feel accepted by them.
He is angry about it. And hurt. And he cannot understand the reason. He feels he deserves to be accepted. He recites his perceived qualifications – he went to better schools, he was a better student, and he is richer with a bigger apartment. He feels entitled to be a full-fledged member of the elite club. But he’s not. He knows he has been rejected, as is evidenced by his remarkable airing of his grievance in public at a campaign speech no less. It clearly bothers him to no end.
He feels victimized. Persecuted. His rejection can only be due to unfair treatment against him.
How does Trump handle his painful feelings of rejection? He lashes out. He attacks. He seeks to insult and diminish his perceived enemies who rejected him by attempting to reject them instead. He insists that “they” are not the elites, but alternatively, he declares himself as the elite.
Trump’s coping mechanism is familiar. We have all seen it before. It is similar to that of an immature adolescent, or even a toddler. But Trump is a grown man who functions as an adult in other respects. So what is going on here?
This is the nature of Trump’s psychological dysfunction. Even though he has matured to an adult level in some areas, he remains psychologically blocked at the level of an adolescent in other areas. He is unable to process and overcome his own painful feelings like a normal adult, so instead he has developed the coping mechanism of attacking anyone and everyone whom he perceives as having rejected or insulted him.
Trump’s behavior is remarkably like that of an adolescent bully at school, and he fits the psychological profile like a glove. He is hypersensitive to criticism, feels treated unfairly, lashes out at others, lacks impulse control, assumes others are hostile against him, boasts about himself and surrounds himself with sycophants and loyalists to reinforce his own self-worth, craves attention, lies about his misdeeds, and blames others for anything that goes wrong in order to protect his own fragile self-misconception. He is a text-book case.
This seems to explain much of Trump’s deplorable public behavior. It explains his attacks against anyone and everyone who slights him, from the Gold Star Kahn family to the top leaders of his very own Republican Party. It explains why he blames others for any and every failure, from the poor viewership of the Republican National Convention to the failure of the Trumpcare health insurance bill. And it explains why Trump continuously lies to exaggerate his own achievements, from the crowd size at his inauguration to the extent of his administration’s accomplishments.
Trump’s psychological dysfunction also seems to explain his utter lack of respect for institutions, the norms of society, and our democracy itself. Trump feels rejected by society, unfairly, of course. He feels like a victim. He often complains of being treated so unfairly, such as by the media and the “rigged” establishment. Trump extends this sense of victimhood to his followers by claiming that the entire nation of America has also been treated unfairly, such as by foreign countries like Mexico ripping us off in trade agreements.
Seriously? Mexico is exploiting helpless little America?
It is all divorced from reality. It is Trump’s alternative reality.
Trump reacts to all of this false unfairness by lashing out in revenge with a willingness to tear apart our society, including the venerated institutions of democracy itself. Trump attempts to compensate for his feelings of victimhood and helplessness by obsessively trying to project power over anyone and everything possible in order to bolster his own insecure sense of self-worth.
It is no wonder that elites reject Trump, as does everyone else other than his fawning worshipers. People reject Trump not because he is not rich enough or famous enough. Rather, people reject Trump because of his own deplorable behavior. No one likes a person who is a compulsive liar, who constantly tries to dominate others through intimidation and coercion, and who demands total devotion under threat of personal attack. Who needs a friend like that?
Come to think of it, who needs a president like that?