Posts Tagged ‘Trump For President: Some Concerns’

Trump For President: Some Concerns

August 11, 2015

Trump For President: Some Concerns.

At first I was stunned and made hopeful by Donald Trump’s candor and straight-forward, no B.S., responses to media questions.

I am now sobered, by significant media exposure, to Donald Trump’s verbal behavior and other actions. Though I cannot predict the future, as a psychologist I will provide my concerns about Trump’s personality.

I like the following definition of Personality: Personality refers to an individual’s enduring pattern of behaviors, thoughts, and emotions.

I have underlined the word enduring in this definition because that is a central feature of  the whole idea of personality. An individual’s personality is what allows us to say to an old friend at a 50 year class reunion: “After all these years, you haven’s changed a bit!”. But of course we do change with experiences in time, but our core personality features tend to remain strongly intact.

Which brings us back to Trump.

Trump is a very different candidate than was Obama. It was much harder to predict Obama’s behavior because he hid his true pathological personality behind a very attractive social facade. The  only hint was his promise to “transform America”, a veiled communication that gave no clear idea of what was to come. It was only when he was elected that Obama’s true personality features were revealed by his consistent and stunningly deceitful and dishonest political maneuvers antithetical to America’s strong cultural traditions. 

Trump’s personality, on the other-hand, is massively available for all to see.  For example, he is flagrantly boisterous and he disdains “making nice” to his political opponents and others with whom he may disagree. He revels in hostile confrontation.  Of course there is more. But, the point is that Trump’s consistent and easily observed behavior patterns tell the story of a deeply ingrained personality style that is very unlikely to change much, even with skilled political coaching.

With Trump, there will likely be short intervals of  strategic kindness and “sweet talk” in evidence, but these will wear thin under the stresses of rough and tumble politics and the troubled domestic and international affairs of the Presidency.

In my judgment, the “nice part” of Trump is simply evidence of his “carrot and stick” approach to most things. To a large extent, he is likely to be “light on the carrots” and “heavy with the stick”.

Trump is a master as controlling people with his money.

Money is power, as he graphically illustrated when he “summoned” Hillary Clinton to his wedding following a donation to her and Bill’s interests; and she attended! There are a great many examples of Trump using his wealth to control the behavior of others. But just to nail this point, consider the earthquake that shivered through the Republican Party at his first debate when he declared that he would not consent to back the party’s nominee for President! 

The Republican National Committee is terrified of his ability to finance his own Third Party Candidacy for President. This would spell a near-certain defeat for the Republicans, and Trump admittedly is using this wealth to intimidate and leverage more power in this political contest.

This is quintessential Trump.

Trump is a pathological Narcissist.

Answer this question: Have you ever seen anyone brag about his accomplishments more than Trump. Have you ever seen anyone “reflexively” hurl more anger, crude and demeaning insults at those who question his judgment or criticize him? They are a “looser” or “stupid”. To Megan Kelly; she had “blood coming out of her eyes and wherever”. He calls those who irritate him “fools”, “fat and ugly”, “ugly on the outside and the inside”, “lightweights, “morons”, “dummy’s”, and on-and-on….

Typically, Trump Knows-it-all and his opponents know-nothing. He is right and everyone else is wrong.

Trump is Histrionic. He craves attention, he loves the spotlight and grand performances. He will do or say almost anything to achieve these social/media outcomes.

Trump is a master intimidator. Have you ever seen anyone with a more intimidating scowl on their face than Donald Trump? Perhaps so, but not many. He has learned, backed by his great wealth, that he can present this nasty front to most people and they cave-in and give-in to his demands. He can normally get away with these tactics because people are prone to suck-up to the rich and famous, in hopes that they will gain some favors and advantages that virtually no one else can grant them.

Without his vast wealth, Trump’s boastful, conceited, selfish, abusive and demeaning behavior patterns would make him a social outcast.  If he behaved similarly in his domestic and political dealings, I fear that there could occur more conflict and problem-solving intransigence than there is now.

On the positive side, and given that we are already tepidly engaged in World War III, I believe Trump would dispatch our enemy Radical Islamic Terrorists and their allies with a focused and sustained savagery not seen since America’s conduct of World War II.

By the way, I would fully support this last tactic though I remain uncommitted to a Trump Presidency at this time.

Trump uses a very limited vocabulary. How can anyone miss that he repeatedly uses words and phrases reminiscent of a spoiled and self-centered adolescent, back-talking his parents and teachers, or insulting the guys that he doesn’t like and girls that won’t date him. Or, at the other end of the histrionic continuum, things are wonderful!; fabulous!; fantastic!; or terrific!, etc.

The political pundits will debate Trump’s staying-power in the Presidential race. Many think he is a clown, or a buffoon. Some view him as a genius. Whatever is the case, he has struck an emotional chord with a large segment of the public and pulled the trigger on their pent-up anger and frustration at America’s Americas unremitting decline and its self-serving political class. 

In the final analysis intelligence can take many forms, and Trump’s should not be underestimated. His stunning successes in business is proof-positive that he is no dummy. Trump is very, very bright and accomplished  at the art of making profitable deals with other profit-hungry businessmen. Trump certainly knows how to get his way in a hostile and highly competitive environment.

But those of us that teach, shape, and support skilled behavior in one environment, know for a fact that those skilled behaviors often do not generalize to different environments without special training in those specific environments. We also know that a slew of individual differences make it impossible for people to be “a star” in all skill areas and arenas of activity.

These last concerns, along with Trumps troublesome personality features, raises grave concerns about his suitability for the role and environment of President of the United States of America.

In spite of my doubts, I cannot deny that Donald Trumps highly improbable skill-set might just now be what this certifiably crazy socioculture needs in this certifiably crazy world.

These are my present concerns about Donald Trump as a Presidential Candidate.

In the end it will be the “wisdom of the people’ that decides Trump’s and America’s fate through the coming election.

This is yet another of my serious concerns.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.







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