“Trump’s fantasy of infallibility” has been destroyed: “Narcissistic injury” made him more dangerous

US

Donald Trump has finally stated the obvious. In a Tuesday “townhall” hosted by Fox News personality Sean Hannity, Trump declared that he will be a dictator on day one of his “presidency” – but then will stop.

Of course, Trump, the master propagandist and fascist, mixed truth with lies. In reality, Trump is going to be America’s first dictator and ruler for life. By definition, Trump will not surrender such power once he invokes it. A permanent “state of emergency” is a textbook way that dictators and totalitarians get and keep power as they end democracy. The most notable example being Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler.

Trump’s open declaration of his goal to be an American dictator and leader of a Fourth Reich, is just the next predictable escalation in his and the American neofascists’ attack on democracy, the rule of law, civil society, human decency, and reason.

Last weekend, at a campaign rally in Iowa, Trump declared that he is essentially the Chosen One, protected by “god” and “Jesus”, two supernatural entities that will supposedly help make him the next president of the United States by intervening in the 2024 election on his behalf.

“The problem for Trump is that because he is driven by narcissistic omnipotence, he has experienced one of the worst and biggest types of narcissistic injury anybody could ever have.”

What type of God King Dictator will Donald Trump be? Based on his statements, threats, and other behavior, Trump will be vindictive, cruel, and evil as he embarks on a campaign of retribution, revenge, and destruction against his “enemies” (meaning anyone who dares to oppose him and the MAGA movement’s plan to end multiracial pluralistic democracy).

Trump would not have such great power and potential in his claims on God King Dictator status if not for the many tens of millions of people who support him as part of the MAGA cult and those others who see him as a means of getting (more) power. Trump’s dangerousness would not be so severe if he did not have the institutional support, financing, planning, and agents who are willing to do his bidding as apparatchiks, “Little Eichmanns”, and as senior leaders in the American neofascist movement.

In an attempt to make sense of Trump’s megalomania and God complex and what it further reveals about his mind, behavior and overall dangerousness, and what may come next in America’s democracy crisis, I asked a range of experts for their thoughts and suggestions.

Joe Walsh was a Republican congressman and a leading Tea Party conservative. He is now a prominent conservative voice against Donald Trump and the host of the podcast “White Flag With Joe Walsh.”

It’s too late. It’s much too late for Republican voters and Trump supporters. Trump has moved from their champion to their cult leader, to a martyr, and now to some sort of deity. You combine the need for an authoritarian with the evangelical/fervent belief in God’s ordained plan, presto – you have Donald Trump. My engagement every day with these good folks has made crystal clear to me that this “God complex” contagion had spread, its spread beyond the GOP base and it’s spread to lower information voters who really dislike either party and believe our political system is aloof and broken. For them, Trump does not come from the normal political system, he comes from the world they come from, he’s been hugely successful, he’s enormously flawed, but who gives a damn, he’s chosen to turn the political system upside down and make it work for them. This is the kind of stuff I hear all the time. What can be done to stop him? The unlikely coalition of voters who came together to barely stop him in 2020 needs to do it again – from young voters to progressives to principled conservatives – we all gotta lock arms again and support a candidate none of us are excited about.

Dr. Lance Dodes is a former clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a training and supervising analyst emeritus at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute:

Recently some media outlets have finally begun to be concerned that Donald Trump is planning to become a dictator and end democracy in America. It’s good that the media are finally recognizing this, but they are very, very late. An enormous number of observers, including tens of thousands of mental health experts, have been warning about this since 2016. Mr. Trump is an obvious and severe sociopath, an antisocial person lacking the capacity for honesty, empathy or respect for the rule of law. His endless self-centered drive for power at any cost makes him an extreme risk of discarding democracy in favor of his personal rule. His recent comments about attacking judges, pardoning the traitorous attackers from January 6, and eliminating his “enemies” are not new ideas, but rather a sign that his façade of decency and normality is falling away under the stress of having to be accountable for his actions, for the first time in his life.

“Trump is now saying God is protecting him. This too is a form of psychic retreat for Trump.”

Trump’s pattern is not different from other tyrants. As a “populist” dictator, Trump’s central con is that he represents the people. Of course, the opposite is the case as populist sociopaths — Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussein, Putin, and the many other dictators who take power with the promise to eliminate imagined “enemies of democracy” – are seeking to solely benefit themselves and become godlike rulers.

The risk is extremely high. It is simply not true that it couldn’t happen in America. We need to remember that Hitler was democratically elected when a large number of citizens were fooled by his Trump-like psychotic claims that only he could save them, and, importantly, those who saw through the lies thought it could never happen there.

The media failed for years in continually repeating Trump’s lies and treating him as a legitimate leader. The time has come for all of the media to now speak out or to live with the fact that they were silent when democracy was about to die.

Trump’s linking himself to Jesus or God reflects his delusional grandiosity, as well as his contempt for others who he believes will be easily conned into following anyone who proclaims himself to be a god.

Marcel Danesi is Professor Emeritus of linguistic anthropology and semiotics at the University of Toronto. His new book is “Politics, Lies and Conspiracy Theories: A Cognitive Linguistic Perspective.”

By suggesting that the states which voted against him in the last election were deceived by an evil entity, Trump is employing a tactic that has been used by dictators of the past (and present) to claim that they were chosen by God to save the world. Conspiracy groups, such as QAnon, have promoted this very belief system with images and words designed to highlight Trump’s role as a godly figure. A while back, the group posted an image on social media that showed Trump wearing a Q lapel pin, looking angrily at the camera, much like his mug shot, as he awaited the “storm” that will finally catapult him to the seat of power permanently, from which he will rule the world by divine right.

Aware of the psychological power of such images and themes, it is little wonder that Trump, as a master con man, often takes the opportunity to present himself as a Messianic figure, who is fulfilling a divine mission.

“Despite the lies, fraud, and multiple indictments, Trump can still count on his many evangelical supporters.”

In the latest speech, he even put himself above Jesus, cleverly claiming that even Jesus would have been duped to vote for Biden in states that were manipulated by the evil entity that exists in the deep state. This type of sermonizing language hardly shocks his fervent followers, who might indeed believe that there is an evil entity in the world, possessing the ability to deceive anyone. Trump has consistently depicted himself as an anointed spiritual leader, and the only one with the capacity to rid America of its satanic enemies—the very ones responsible for the machinations that led to his temporary exclusion from power. This strategy has now become dominant, as Trump constantly portrays the next election as a cultural-spiritual war, which he must win, in order to finally put America back on the right spiritual path.

André Gagné, Professor and Chair of Theological Studies at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, and author of “American Evangelicals for Trump: Dominion, Spiritual Warfare, and the End Times.”

The kind of language used by Trump at a recent “Save America” Iowa rally, saying that “if you had a real election and that Jesus came down and God came down [from heaven] and said that ‘I’m gonna be the scorekeeper here,’ I think we would win here, I think we would win in Illinois, and I think we would win in New York,” is a reflection of his self-importance and aligns with the view his American evangelical supporters had of him as being “Chosen by God.” Throughout his presidency, Trump was characterized as a “messianic figure,” modeled on the 6th Century BCE Persian King, Cyrus the Great, by many evangelical leaders. The comparison went to Trump’s head. One only needs to remember how Trump referred to himself as the “Chosen One” during a press conference in 2019, while defending his trade war against China.

Many evangelicals used biblical examples to defend their support for Trump despite his immoral conduct. They strongly defended themselves against those who criticized them for backing a morally corrupt candidate. Trump was compared to figures from the Old Testament, such as King David or the prophet Moses, arguing that greatness does not preclude imperfections.


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Recall how in 2019, when Trump’s impeachment trial began, some Republican senators drew a parallel between the trial of Jesus before Pontius Pilate and that of the American president before Congress! And this support will continue! Despite the lies, fraud, and multiple indictments, Trump can still count on his many evangelical supporters. A case in point is that a group of pastors were seen praying for Trump before his “Save America” Iowa rally. One of the pastors praying for Trump can be heard using the same kind of “spiritual warfare” prayer used by Paula White-Cain, Trump’s spiritual advisor, at the time of his presidency. Nothing has changed since 2016, and the story is bound to repeat itself for the 2024 elections: Trump can say or do anything he wants and will still get the support of many White Evangelicals.

Dr. Justin Frank is a former clinical professor of psychiatry at the George Washington University Medical Center and the author of “Trump on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President.”

Trump does believe that God is on his side and that he is the Chosen One or some such figure. Trump suffers from narcissistic grandiosity. Such people have to protect themselves always from possible external dangers. So, what they do is develop what’s called a “psychic retreat.” This is common with psychotic people, where they develop a retreat for themselves, almost like an inner structure for their mind, like a turtle putting his head inside of a shell. Wherever the turtle goes, he carries his house with him, and he can always duck inside it for safety.

Trump started doing this as a young man, with the Trump Towers for example, the various golf courses and places with his name on it. With a psychic retreat a person essentially withdraws into total self-love, and they interact even less with other people. Trump has retreated into Mar-a-Lago now. He is also using Truth Social and his rallies as his psychic retreats. The people at Trump’s rallies are also a type of psychic retreat. They surround him and keep him safe. They tell him what’s happening, they make sure everything’s gonna be okay. They reassure him that he’s safe and good and right. Trump is now saying God is protecting him. This too is a form of psychic retreat for Trump.

People like Trump who have narcissistic grandiosity try to predict the future, and part of that is making statements about how they will be safe from any kind of attack and harm. The problem for Trump is that because he is driven by narcissistic omnipotence, he has experienced one of the worst and biggest types of narcissistic injury anybody could ever have. Trump knew he was going to defeat Biden in 2020 — and he didn’t. Trump predicted the future and he lost. That is an attack on Trump’s fantasy of infallibility, which may be unconscious. Trump’s loss to Biden was devastating to him.

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