The combining of the personality traits narcissism and sociopathology are an extremely dangerous mix that creates untold suffering. In my experience working with more than 1,000 domestic violence victims over the past 25 years, the most common pair of abuser traits by far are these two.
Narcissists include those who claim their uninformed views supersede the opinions of experts and professionals. Narcissists blame others, to include unseen conspirators, for their every misdeed and misfortune, all while exalting themselves as the savior from evil and ruin. Narcissists proclaim to know everything about everything, while they portray others as weak, unfit and undeserving.
Sociopaths see themselves as above the law while holding others to standards and rules from which he or she is immune and exempt. Sociopaths are proud “not to follow the norm,” yet are the first to scream when someone else strays from a guideline or procedure. They lie and deceive endlessly, label opponents with derogatory nicknames, and have little empathy for the feelings or suffering of “outsiders.”
Sociopaths frequently invent and then target “enemies” in order to assume the role as the “protector” of those who show to them loyalty.
The most loyal and sincere are the perfect victims for such abusers. Knowing that a partner will never leave, these abusive personalities feel uncompelled to accept responsibility for their own misconduct.
If this sounds familiar, it should.
About one in four in a relationship experience some form of abusive conduct, many as described above.
And you thought this behavioral combination reminds you of Donald Trump.
Trump has named numerous “enemies” in order to claim he is “protecting” his supporters, all while he smears his adversaries. He purports to know everything, is never wrong, and accepts no blame.
Trump claims to defend his “America First” camp while inventing unreal enemies to include “far-left liberals,” “antifa,” “the Deep State,” “the radical left,” and “anarchists.”
Sadly, if Trump is a narcissist and sociopath, he would have no control of his mental construct nor are there remedies to his nature. While some may debate if the president is actually clinically debilitated, more importantly one has to wonder why anyone is willing to make excuses for his outrageous conduct.
On June 15, Trump claimed that the “far-left” is to be blamed for the rioting and the looting that occurred alongside the peaceful calls for racial equality and the cessation of police brutality.
While delivering a July 4 speech Trump condemned “the radical left” for our ills. He characterized Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as dangerous left-wingers. Trump reframed American wartime victories as stopping the “radical left” instead of actually recalling victory over the far right – our true enemies included Nazis, fascists, dictatorships, and radical Islam, not socialists.
Trump announced on Aug. 21 that he is “the only one” who can save us from “anarchy.”
The irony is that promoting states’ rights, less government interference, and encouraging more self-reliance are not anarchist notions but rather are the hallmarks of traditional Republican thinking.
Biden and the Democratic Party have made no radical-left statements nor promoted any wishes to stray from the Constitution. Trump, on the other hand, challenges the peaceful transfer of power if he loses the upcoming election — in full defiance of our precious Constitution.
Trump claims he knows more than the scientists, generals, and the experts, yet he ignores intelligence briefings, vital new data and expert advice.
Trump warns unseen anarchists and “the deep state” are trying to undermine America while known threats to our democracy, like Russian election intervention, he ignores.
Trump states that “antifa” should be and will be designated as a “terrorist organization,” yet here is no bona fide group “antifa” — it is a concept. Just like there is no group “democracy movement.”
One can appraise Trump, Fox “News,” and his “America First” crowd as being in a codependent relationship that feeds off each other.
Trump acquires power through an adoring and ever-loyal following. Fox gets high viewer ratings. The MAGA crowd wants “enemies” to oppose, privilege to preserve and a hater to lead them.
Those who will never abandon Trump are the biggest victims. America and Fox after Trump will heal and move on. But some who attended mass rallies during this pandemic were exposed to COVID-19 and have died.
If you wonder why a victim of domestic violence doesn’t leave — it is the same reason as why Trump’s followers are loyal to the end. Many victims are willing to embrace misconduct, excuse the lies and even risk death to defend their abuser.
Jonathan Kraut directs a private investigations agency, is the CEO of a private security firm, is the COO of an acting conservatory, a published author, and Democratic Party activist. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal or of other organizations.