Everyone is talking about how terrible the last two weeks have been for Donald Trump. Many people are wondering about how Trump could keep making such obvious blunders. All of these blunders and controversies have one thing in common: narcissism.
He doesn’t think that anyone could possibly misunderstand him — to the extent that he thinks about what others might think — because he knew what he meant. It is as simple as that. He knows what he meant. But, of course, once the questions start flying, the thing he says he meant shifts to whatever will satisfy the critics. His narcissism dictates that whatever is beneficial to him in the moment is the correct.
Today, basically, he encouraged people to take a shot at Clinton. He did in a very indirect or veiled way. Maybe he didn’t mean it the way it sounded, but it doesn’t matter. His talk of violence has the same effect as racist and sexist jokes. It has been demonstrated that people overhearing racist and sexist jokes are more likely to commit racist and sexist acts at their next opportunity. In addition, racists and chauvinists who hear the jokes think that their beliefs are being confirmed and normalized.
Those of us who are not inclined to violence or assassination will not be encouraged to act on Trump’s words, but like the racist or chauvinist who believes that the racist and chauvinist jokes of others confirm their beliefs, the would-be assassin believes that he or she has just had his or her belief confirmed. It is in effect encouragement.
It doesn’t matter whether Trump understands this or not. That he doesn’t understand it or understands it and is willing to say these things anyway makes him dangerous.
Let me know what you think of Trump’s campaign, his recent blunders, and this statement in the comments.