I think my biggest failures as a Trump-watcher were not seeing his ongoing denial of his election loss and that there were people in the militia world who would organize an insurrection for him. I guess there are a couple of reasons for that failure. First, I was and still am so tired of Trump, but that don’t make him go away and it don’t make him any less dangerous. However, I was hoping that once the election was past, he would fade into the woodwork to quietly work the grift of being out of office. He is, only he ain’t being so quiet about it. Second, I thought that the FBI had a better handle on the militias. Seriously. I thought they had infiltrated groups and were keep tabs on these yahoos, especially after the Michigan plot to kidnap and execute Gov. Whitmer. And, third, I figured the GQP leadership would give Trump the lipservice brush off once he was out of office because they were as desperate to be shut of him as the rest of us.
There are lessons to be learned from these failures and from applying our understanding of narcissisitic personality disorder to our current national political situation. Between losing the election and the indictments that landed today, he’s likely to continue ratcheting up his already frothy frantic state. Let’s kinda go through these in some kind of logical order.
The Diagnosis: Unproductive Malignant Narcissist
First, I reckon, anyone who needs a refresher on what happens when you mix a narcissism of a purity never seen before among humankind, with an executive dysfunction approaching absolute zero, and a sadistic cruelty streak a mile and a kilometer wide, then you should follow those links. Here’s the upshot of the whole mess:
- A narcissist is a blackhole of insecurity, self-doubt, and a self-esteem as low as the Mariana Trench embedded in a turd with laminated in a gleaming golden cover of pseudo-perfection. In order to protect themselves from experiencing their inner core of dread, they’ve convinced themselves that they are perfect, literally. Perfection means:
- They are the smartest person in the room, so there’s no need to listen to anyone else.
- They know everything, so their every thought is right and correct, every idea is genius.
- They don’t make mistakes, so they cannot learn by evaluating what went wrong.
- They believe that exceptions to every rule will be made for them.
- A narcissistic wound is anything that pierces their conscious awareness and suggests that they are anything less than the thin veneer of perfection must be destroyed immediately in its entirity. A raging vindictive monster lurks within the echoing hollowness of the narcissist.
- Executive dysfunction means that he lacks the executive functioning necessary to manage his emotional impulses, plan, or execute a plan. He has minimal reasoning and logic skills.
- Malignant means he enjoys the suffering of others but doesn’t personally inflict physical harm on others. He prefers to the emotional and psychological suffering that result from his actions or inactions.
Because of his diagnosis as an unproductive malignant narcissistic personality disorder, I correctly surmised that he would not organize a violent reaction to his election loss. He couldn’t organize it because he’s incapable of planning anything that complex. He wanted it to happen, but he personally is incapable of actually doing it or participating in it, which brings us to the second point.
Two Narcissistic Wounds
Trump is now dealing with the mother of all narcissistic wounds: he’s lost the election and he’s facing indictments. He’s franticallly doing the “I’ll be re-instated” pee-pee dance to stave off the reality of having lost. It is inconcievable to him that he could’ve lost.
Election Loss: All of the harebrained desperate schemes to thwart the outcome of the election from trying to get alternate slates of electors appointed by state legislatures to Mike Pence just not counting slates of electors to finding the votes in Georgia to the Arizona fraudit are all the products of desperate man desperate to deny the reality of having lost because it would confirm to him that he is such a loser and the turd that is his life would implode upon the empty cavity where his soul should be. Trump will never give up trying to prove he won the 2020 election.
The indictments: He and his businesses are one. There is no difference between himself and his business. He personally may not ever be indicted, but the threat to Trump Org is an existential threat to him. He’s putting tremendous pressure on Allen Weisselberg to stay loyal. I don’t know what he has as leverage, but the man has been gaslighted for the past fifty years, it might not take much to convince him to die in prison to keep Trump outta prison.
When reality intrudes into the life of a narcissist and none of the usual tricks in the gaslighting toolbag can keep it at bay, denial will work. We see it in response to the election. Trump is simply in denial. He cannot and will not ever accept that he actually lost. We’ll see it with regard to the indictment and conviction. He will cry witchhunt to whoever will listen and then continue crying even if we aren’t.
What’s going to happen?
Trump relies on chaos. It is how he has achieved anything and everything. Listen to his speech in Ohio the other day claiming that the US has been plunged back into carnage — remember his American Carnage inaugural address? — without his leadership. He believes that through some magical alchemial elixir of public violent chaos that the adoring masses will beg him to return to the White House to deliver us to the unique version of Trumpland nirvana that exists only in his head. That some mythical power-that-be will re-instate him. Whoever needs to make the exception to the rule will make it for him.
To achieve this, he needs to fire up the ol’ grievance machinary gin up the base and get the masses in the streets with tiki torches and pitch forks. Again, listen to his “campaign” speech. Who did he mention?
- The GQP House members that voted for the 6 January Insurrection commission
- The state officials who wouldn’t throw the election to him, yes, we’re looking at you Brian Kemp and Brad Raffensperger. Why do are you even trying to re-ingratiate yourself to the Trump base?
- The Michigan Senate Oversight Committee report stating that there was no fraud and Joe Biden won
- “Woke” generals who wouldn’t lead the Insurrection Act since it would’ve been an illegal order
- All the forces that are conspiring against him to keep him from assuming office
His rhetoric is intended to inflame the base to spontaneously combust into some kind of as yet undefined violence against his enemies both named and alluded to. There are two problems with this. First, many in the base are getting bored with his rehashing of the old hits. The problem with throwing red meat to the ravening wolves is that it has to be fresh. It goes off pretty quickly. You can’t just chopping on the rotting decaying corpse of your same old grievances. We need new grievances. Trump can’t move on from the election and the inaction of the GQP to steal it for him. He can’t. And, he can’t believe that the base will either. It can’t believe that the grievances that animate him don’t animate them. That’s a big prolem for Trump.
Also, the people who organized the last violent insurrection are in jail and some are turning state’s evidence. Who is going to organize the second insurrection? The Proud Boys, Three Percenters, and Oath Keepers aren’t deep organizations with new leaders being groomed to step in at a moment’s notice to take the place of fallen leaders.
What are they going to attack? Congress? The White House? State capitols? It’s hard to figure out what exactly a coup that Trump won’t plan and lead would look like. Yet, Trump’s narcissism demands that others do it for him. Others take all the risks, face all of the dangers, and, then, just like Allen Weisselberg, hand him the spoils of their hard work.
Which is more likely? An organized insurrection like on 6 January or sporadic lone wolf style attacks maybe even an attempted assassination?
Instead, the GQP has a different coup in mind. While they have Trump to act as a distraction and driving force, they are changing state-level election laws so they can install the candidates of their choice over the outcome of elections. After that, it won’t matter whether the MAGA Nation is with them or not. It won’t matter if the majority are voting Democrat and a minority Trump. The GQP will win regardless.
We’re worried about and by worried I mean social mediaing about another violent insurrection when we should be calling OUR members of Congress and demanding that they pass the For the People Act to protect our elections.
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