What happens when you threaten a narcissist´s control?
The narcissist must nullify that threat, either directly, indirectly or through withdrawal.
If you tell a narcissist that he is not good looking, this threatens his sense of superiority and thus his control. His narcissism will compel him to nullify this threat to his control. One way of doing this would be for the narcissist to respond with, “Yes I am, you do not know what you are talking about. Ask anybody, they will tell you I am good looking.”
The narcissist has sought to nullify the threat to his control by denial (asserting he is good looking), denial again (you do not know what you are talking about therefore I deny you are correct) and grandiose triangulation (ask anybody, they will tell you I am good looking.”
What happens if you tell the President of the United States The New York Times has issued the first of its reports chronicling his tax filings, revealing that he paid a mere $750 in federal income taxes the year he ran for president, and again during his first year in office?
You threaten his control. His narcissism therefore needs to nullify the threat immediately. President Trump did this by utilising his favoured form of (basic) manipulation, dismissive denial. He said the reports were “made up”.
“It’s fake news,” he told reporters at the time. “It’s totally fake news. Made up. Fake. We went through the same stories. You could have asked me the same questions four years ago. I had to litigate this and talk about it. Totally fake news. No.”
Then, he deflected blame, attempting to cast doubts about the legitimacy of the report with his own false claim.
Trump has used the allegation of fake news over 2000 times since he took office. If I told him that, he would tell me that too was fake news. Why? Because in his world it is fake.
What happens when you tell a narcissist he has lost the Presidential election?
You threaten his control. On a massive scale. You are threatening his control over hundreds of millions of people within his country and furthermore, by stripping him of the position of President (in due course) you threaten his control over billions of people worldwide.
This is a huge problem for the narcissist and his narcissism instinctively will reject this threat to his control and galvanises the narcissist to take action to nullify this threat and this is what the world has witnessed on a near daily basis since it was announced that Joe Biden had won the US Presidential election in November 2020.
Repeated allegations of electoral fraud, that the election win was stolen away from him, that there is a conspiracy to usurp him from office and similar assertions have been made. This culminated in pro-Trump protestors storming the Capitol building in Washington on January 6th 2021, drawing worldwide condemnation for such actions.
What is going on?
President Trump is a narcissist. He is what I categorise as an Upper Lesser Type B Narcissist. What does this mean? These are some of the fundamental points.
- He has no emotional empathy
- He sees the world through his narcissistic perspective of people either being under his control/giving him control (white) or threatening his control/not under control (black)
- He does not operate a façade, meaning what you see is what you get. He is not polished, smooth or statesmanlike, but instead is bombastic, belligerent and bullying
- He has achieved considerable success in terms of wealth, fame and political power
- He does not know that he is a narcissist
- You are either with him (“you are great, great people, we love you”) or you are against him (“the fake news media / “Crooked Hillary” (Hillary Clinton) Leaking Sneaky Dianne Feinstein, “Al Frankenstein” (Al Franken) Puppet Jones (Doug Jones) – the list could go on and on)
- His manipulations, which need to assert control, are obvious and rudimentary
- He has a deluded, inflated sense of self, seeing himself as the best, the expert, the most successful
- He has a huge sense of entitlement and does not recognise boundaries (witness the “grab ém by the pussy comment, talking over people/ interrupting people e.g. Joe Biden in the first televised presidential debate
- He engages in repeated and habitual behaviour which is designed to assert control over anybody and everybody he deals with
- He engages in repeated and habitual behaviour which is designed to draw fuel (this is an emotional response) from anybody and everybody he deals with.
Most leaders are narcissists, so President Trump is hardly alone in that regard. However, where he differs from the likes of say, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan) is that he is a very obvious narcissist. There are thousands of examples which demonstrate this very clearly. Narcissists cause problems, narcissists create great things too, but that is a discussion for another time. This article´s purpose is not to explain in detail why President Trump is a narcissist and why he is an Upper Lesser Type B, its purpose is to help you understand what has happened recently by placing it in the context of President Trump being a narcissist.
Like any other narcissist, everything that President Trump says and does is done through the lens of his narcissism. We are able to understand the reasons he behaves as he does through that particular prism which interprets his behaviour. Many, many people support President Trump, they regard his behaviours are honest, refreshing, cocking a snook to established political dynasties, a man who speaks in terms ordinary people understand, a complete change to the liberal technocratic elite and those supporters are perfectly entitled to support him since his stance resonates with them. His detractors see him as liar, a bully, a contrarian, a disgrace to office, someone who shames the United States, a racist, a sexist and a bigot. A haughty, high-handed dismissive individual. They too are entitled to form their opinion.
Whatever you think of Trump, hate him or hail him, love him or loathe him, that is a matter for you and you alone. I am not here to tell you to worship him or wish he never existed, not at all, I am here to explain his behaviour because he is one of my kind, a narcissist.
Let us look at what happened with regard to the recent US Presidential Election.
President Donald Trump of the Republican Party, who was elected in 2016, sought re election to a second term, against former vice president Joe Biden of the Democratic Party. The general election was held on November 3, with voters directly selecting their state’s members to the U.S. Electoral College. On November 7, most national media organizations projected that Biden had clinched enough electoral votes to be named the US President Elect. The formal voting by the Electoral College took place on December 14. The US Congress was then scheduled to certify the electoral result on January 6, 2021, and the new president inaugurated on January 20, 2021.
There is a considerable amount of detail which exists with regard to the timeline between November 3rd and now and to list it all whilst instructive would be unwieldly, therefore a variety of representative examples serve to demonstrate the behaviour of the narcissist to the repeated threats to his control. What follows next is a selection of threats to Trump´s control and the response to that threat. It is important to understand that from President Trump´s perspective, all of these were credible threats and furthermore his actions were entirely appropriate. This is not a perspective that was always shared by others however, including news networks, judges, politicians and the electorate.
- As early as November 5th Trump launched lawsuits in the Chatham County, Georgia Superior Court and the Michigan Court of Claims, both lawsuits were dismissed. These law suits sought to nullify the threat to Trump´s control posed by the belief that there was a voter fraud which was adversely affecting the outcome of the election
- A Pennsylvania state judge allowed poll watchers to observe a Philadelphia ballot within 6 feet. Again this seeks to nullify the threats.
- When the Associated Press, Fox News and other major networks called Pennsylvania for Biden allowing him to be named President Elect, Rudi Giuliani held a press conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping in Philadelphia to discuss the status of Trumps legal challenges to the state´s ballot counting process
- On November 7th, Biden issued a statement saying that “With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation” This threatens Trumps control again and he responds with refusing to concede, Trump proceeds with his legal challenges, releasing a statement saying that “this election is far from over. Joe Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor … until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands
- A series of legal challenges were brought by Trump, some succeed, some fail, some were dropped. Again, all of them are his response to the threat to his control posed by the stated loss of the election.
- December 12 Trump tweeted ” I WON THE ELECTION IN A LANDSLIDE, but remember, I only think in terms of legal votes, not all of the fake voters and fraud that miraculously floated in from everywhere! What a disgrace!”
This tweet provides excellent insight into President Trump´s narcissism. There is no evidence that he has won by a landslide, but his narcissism tells him that this is the case and therefore he believes it, rejecting the threat to his control posed by the election defeat by declaring he won by a landslide. (Delusion, Assertion of Control). How does he know he won by a landslide? Were there opinion polls beforehand predicting that? No. Did he ring every voter in the US and 80% confirmed they voted for him? No. Does he have access to information proving that he had won by a landslide, some definitive mystical list? No. His narcissism tells him he has won by a landslide and he believes it despite there being no evidence to support that.
Such a level of delusion is part of the narcissism, although he does not realise this and it brought to mind the behaviour of “Baghdad Bob” In March of 2003, during the war on Iraq, Saddam’s Minister of Information was everybody’s favorite inadvertent comedian. Sporting a black beret and a bombastic lexicon, Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf appeared on TV daily to predict American failure and deny the Baghdad invasion–sometimes even as U.S. tanks appeared behind him. He claimed the war against the US was being won, just as a US tank rolled past him as he was being interviewed, such was the level of delusion at which he operated.
A narcissist who was more evolved, who had lost the election may well have stated :-
“I have legitimate concerns that a very tight contest has not been counted correctly and that I have prevailed, albeit by a narrow margin of victory. I shall be asking x,y and z to undertake an independent and thorough investigation and recount to ensure the correct and legitimate outcome is determined, democracy must prevail. I shall invite Mr Biden to agree to a stay on any announcement and potential transition until this matter has been thoroughly and properly investigated.” Could Mr Biden refuse? Possibly, but he would look bad. This would have been the smart move, but President Trump´s narcissism does not operate this way. Instead, he undermines himself with the unsubstantiated announcement that he won by a landslide, but, like many narcissists, his narcissism blinds him to how self-defeating the proclamation is because the narcissism does not care about what comes next, it only cares about securing control in that moment and will do so by any means, no matter how ridiculous or bizarre.
It is important to explain that Trump is not doing this because he is a bad loser. He is not doing this because he somehow hopes that he will be proved right. He honestly believes he is right. He honestly believes that the election has been rigged. It is not the case that he knows it is not rigged but he is being awkward just for the hell of it. He has an absolute conviction that he is right because of his sense of entitlement to remain President. He cannot believe or accept that he could lose. Through his narcissistic perspective he believes he should remain President and his narcissism is telling him (although he does not know that this is his narcissism) that if the election result says he is no longer president then that can only be one thing, fake news, it is rigged, it is stolen and therefore his narcissism compels him to launch these various lawsuits as an attempt to assert his control over the election process itself and to remain in power.
It is worth pointing out that this would occur irrespective of any evidence to support the claims. The stated election loss causes absolutely massive wounding to Trump. His narcissism, which is a self defence mechanism fires up and effectively says “Our narcissist´s control is being threatened on a massive scale, we must mobilise to make him take action to assert control and nullify this threat. We must also gather fuel at the same time. Have him refuse to concede, have him launch lawsuits, have him give press conferences refusing to back down and alleging the vote has been rigged, get that Twitter feed going into over drive. Get that control and fuel, go, go,go! And thus, Trump mobilises driven by his narcissism.
If the evidence existed supporting his claims (and so far none has been found either at all or at a level that has been accepted by the relevant decision making bodies) then his attempts to assert control would have met with success and he would have been declared victor, he would remain President for a second term and control would be asserted once again. As it is, these repeated attempts have continued to meet with failure, but his narcissism will not lie down and just shrug and go “oh well, we tried to nullify the threats, but hey shucks we failed”. No, it keeps going. Rather than continue to list each and every example, a summary is effective in demonstrating these points.
- Trump made audacious and repeated claims of election fraud, more than had ever been made before and sought to coax elected officials to accept his position. (Assertion of Control, direct and indirect)
- Lawsuits have developed around elections before, but never in US history has an election been followed by a legal battle of the scope mounted by the Trump campaign. Trump, the loser, sued in every state, with multiple lawsuits, where flipping the result could help him win. (Assertion of Control)
- The fact that Trump lost basically all the lawsuits has not altered his view that the election was rigged (Delusion, Denial, Assertion of Control)
- Political pressure on local elections officials. This was the year for local officials from both parties to receive death threats as they worked to finish the vote counting and then certify the result. Many Republican officials, as in Philadelphia, Michigan and Georgia, reacted to the pressure with expressions of outrage and brave statements of principle. But other local Republican officials, as in Detroit, responded to the merest charm offensive from Trump by trying to retract their certification of the county results. (Assertion of Control)
- Goaded by Trump, legislators in Pennsylvania asked the supreme court to prevent certification by the state of its result. Republican Senate candidates in Georgia demanded that the Republican secretary of state withdraw from the certification there. The Republican party in Arizona demanding that the election not be certified and even challenging Twitter followers to express their willingness to die to prevent certification. (Assertion of Control)
- On the whole, efforts by these state elected officials to respond to Trump’s sudden demand that they overthrow what everyone had previously recognized as a democratic process were half-hearted and ineffectual, nevertheless, they still amounted to a demonstration of his attempts on a repeated basis to assert control by nullifying the huge threat to his control posed by the stated election defeat.
The repeated failure to concede, to accept that the election was not rigged and that he has lost has mystified many people, but they do not realise that President Trump honestly believes he has been cheated and he will go on believing that because from his perspective he HAS been cheated. Moreover, many that support him and voted for him, would, understandably, prefer him to remain President and therefore it is unsurprising to see his supporters rally behind him, seizing on his declarations of election rigging and breathing fresh life into the allegations.
As the machinery continued to grind forward towards Joe Biden´s inauguration, it was necessary for Congress to confirm that Joe Biden would be President and this would be done on January 6. Numerous pro-Trump supporters had planned to exercise their legitimate right of protest at the Capitol building in Washington. This resulted in the Capitol being stormed by protestors and the death of four people and thereafter worldwide coverage and condemnation. What has President Trump´s behaviour demonstrated in relation to this recent event?
He called on his supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol building to “go home” in a video message and subsequent tweet on Wednesday, which Twitter has now removed, but defended the destructive mob for infiltrating the building and said he “loves” his supporters who forced their way into the Capitol.
Trump told supporters he “know[s] your pain, I know your hurt” for their anger over his presidential loss, saying, “We love you, you’re very special.”
The president continued to insist the presidential election was fraudulent, which there is no evidence to support.
“You have to go home now, we have to have peace, we have to have law and order,” Trump said, saying that his supporters “can’t play into the hands of these people.”
Trump asserts control over his supporters through the manipulation of flattery by describing them as special and that he loves them. He does not care for how this would be viewed as condoning the behaviour because he does not operate a façade and it is necessary for him to do this in order to not only assert control over his supporters but also once again to reject the election result. Notice that although he tells the supporters to go home and there has to be law and order, he blameshifts by saying that it is actually the fault of “these people” because if you keep protesting they will just use it against you. A classic victim mentality exhibited by the narcissist.
In a now-removed tweet, Trump then told his supporters to “remember this day forever” and said of the violent break-in to the Capitol building, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away.” He continues the delusion driven by his narcissism and continues to reject and nullify the threat to his control caused by the election defeat.
Trump’s video message came after President-elect Joe Biden called on Trump to put an “end” to the “insurrection” and denounce his supporters in more forceful terms. Joe Biden´s call of course would be a threat to Trump´s control also and he rejects this by not denouncing them and instead flattering them.
Trump´s response to the storming of the Capitol is no surprise whatsoever and is commensurate with the type of narcissist that he is. Congress eventually certified Joe Biden´s election win and there have been calls for the 25th Amendment to be used to strip Trump of his presidential powers after yesterday´s events, such calls of course again will amount to a further threat to his control.
Trump remains bullish. He is extraordinarily well fuelled, both in terms of negative and positive fuel from his supporters and detractors in positions both high and low. This will enable him to continue to assert control over anybody who challenges his control further and this will not result in him lying down and going quietly.
In the meantime, Joe Biden, will be inaugurated as the next president of the United States. You cannot relax though Joe, as you will be going under the Tudorscope in due course also.