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Psychoanalyzing Donald Trump

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Psychoanalyzing Donald Trump

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Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

This article was made possible by the readers and supporters of AlterNet.



  1. TZToronto June 3, 2017

    What more is there to say. This analysis makes perfect sense. I doubt, however, that Trump will be forced to resign in the same way that Nixon was forced to resign. Rather, he’ll fight any way he can to stay POTUS, even if he is impeached. I can see a situation in which Trump, if convicted, refuses to leave the White House, literally. What would happen then? A civil war between Trump’s base of support (they’ve got guns!) and those who want Trump out? A more likely scenario is that Trump will be impeached by the House but not convicted by the Senate (he doesn’t need a whole lot of votes to avoid conviction, and he’d probably get them). Once he’s acquitted, though, he might decide to resign, saying that his actions as President were supported by the Senate and, by extension, the American people. It wouldn’t be true, of course, but in his own mind he’d feel vindicated. He’d go out a winner, in his own mind. A clear failure as President would be shameful and point out both his impotence and his incompetence. Resigning on his own terms, unlike Nixon, would make him feel that he’s the winner (until he’s charged after leaving office with whatever real crimes he’s committed).

    1. Dominick Vila June 4, 2017

      What is likely to happen is going to be congressional indifference, and a major distraction. The latter is probably going to be a major war with North Korea. If that happens, many Americans may be inclined to ignore Trump’s behavior, including potential acts of obstruction of justice and even treason, while the country, under Trump’s leadership, is fighting a dangerous foreign leader.

      1. Mama Bear June 4, 2017


      2. rich corozine June 4, 2017

        As ridiculous as North Korea is, look at it objectively: your country has 40,000 foreign troops completely hostile to you on your border; this country has some 12,000 nuclear weapons, many pointed at you, while you have (maybe) one or two, and at present can’t reach this hostile country; since WW2 this country has been hostile to everything you’ve ever done – foments trouble with your neighbor to the south, refuses to meet with your leaders, places numerous economic sanctions on you to destroy you…suppose the US was in this position? It is like with Iran: historically the US has done far more negative things to that country than Iran has ever done to the US. Ever! You always seem sane in your responses, so don’t buy into the america first view of the world (even subliminally). The US has caused way more trouble around the world than it has helped and is steeped in some pretty nefarious episodes too numerous to mention. The dangerous country is the US, not North Korea. NK is pathetically poor and undeveloped. It is like saying Vietnam was a dangerous (existential) threat to the US, or Nicaragua, or Venezuela, or Iran, or Iraq, or Syria, or Lebanon, or Chile, or Dominican Republic, or Cuba, or the Caribbean Islands, or Bolivia, or Haiti, or countless others that just want to live their lives as they see it and the US, always the “greatest”, just doesn’t except that.

        1. Dominick Vila June 4, 2017

          I share most of the sentiments and opinions you expressed. I lived in Venezuela from 1946 to 1958, and I still remember the overt influence we exercised over just about everything that happened in that country in those days. The eventual result, which proved to be catastrophic for a country with vast natural resources has been catastrophic. I remember the days of United Fruit in Central America, the murder of Mossadegh, our interventions in Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. The myopic invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, while giving Saudi Arabia, the homeland of the 9/11 terrorists a free pass.

      3. TZToronto June 4, 2017

        As Isaac Asimov said, “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” When Trump’s prospects start looking especially dreadful, his closest advisers may decide that war will save him and then. At that point, Congress will have a choice–follow the incompetent Trump over the cliff or stand in the way of disaster. Trump’s base will demand the biggest war possible, and Republicans will fret about re-election should they oppose Trump’s self-serving stupidity. Of course, there’s a small chance that enough GOP Reps will see through Trump’s attempt to save himself by killing thousands of Americans and potentially millions of Koreans (or Iranians) to stop him in his tracks via impeachment.

        1. rich corozine June 4, 2017

          Better yet, TZ, is Samuel Johnson’s oh-so-true: “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.”

          1. TZToronto June 4, 2017

            That works, too.

  2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth June 3, 2017

    Such an excellent article, and a definitive one in my estimation and that of so many others. While we all are good at sizing up a person just by obvious and subtle cues, it lends more weight to the description of the complex factors which make Donald such an historically dysfunctional person—surpassing even Hitler insofar as the degree of feeling the constant need to asserting himself.

    This article should be republished in as wide of circle as possible, across the nation and abroad, so that people will have a benchmark of what qualities help define as sick a person as Donald. Perhaps, an entry called “Trumpaphilia” should be added, as a description of an inordinate personality disorder which carries with it a carnal/emotional fetish component, to the DSM-V manual.

  3. Dominick Vila June 3, 2017

    Spot on. As for reckless military attacks, the most likely is a nuclear attack against NK.

  4. 1standlastword June 3, 2017

    Of all the people who read this or already know it; who of them feels sorry for Donald Trump!?

    I think this man who is so efficient at making enemies is beyond the compassion of all but a small number of people.

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    2. 11thStPopulist June 4, 2017

      I actually feel compassion for any family with someone facing medical catastrophes. Trump is a stroke/ heart attack waiting to happen – as are his anti- science base, also addicted to junk food and no exercise. He may have early Alzheimer’s or blockages of oxygen to the brain from clogged arteries as well. Without a competent medical exam, this nation does not know. All we know for sure, as demonstrated by his irrational behavior, is that he is mentally ill.

  5. Mama Bear June 4, 2017

    Bottom line is Trump is one sick pup, just like we have all known all along. I do not feel sorry for him, I do not feel anything but disgust for him. His actions are actually reactions and we all knew that too. There will be no action by Congress. They are all way too drunk on their new-found power and money to care anything about our country.

    1. plc97477 June 4, 2017

      I think congress will step up and do something but it is going to mean letting them know that there jobs are at stake. They are pretty self centered and that will make them do the right thing.

      1. 11thStPopulist June 4, 2017

        I don’t this THIS congress will act. They can manipulate Trump’s inflated ego to get their draconian concessions from the rest of us (health care, social security, environment, public lands, public education, etc) to benefit the oligarchs and 1% for whom they work. We need to change the composition of the house and senate in 2018, then they can clean up this White House mess.

  6. Independent1 June 4, 2017

    “For example, take Trump’s extreme grandiosity. He is always the biggest, the best, and the greatest. This self-aggrandizement makes sense if it is seen as a defense against feeling small and insignificant—in other words, inferior.”

    I certainly have no intention of making excuses for the way Donald Trump acts, but we should keep in mind that part of Donald’s narcissistic tendencies are the results of his parents brainwashing him to believe he has ‘superior genes’; and therefore is always the smartest, grandest person in any room or contest he enters.

    See this from the DailyKos:

    Shocking video of Trump explaining his dangerous theory that people like him have superior genes

    PBS and The Huffington Post have uncovered video evidence of Donald Trump’s long-held beliefs that he (and people like him) are genetically superior:

    The Frontline documentary “The Choice,” which premiered this week on PBS, reveals that Trump agrees with the dangerous and abusive theory of eugenics.

    Trump’s father instilled in him the idea that their family’s success was genetic, according to Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio.

    “The family subscribes to a racehorse theory of human development,” D’Antonio says in the documentary. “They believe that there are superior people and that if you put together the genes of a superior woman and a superior man, you get a superior offspring.”



    And it certainly didn’t help that Daddy was a tyrant who demanded a lot of Donald when he was growing up but was yet willing to constantly bail him out from one failure after another; spending millions in the process. His dads willingness to cover for him in his many failures surely gave him the expectations that he could do no wrong and that somehow he deserved to be bailed out even at the expense of others like investors, contractors and even people who worked for him. And Daddy even got him involved with mobsters.

    A good article on how Daddy helped to corrupt Donald is here:

    Donald Trump’s Many Business Failures, Explained


    And here:

    “The Making of Donald Trump”: David Cay Johnston on Trump’s Ties to the Mob & Drug Traffickers


    1. Mama Bear June 4, 2017

      but….there comes for all of us an “age of accountability” when we are supposed to look inward and take stock of what we are and what we think. For those who never do that there is no redemption. There is no pity. There is nothing but an unexamined life – which is not worth living.

      1. Independent1 June 4, 2017

        I agree, that’s why I’m not trying to make excuses for Donald, he certainly eagerly let Daddy go about corrupting him in every way possible. As you point out, the bottom line guilt is on Donald himself – but I think that in addition to what is pointed out in this article, people need to understand that Donald didn’t get the way he is on his own. His parents were an enormous factor in turning Donald into the monster he has become.

        1. Mama Bear June 4, 2017

          our parents are always an enormous factor in who we are. But…and I’m sorry to disagree with you…our lives are our own and none of us escape a “dysfunctional” childhood on some level. We alone are accountable for who we become after that.

          1. plc97477 June 4, 2017

            I don’t think anyone is trying to give him a “get out of jail free card” just trying to explain how he got to where he is. We all agree that our parents give us our start in who we will be but it is on us to do the best with what they give us. tRump didn’t do as well as most.

          2. 11thStPopulist June 4, 2017

            Most mature people do as you say, Mama Bear. Trump not only had arrested development at an immature point in life (high school?), but it was reinforced for him in the business world. He also had many unsavoury business acquaintances (Mafia) building his hotels, and apparently few honorable role models.

            His world of oligarchs, who buy people and things without conscience, display little character development. Trump, with the help of Russians looking for a pliable fool, bought this election. He has very little self awareness and will not mature into a decent human being in our lifetimes.

          3. Mama Bear June 5, 2017

            and I think he chose his path…or at the very least chose to stay on that path.

          4. Independent1 June 4, 2017

            Sorry, but I have a wife and several relatives whose lives were dramatically traumatized by their parents’ upbringing. Who they are has been severely altered by the traumatization they received in growing up. To suggest that Trump’s parents are not significantly responsible for the way Donald is today, is to refused to believe reality. My wife has been told by numerous mental professionals that her life was severely affected by the way she was treated as a child. She is still carrying the scars of their misguided treatment from them for more than 70 years!!

          5. Mama Bear June 4, 2017

            Now I understand your frame of reference, Indy, and I am very sorry for what your wife has experienced. It is not fair that a human is mistreated and abused and I totally agree that the experience leaves scars that do not heal. She is in fact very lucky to have a partner who is as kind and understanding as you are. I was not in any way talking about abuse…which is quite different than what Trump is all about.

          6. Independent1 June 4, 2017

            But it’s not just what we call ‘abuse’ that can warp a person’s life or character, it’s also being exposed at an early age to the outright corrupt nature of one’s own parents that can turn them into monsters like Donald.

            See this article from Politico about what helped turn Donald into what he is today.

            The Men Who Gave Trump His Brutal Worldview

            Fred Trump was a fiercely ambitious man who worked seven
            days a week and devoted few waking hours to his role as a parent. Although he pushed his son Donald to prevail in every arena—to be a “killer” and a “king”—Fred didn’t actually tell the young man how to achieve this destiny. His way of paying attention to his children was to let them watch him at work. As Donald Trump told me in an interview for the biography I was writing about him, he was expected to learn things “by osmosis.” One such lesson came when Donald was seven years old, and his father was brought before a U.S. Senate committee investigating abuses in a housing program for war veterans and middle class families. President Eisenhower had been outraged to learn of the bribes that developers paid to bureaucrats and of the alleged profiteering practiced by Trump and others. Ike called them “sons of bitches.”

            As federal investigators had discovered, the elder Trump had collected an extra $1.7 million in rent—equivalent to $15 million today—before beginning to pay back his low-cost government loan. He was able to do this because a bureaucrat named Clyde Powell approved the paperwork. Powell, who had never been paid more than a modest government salary, had mysteriously amassed a small fortune. (While it was clear Powell accepted bribes, the sources were never officially identified.) In addition to collecting the extra rent, Trump paid himself a substantial architect’s fee. And he charged inflated rents based on an estimate of construction costs that was far greater than what he actually spent. All of this was legal, even if it did victimize taxpayers, veterans, and other renters.

            Like his father, Donald J. Trump seems to be a patriotic American, but like his father he’s also someone who never misses a chance to bend the rules.

            For more go here:


          7. Mama Bear June 5, 2017

            thank you for this, Indi. I know that I am sometimes more demanding of myself and my loved ones with regard to self-examination than may be possible. Here is a book that I think you and possibly your wife would find interesting:

    2. 11thStPopulist June 4, 2017

      All that you say about his personality development may be true. However, at Trump’s age, weight, and lifestyle choices, he may have an undiagnosed medical condition. He probably will see the quack who called him the most”terrific, wonderful, amazingly healthy president to walk on the planet” (or whatever), because someone has to prescribe his statin and ED drugs. This is obviously a morally/ethically challenged doctor so I don’t count him among qualified professionals, but money apparently buys whatever.

      If he had a competent medical exam, it may reveal early Alzheimer’s or cerebral hypoxia (restriction of oxygen to the brain from clogged arteries). Comparisons with how lucid he was in past videos compared to his current incomprehensible behavior demonstrates there has been a change in his cognitive function.

      1. Independent1 June 4, 2017

        You make a good point; something certainly is going on with Donald’s brain; be it Alzheimer’s or as you point out clogged arteries blocking blood flow to his brain. Whatever is going on is only making Donald an increasingly sporadic, manic person whose actions are totally unpredictable and dangerous.

        Ideally, the investigation into his and his campaign’s collusion with the Russians needs to be hurried up which should prove that the 2016 election was a total fraud; and not only Trump but also Pence should be charged with treason and the GOP kicked out of the White House with Hillary, the rightful winner, installed as president.

        1. 11thStPopulist June 4, 2017

          Pence has certainly been implicated in cover-ups as he blatantly lied about what he knew concerning both Michael Flynn’s treachery, and the conspiracy to fire James Comey.

          Once Trump has been successfully impeached, Pence may have to face his own charges.

          2018 cannot come soon enough as over turning the congress and senate is the only chance democracy has, IMO. Republicans are too lilly- livered to do their jobs for the American people. In fact, they only represent special interest oligarchs and the 1%. This Trump debacle lays bear their true motivations and they should all be expelled!

          1. itsfun June 6, 2017

            You will be very disappointed when President Trump gets re-elected.

  7. Theodora30 June 4, 2017

    Not to nitpick but the “golden showers” story is that Trump paid prostitutes to urinate on the bed because it was where oBama and his wife had slept on their visit.

  8. Al Kowsky June 4, 2017

    I hope one of Trump’s aids reads this article to him (knowing he doesn’t like to read). The only people who would find this article abhorrent are his core 35% supporters. Intelligent educated people will find this article to be accurate & well written.

  9. Harper West, MA June 4, 2017

    I completely agree that poor shame tolerance is the root of “narcissism” and “sociopathy.” I have developed a revolutionary new paradigm to replace the DSM called Self-Acceptance Psychology that reframes “mental disorders” as adaptive responses to a natural need for love and belonging, the natural fear response, and low self-worth and shame that result from developmental or attachment trauma. These factors lead to an inability to handle shame in healthy ways. Self-Acceptance Psychology identifies poor shame tolerance as a key factor in development of anxiety, depression, personality disorders, and other supposed mental illnesses. People adopt one of three Counterproductive Shame Management Strategies that define essentially all unhealthy behaviors in relationships with self and others. Trump is an extreme “Other-Blamer,” who handles shame by lashing out at others, refusing to be accountable, making excuses, and all the other “narcissistic” descriptors. The key is: When criticized, he cannot handle that shame so he offloads it to others. Two other Shame management Strategies include Self-Blaming and Blame Avoidance. I have a chapter in an upcoming book on Trump’s character flaws called “The Dangerousness of Trump.” Much more at http://www.HarperWest.co

  10. notafoxfan June 4, 2017

    for those of us who are not psychologists,nor psychiatrists,just logical college educated people who can walk, talk, and chew gum at the same time,mr trumps issues have been obvious for quite some time..those who choose to totally accept his behavior by saying, “its just trump being trump”,or he is doing what people elected him to do,are at best, oblivious,and at worst, just blissfully ignorant…it takes only an observation to note the man is 70 years old,not in very good physical shape, and overweight..all of those factors affect every part of your body,including your arterial flow and your brain function..he has been making a fool of himself in front of other countries,and if people are “laughing at us” as he stated just last week,it is because of what he says and does, and those never ending immature tweets…

  11. itsfun June 4, 2017

    He is a man of his word, a straight talker and you don’t have to be a lawyer to understand what he says. He does something foreign to politicians and that is say it as he sees it, not as others want him to say it. He got elected with his personality and just may get elected again if he chooses to run. He puts America first and watches out for Americans. He has shown the world what a real leader looks like, not someone that draws fake red lines. He has been treated terrible by the left wing media and he still won’t bow to them.

    1. Independent1 June 4, 2017

      And the delusional pathological liar just keeps posting one fantasy lie after another – Donald Trump is a pariah! And absolute disaster for America and the world!!!!!!

    2. DennisRL June 5, 2017

      it’s funny how the people on the right like itsfun are in full denial about what a disaster trump is. When I read ‘he puts America first and watches out for Americans’ it actually makes me want to laugh out loud. Donald trump has never put anyone or anything first except himself. Itsfun, did you even read this article, are just put your one size fits all response to anything about trump. It would truly be funny if it wasn’t such a sad state of affairs for America.

      1. itsfun June 5, 2017

        So far the President has cracked down on sanctuary cities. He is making citizens aware of illegal alien crimes by compiling a list of crimes committed by illegals, has gotten a constitutional following judge on the Supreme Court. reinstated “Mexico city policy” banning federal funding of international abortions. Repealed Obama regulation on guns. Approved the Keystone and Dakota pipeline. Froze the last-minute Obama funding of 200 million funding to the Palestinian Authority. Beefed up immigration enforcement. A new health care plan has passed the House. Signed a requirement that every for every new government regulation, 2 must be eliminated. Kept Carrier furnace manufacturing plant in Indiana. Placed lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying for foreign Governments. Is trying to rebuild the military that Obama has depleted.
        Got out of Paris Accord of non-binding commitments. India has made no commitment. Germany has seen 2 straight years of emission increases. The Philippines have renounced it commitment. It put American last, President Trump puts America first. There is not evidence of “”green job” being created as promised by Obama.
        The President is trying to do everything he promised to do when campaigning. He is trying to protect Americans by imposing a travel ban on potential terrorists. He wants to lower taxes on all of us. This President will get what he got elected to do completed. He will not give into PC groups. I can see the headlines now if President Trump has stayed in the Paris Accord. The left would be saying how he didn’t live up to his campaign promise and he is a liar and every other BS description they can come up with.

        1. DennisRL June 5, 2017

          all the things you mentioned don’t amount to a hill of beans. Only to the Waco nut jobs that supported him or those things important. The really important things like job creation, infrastructure, healthcare, the environment and education go unaddressed. You can promise to make jelly beans taste better when your campaigning but that doesn’t make it important. The problem is that people on the right have lost sight at what makes a democracy great. And it’s not that one side wins and gets to do everything their way. It’s two sides with differing ideas working together to come up with the best way to make our country move forward. What we have now is one side trying to impose their will on the rest of us and that’s how we wind up with a goofball like trump as president.

          1. itsfun June 5, 2017

            You don’t get to decide what amounts to a hill of beans and what doesn’t. 138,000 new jobs were created in May alone. Unemployment went down again. The stock market is at all time highs. The environment and education are being addressed. States will be given more power to make their own laws and rules. The Democrats have said over and over they will try to block everything the President wants to get done. That is being nothing but obstructionist. The Democrats are the side saying we won’t work together. President Trump will prove out to be a very good President, one that brought America back to prominence in the world. He is and will drain the swamp.

          2. DennisRL June 5, 2017

            I don’t know why I even bother. Everything you said is total nonsense. The one fact you mentioned, 138k jobs created. That number was much weaker than expected. Everything else you said is subjective and the same old republican bromides. I’ve voted both republican and democrat over the years but I always tried to keep a logical, pragmatic view of things. And if I needed to criticize whoever voted for I would. With ideologues, which you are, it’s not possible and therefore impossible to have a meaningful conversation. That seems to be where we’re at.

          3. itsfun June 5, 2017

            Everything I said is a fact. I couldn’t care less what a person of your obvious low intelligence thinks of what I say. I don’t care who or what you voted for. You have no idea what a meaningful conversation is. You are just another elitist that believe you know everything, when you actually know nothing. Just another feel better person that sees the world as you want it to be, instead of seeing what really is. You are just a waste of my time.

          4. DennisRL June 5, 2017

            you know, I was the only one on this blog willing to engage you in conversation because everyone else knows what and who you are. But I thought, what the heck, I’ll give it a shot. And your comment proved my point. What a sad person you are.

          5. itsfun June 5, 2017

            You lefties can’t deal with facts. You do believe in the fake news though. I don’t need you to give me a “shot”. I will continue to post what I want and don’t care if you or any other lefties like it or not.

          6. DennisRL June 5, 2017

            I just figured out what your problem is and it’s the same as trumps. You’re as paranoid as he is. You can’t take criticism and you fly off the handle when you get it. That’s funny!!

          7. itsfun June 6, 2017

            You are one sad and sick person. get help

  12. schymtz June 4, 2017

    Six months in office – feels more like 60 year. Trump apparently has strong but distorted defenses psychologically speaking. His issues are born of character disorder, not neurotic. He is shameless. He has little capacity for real introspection, meaning his motivations are not known or understood by himself. Cons con themselves first and most of all.


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