Once upon a time, there was a megalomaniacal, sociopathic, narcissistic and paranoid national leader who was attempting to rise to political power in his politically-divided, post-war nation. This deeply flawed demagogue, who was worshipped by millions of rabble-rousing, beer-drinking, racist, sexist, gun-toting, anti-Semitic, flag-waving, uber-nationalist, xenophobic white supremacists, professed that his goal in running for national office was only to make his supposedly-weak, supposedly under-militarized country great again.
A megalomaniac is a pathological egotist, someone with a psychological disorder who exhibits symptoms like delusions of grandeur and an obsession with greatness, power or wealth.
A sociopath is a person whose behavior is antisocial, often criminally greedy, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility, empathy or social conscience. Sociopaths never sincerely apologize nor are they capable of exhibiting remorse for wrongs that they have committed.
A narcissist is person who has an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration, sexual gratification, applause and a lack of empathy for others.
A paranoid person or group exhibits excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of other individuals or groups.
A xenophobe is a person who is fearful or contemptuous of that which is foreign, especially of strangers or of people from different countries or cultures.
A demagogue is a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument.
This sometimes charismatic political leader was one of the richest persons in the country but was often joked about by courageous comedians of the time. He was sometimes regarded as a buffoon, but he impressed his followers at his frequent campaign stops by dramatically flying in to his political rallies on a private airplane.
This leader often used inflammatory and hate-filled language in his speeches, actually inciting violence among his listeners, and was thus widely covered by the press as an aberration in the struggling, once-civilized, democratic nation. He amassed a devoted coalition of angry, under-employed, xenophobic white supremacists, especially among the millions of psychologically-wounded combat veterans from the last war who were easily recruited to participate in street-fighting for the cause – indeed, even a violent revolution. His followers revered and exuberantly pledged allegiance to the flag.
His nation had suffered the loss of a recent war that had essentially bankrupted the nation – both economically and morally. The lost war had resulted in serious economic challenges. The war had been stupidly started by an out-of-touch, over-privileged, ultra-wealthy, right-wing, all-male leadership that was controlled by the nation’s bankers, industrialists and militarists, all of whom had urged on the war because they sought military glory and potentially huge economic benefits by pillaging the wealth of other nations, especially their oil wealth.
The nations targeted by the nation’s banks and assorted corporations were actually not military threats. In fact, in order to start the war, the political and military leaders of the nation secretly conspired to orchestrate a false flag operation that falsely alarmed the nation into war-readiness. After the Big Lie operation had been accepted as truthful by the masses (thanks to the corporate-controlled media that never questioned the deception) the soon-to-be-unjustly-invaded nation was accused of provoking a war and the brain-washed, duped electorate endorsed the invasion.
This particular megalomaniacal political leader had successfully purged from his adopted right-wing party many of the old establishment leaders that had originally been somewhat centrist. He had seemingly come out of nowhere and gained notoriety and political momentum after a sudden, world-wide economic collapse and recession that had been created by powerful Wall Street speculators and predatory investors. The leader chose to blame the disastrous war that ruined everything not on the 1% uber-wealthy corporate war-hawks and traitors – including himself – that had actually been behind the loss of jobs and lack of economic opportunity. Instead, he blamed the disastrous situation on liberal democratic party members who had taken on the impossible situation of economic depression and massive unemployment that they had not been responsible for in the first place.
The US stock market crash that tanked the world economy and led to planetary chaos had been ignited by the reckless actions of uber-wealthy, manipulative, predatory, multimillionaire financiers, who escaped the punishment they deserved because they were too big to criticize, too big to fail and too important to have their reputations tarnished.
This megalomaniac and his followers were citizens of one of the most advanced, cultured, literate and highly Christianized nations the world had ever known. Sadly, the religion professed a belief in a god was a punitive, vengeful and angry god rather than a merciful, all-loving, nonviolent one as had been the belief of the religion’s founders.
The nation was also highly militarized. It had had a long military tradition that was universally revered by most sectors of the society, even though the military’s officers and soldiers were frequently guilty of actions that were considered international war crimes and crimes against humanity. The nation’s police and military had possessed the best military intelligence, the best spyware and the most lethal weapons systems that the world had ever known – all at crippling cost and little or no return on investment – to the tax-paying population. The nation’s child-rearing tactics were often punitive (the spare the rod/spoil the child doctrine) which resulted in very obedient children and obedient future soldiers who did not question the orders of their superiors – even if ordered to torture enemy non-combatants, for example. Thus the nation’s soldiers quite easily became willing executioners.
The leader and his followers thought that their nation – albeit “weak” at the time, had been and would soon again be exceptional among all the nations of the world, even being ordained by their punitive god to have dominion over all the others nations of the world.
Because the nation was regarded as blessed by god, the citizens naturally thought that aggressive action against any dissenters among them was needed, even to the point of banishment, imprisonment, deportation, execution and torture. In other words, the followers of this sociopathic demagogue – who had a history of being a serial liar and wanted to increase his already significant wealth and power – abandoned all logic and truly believed that the leader could actually – mostly by himself – make his country great again.
In order to convince a plurality of voters to support and vote for him, this leader instilled a paranoia among them to irrationally fear non-whites, non-Christians, people whose first language was not English, immigrants yearning to be free, war refugees (from chaos and war that his nation had caused in the first place) and economic refugees (rom economic crashes that his nation’s giant multinational corporations had caused in the first place). But what seemed to work best was the paranoia that was created against a small, weak religious minority that constituted only 1% of the total population. That unjustly targeted minority was soon to have its sacred places of worship defaced (and then burned down), and the members themselves imprisoned as suspected terrorists, deported as illegal aliens and ultimately “disappeared”.
The megalomaniacal, sociopathic, narcissistic and paranoid national leader/fuehrer described above was, of course, Adolf Hitler – not Donald Trump. The militarized nation was Germany – not America; the war that economically and morally bankrupted Germany was the First World War (1914-1918) – not America’s Gulf War; the flag was the swastika – not the Stars and Stripes; the right-wing political party that hated liberals, progressives and socialists with a lethal passion was the Nazi Party – not the Republican Party; the targeted 1% minority were Jews – not Muslims; and the false flag operation that gave Hitler a reason to start World War II by invading Poland was Operation Himmler (Google it) – not 9/11.
But the historical similarities between what seems to me to be an American friendly fascism and a distinctly unfriendly German fascism do indeed exist and it is not just the fault of Donald Trump. Indeed, Donald Trump probably has never taken the time to study ANY history books at all, so one cannot claim that he is following the historical playbook of fascist dictators. What he is doing is just the nature of demagogues.
And the historical similarities between the psychological aberrations of the fascist fuehrer Hitler and the various leaders behind what is becoming a reality in America do exist. Therefore, in the interest of educating those who are open-minded enough to sit still for some historical enlightenment, the remainder of this essay will try to make some of the connections between what has been said in this political season and what might be in store for America. The commentary below is mine but the criteria are from established documents that are easily available in the literature. I invite readers to do their own psychological evaluations. Recall that both sociopaths and fascists are not to be trusted with political power, military power or economic power. They both consistently lie and deceive and may not even realize that they are doing it. It is also important to understand that, for all intents and purposes, sociopaths are incurable and need to be isolated from society.
1) Donald Trump (along with some of his followers) Scores 7 out of the 7 Criteria on the DSM Sociopathic Personality Disorder Criteria (301.7)
Clinton scores 2 or 3
Stein and Sanders score zero
The official Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder (aka Sociopathic Personality Disorder) is listed below in bold letters. In each of the seven categories I have added, in red, a few examples from the life and times of Donald Trump that supports his qualifications for being diagnosed a sociopath. Readers should make their own determinations and the implications for becoming president.
The disorder is characterized by a lack of regard for – and a marked inability to abide by – societal rules. Individuals with this disorder are sometimes called psychopaths or sociopaths.
According to the DSM, only three of the seven are required to qualify for the diagnosis.
- Repeated acts that could lead to arrest. (Recall the multitude of highly believable charges of sexual assault or sexually-inappropriate behavior that have come from some of the women from Trump’s past. What happened could easily have resulted in Trump’s being charged with criminal sexual assault. On one of his many appearances on the Howard Stern Show, Trump actually laughingly admitted to being a sexual predator – in the presence of his approving daughter Ivanka and son Donald, Jr.)
(Hillary – as has been true of a multitude of other high-profile politicians in both major political parties – has been accused of financial irregularities and email irregularities.)
- Repeated lying, conning others for profit or pleasure, or the use of aliases. (Recall Trump’s lying about knowing Russian President Putin; his refusing to pay creditors for work done on his projects; and his infamous acts of self-promotion on radio programs by pretending to be somebody else.)
(Clinton has been accused selective lying, but a recent evaluation of her speeches showed that only 6% of her statements were false)
- Being impulsive or failing to plan ahead. (Recall Trump’s stupid investments in THREE Atlantic City casinos in the 1990s, includingTrump Plaza, Trump Castle and the Trump Taj Mahal in the already over-built casino sector. Analysts knew, but Trump didn’t realize that the three casinos were certain to cannibalize each other and that debt-service of the high-interest loans would be impossible. Within two years all three casinos had to declare bankruptcy.)
- Repeated assaults on others. (Recall his numerous sexual assaults, his infamous attack on the owner of a professional wrestling association during a match and his verbal assaults on foreigners, Muslims, Mexicans, protestors, assorted minorities, the disabled and the media.)
- Reckless disregard for the safety of others. (Recall Trump’s reckless disregard for the victims of his sexual assaults, his numerous frivolous lawsuits and his many bankruptcy filings.)
- Failure to honor financial obligations. (Recall his numerous bankruptcy filings that stiffed a multitude of creditors and workers that then resulted in dozens of downstream bankruptcies of smaller businesses.)
- Rationalizing the pain he or she has inflicted on others. (Recall Trump’s refusal to apologize to anybody that he has hurt, including President Obama, his sexual conquests and those he has victimized financially.)
(Clinton on one occasion expressed joy over the murder of Omar Gadhafi.)
2) Donald Trump (and Some of his Followers) Scores 8 or 9 out of the 9 Criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder (DSM-IV 301.81)
Clinton scores 2 or 3
Stein and Sanders score zero
This disorder is characterized by a behavior or fantasy of grandiosity, a lack of empathy and a need to be admired by others. A useful definition is “pathological self-love”. Narcissistic individuals have an unrealistic or inflated sense of self-importance, an inability to see the viewpoints of others, and are hypersensitive to the opinions of others as indicated by five or more of the following nine traits:
- A grandiose sense of self-importance, superiority and talent and expects to be recognized as superior.
- A preoccupation with unlimited success, beauty, brilliance, ideal love, power, or wealth.
- A belief in being special and unique and can only be understood or should only be associated with people of high status.
- Requires excessive admiration (especially applause).
- An unreasonable sense of entitlement and an expectation of being treated with favor or expecting an automatic compliance to his or her wishes.
- Is interpersonally exploitive, taking advantage of others to achieve his or her goals.
- Lacks empathy.
- Believes that others are envious of him (or is envious of others).
- Exhibits arrogant or haughty attitudes or behaviors.
3) Donald Trump (and Some of his Followers) Scores 6 or 7 of the 7 Criteria for Paranoid Personality Disorder (301.0)
Clinton scores 2 or 3
Stein and Sanders score zero
Paranoid Personality Disorder is summarized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a “pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of the motives of others that are interpreted as malevolent”.
Documentation is best determined during a thorough psychiatric examination, but, in the highly competitive culture of America’s “dog-eat-dog” capitalism, paranoia must be the norm, especially among the “take-no-prisoners”, “fight-to-the-death” multimillionaires or multibillionaires at the top – like Donald Trump.
Four or more of the following seven criteria are needed to make the diagnosis:
- Suspects without reason that others are exploiting, harming, or trying to deceive him.
- Has unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of friends or associates.
- Believes without reason that if he confides in others, the information may be used against him.
- Finds hidden or threatening meanings in harmless remarks or events.
- Persistently bears grudges and is unforgiving of insults or slights.
- Is quick to react with anger or to counterattack when he perceives that people are out to attack his character or reputation.
- Is suspicious of the fidelity of his spouse or sexual partner.
4) The Political Views of Donald Trump (and Some of his Followers) are compatible with 14 out of the following 14 Characteristics of Fascism (google Fascism – the 14 points)
Clinton and her followers are compatible with 6 out of 14
Stein and Sanders score zero
- Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.
- Disdain for the importance of human rights.
- Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.
- The supremacy of the military/avid militarism.
- Rampant sexism.
- A controlled mass media.
- Obsession with national security.
- Religion and ruling elite tied together.
- Power of corporations protected.
- Power of labor suppressed or eliminated.
- Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts.
- Obsession with crime and punishment.
- Rampant cronyism and corruption.
- Fraudulent elections.