Thanks for reading and for your response. I’d agree he has all the characteristics of a malignant narcissist, but me saying that would just be another armchair diagnosis.

You said he was “diagnosed as a case of malignant narcissism,” but is this documented anywhere by a psychologist or psychiatrist who has actually seen Donald Trump as a client?

I’m guessing the answer is no, because 1.) it would be unethical and illegal for any American psychologist or psychiatrist to release their client’s private info like diagnoses, 2.) Trump cannot have an official diagnosis from someone in the mental health field unless he was actually seen in the patient/client capacity by the professional who diagnosed him, and 3.) I’m willing to bet that Trump wouldn’t step foot inside a psychologist’s or psychiatrist’s office, even if his last breath depended on it.

As to your question regarding why “(does) about 40% of the electorate in effect admire Trump for all this, and has nothing but contempt for those like (me) who try to educate them regarding what a hopeless loser their hero is…?” is a question I’ve wondered too many times, but always come back to the same simple answers:

a.) Like you said, they “like him because of what he is, not in spite of it.” (Which is a really troubling thought.) This can also be divided into 3 subgroups: those who like him and freely admit they like everything about him (white supremacists, for example), those who like him but are embarrassed to admit that they like him, and those who like some things about him, but also dislike other things about him. For me, the bad in him far, far outweighs any hint of anything that could possibly be seen as good, so outright not liking him at all is a no-brainer for me.

b.) If they don’t fall into a. above (i.e., folks who voted for him only because their hatred of Hillary Clinton was more motivating to them), then they tend to be angered by the type of things I (among others) say about him, because somewhere deep down inside, they know we are right. Possibly not even on a conscious level, but they know. Their pride, however, will not allow them to admit they made a mistake at the voting booth, and so they hunker down even harder to the Trump cult mindset. (Also very troubling.)

So, for me, it’s not really about trying to educate the Trump fans — they’re too far gone — but about connecting with other like-minded (not superior) folks. I’ve found that connecting with other like-minded people really helps ease the symptoms of the abusive gaslighting Trump subjects our nation to on a daily basis. But then again, I’ve been gaslighted in the past, more than once, so I’m highly sensitive to it and I recognize it immediately. I feel genuinely bad for all the people who have no idea what gaslighting is or feels like.

Lastly, I have to disagree with you that my “psycho-babble” (as you called it) does nothing to free us from a crazy person. Writing about, reading about, and having dialogue about all of this really speaks to some people — some are even moved to action. And action is what’s needed to vote Trump & the rest of his enablers out of office. I have a lot of hope that will happen, especially when I look at the Congressional freshman class, which highlights an historic diversity among the newly elected House of Representatives.

Not too long ago I heard from a man I’d never met before who was a self-proclaimed “lifelong biker, covered in tattoos & piercings, 6' tall, 219 lbs., a big, tough, son of a gun.” He wrote to me and told me a piece I’d written about my transgender child had brought him to his knees and had him “sobbing like a baby.” He was motivated enough just from our one story to begin changing his mindset, and adding his pronouns to his email signature, as a sign of solidarity with the trans community. Thus, I never underestimate the power of even just one person.

Dismantler of gender norms. Political news junkie. TikTok aficionado. Mom of 3. Work seen/heard @ HuffPost, Scary Mommy, NPR, SiriusXM, LTYM, TIFO podcast, etc.

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