Because I lived so many years with my scary nuthouse Dad I happen to know a lot about narcissism. And I don’t mean that I know anything about arrogance or braggadocio, I mean that I know about Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I know a lot about sad people who are seriously fucked in the head.
Which is why I wrote about Newt Gingrich four years ago. It was easy.
Newt had taken the lead in Republican presidential polling and was calmly assuring onlookers that the contest was pretty much over. But I knew his campaign wouldn’t last.
…I’m here to tell you he’s not likely to win the whole thing. He’ll have a very hard time just taking the Republican nomination. Narcissists do very poorly managing responsibility, and fewer things are more difficult than successfully carrying something as large as an entire campaign for a year. Great men regularly fail at this. Flawed men almost always fail at it.
Now, four years later, in the overture to the 2016 election campaign, we have our current specimen: Donald Trump. So I thought it was time to dust the old post off…
The interesting thing for us with regard to Newt the Great is that narcissists are utterly predictable sorts. While he’ll likely fail, we can make some pretty fair predictions about how he’ll do it. Starting with this:
1.) Newt will eclipse his own campaign. The need to impress upon you his greatness will kill the campaign’s messaging. Gingrich has surely been telling his staff that talking about himself is the same as talking about the campaign (it isn’t). And the ways Gingrich will hype himself will come twofold: bragging and gargantuan ideas.
…and appoint it with with some bitchin’ new Trump updates.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists…”
“I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively, I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.”
“Mark my words.”
That of course was only the first part of my three-point takedown of Newt the Great. So here now are the other two points I forwarded as proof that Newt would fail, accompanied by more of Trump’s current words and deeds. You can see for yourself what a complete disaster the reality show candidate is.
2.) Newt will not be prepared. Narcissists are some of the spottiest workers you have ever seen. They are long on grand designs and short on carry through. They are great dictators and horrible managers. Don’t expect Newt to be any good at anything other than standing in front of people and talking.
Here was Trump today:
Donald Trump just gave one of the most bizarrely captivating speeches of his several-weeks-old campaign…
“They’re sending us their problems,” Trump said in Las Vegas, referring to Mexico.
To illustrate his point, Trump brought a man onstage named Jameil Shaw, whose son was killed in 2008 in the Los Angeles area. The killer, Pedro Espinoza, was a gang member and an undocumented immigrant. Espinoza was sentenced to death in 2012.
Trump said that as soon as authorities realized that Shaw’s son was shot by an undocumented immigrant, “nobody wanted to talk about it.”
Do you have any idea what Trump’s presidential campaign is really about? Other than his taking personally any criticism for his comments and doubling down on them? Neither does anybody else. Because he’s not waging a campaign of ideas, he’s waging a war of self-regard. By the way, don’t aim your cannon at The Donald if you can’t take return fire.
Trump proposed that protesters and critics were being sent by the government of Mexico to oppose him.
“They were so sophisticated. I guarantee you that the country of Mexico had those people [sent there]”…
In the speech on Saturday, Trump again singled out Univision for its decision to not to carry Trump’s Miss USA pageant, suggesting that Mexico itself pressured Univision to sever ties with Trump.
“Mexico put the clamps on Univision,” Trump said. “Mexico has a lot of power over them.”
Now there’s an issue that’s sure to fire up the base: The Miss USA pageant. He’s up to his neck in it now. Aside from shaking his fist at Univision and pulling the curtains back on various Mexican conspiracies, what exactly would the candidate like to tell people?
Trump mocked media outlets for doubting his self-proclaimed $9 billion fortune, proof of which the real-estate mogul claims that he will release next week.
“I’m much, much richer than what they say,” Trump said. “I’m a private person, nobody knows.”
He would like to tell people how great Donald Trump is. Of course. Don’t expect him to do anything different than this, what he’s doing right now, regardless of how badly his campaign plays out. Unlike the rest of us he doesn’t understand the sizable difference between winning over voters and patting himself on the back.
As for Gingrich, here was the last point:
3.) Newt will not carry the banner. Narcissists live to separate themselves from the crowd, so they’re horrible at being conventional leaders. You won’t see him being a Republican’s Republican. You can’t get him to play nice with others for more than a few difficult moments.
This was yesterday:
Donald Trump’s statements on immigrants are going to kill the Republican Party, fellow candidate Lindsey Graham says.
“Well, I think he said something that has brought people who are frustrated about our immigration system to light, but he also said it in a way that’s going to kill my party,” Graham said in an interview with CNN on Friday.
The New York Times:
In a brief telephone conversation with Mr. Trump, first reported by the Washington Post, [GOP chairman Reince Priebus] urged Mr. Trump to soften his tone on immigrants even as he offered praise of his candidacy, according to Mr. Trump and others told of the conversation.
In classic form, though, Mr. Trump quickly thanked the party chairman with acerbic broadsides that could discourage similar attempts to rein him in. Mr. Trump reached out to a New York Times reporter Thursday morning to say the call was “congratulatory,” not condemnatory, and posit that Mr. Priebus “knows better than to lecture me.”
He added, “We’re not dealing with a five-star Army general.”
And the Washington Post:
…the billionaire real estate mogul and reality-television star also said he has serious concerns about other GOP candidates and refused to commit to supporting the eventual nominee in the general election.
“So many people want me to run as an independent, so many people,” Trump said. “I have been asked by — you have no idea, everybody wants me to do it.”
Pressed about whether he would back the Republican ticket if he fails to win the nomination himself, Trump left the door open for a third-party bid of his own. “I would have to see who the nominee is,” he said.
Can you imagine? Trump the Independent would single-handedly destroy any chance the Republicans have of winning the presidency in 2016. The Donald could literally, as Lindsey Graham fretted, “kill my party.” He certainly isn’t above doing it.
For now, Trump said, he thinks that the “best chance of defeating the Democrats” is for him to “win as a Republican because I don’t want to be splitting up votes…”
Fortunately he’s kind enough to offer the Republicans an easy way out: Give him the nomination. Have the GOP skip the campaigning business, forget the big national convention, and just say “Donald Trump wins.” Well, that seems fair enough. Mighty big of him, don’t you think? It isn’t too much to ask that one of our political parties give Donald everything he wants, is it? Considering he’s so awesome?
— part one here.