What if Donald Trump existed only as an algorithm? Imagine if his entire campaign, presidency, and life all stemmed from a systematic approach to gain an identity other than the algorithm. It would be absurd. The very pattern of all his actions would be governed by the system he subconsciously wishes to overcome. By following his formula, Trump would cement the identity of a machine rather than a human.
Narcissistic personality disorder includes extreme grandiose fantasies, the inability to accept rejection, and a lack of conscience. At its core, the disorder is a crisis of identity. Because the person has no sense of right and wrong, they have no real belief system. Without believing in something (anything) the world becomes a game to be manipulated. To the narcissist, he is the only real player, but because he believes in nothing he has no concept of who he is. To avoid being stuck in the loneliest position possible, the narcissist demands attention and admiration. He does not exist without it.
The Kim dynasty of North Korea, the movie Mean Girls, and President Trump all have a similar algorithm for manipulation:
- Loss of identity
The Kim dynasty has created a distrust that exists so deeply in North Koreans that even parents cannot trust their own children. By programming children to report unpatriotic parents, paranoia has hushed generations. Prior ruler, Kim Jong Il (like Trump) also manipulated the media in a way that forced the country to be skeptical of everything reported.
A much smaller scale of the same manipulation, involves the movie Mean Girls. A popular blond, high school student pits her friends against one another to ultimately make her more powerful. By dividing the people she wishes to hold power over, they are less likely to work as a team. Without unification, they cannot defeat the cruel reign of teenage royalty.
Trump, through an insatiable need for identity, has devoured half the country. Throughout the campaign, Trump identified himself with the factory workers, the coal miners, and the working class as a whole. Since this demographic is rarely portrayed in the media or even talked about in politics, this was an eye opening change. Trump was the only man “for” the working class. He was their only representative.
When he proudly called them uneducated and presented them as victims, they continued to stick by him. If he was their champion, how could he subtly patronize them? Excited about the possibility of a much nicer lifestyle, this demographic swallowed the subtle put downs in hopes for good intentions. “Although Trump says one thing, he really means another,” was the general consensus.
When Trump said, “I love the uneducated,” the crowds roared, ultimately accepting their role as the weaker demographic. Trump did not say he would rebuild the education system. He did not say he would pump more money into schools. Instead, he reassured them, their factory jobs would still be there.
When Trump proudly declared, “America First”, the warning bells for isolation could be heard around the world. While we protested, some countries fell silent. Our naïveté, while once laughable, has become a dangerous mix of pity and fear.
Most of us think of ourselves as American. Trump thinks of himself as America. By confusing us with false information, pumping us with fear, and subtly putting us down with “compliments”, we lose our ability to believe in anything except the algorithm.
If we are to fight Trump and his dangerous impulse control, we need to take a systematic approach. Quickly.