A few of us can agree on one thing and that is that Donald Trump has reshaped the leadership spectrum in this country. His leadership style has left me wondering immensely on how one finds their own voice in leadership in politics, corporate or retail etc. Leaders just do not wake up one day with their leadership style, it is shaped and groomed through experiences. Trumpian leadership is one that may be described as having a flavor of dictatorship, complemented with a twisted art of brainwashing. Scary, Trump received 47.2% of the popular vote in 2020. Are you ok with Trump's need to have total power over our country? In this 2020 election, he seems to be attempting a power grasp, by trying to keep power of the White House by force, through sparks of legal contesting of the 2020 election, with no legal basis for his law suits and no respect for our democracy.
One month into Trump’s presidency, communication went across the airways questioning Trump's mental state, particularly after he declared himself “King of Israel” and the chosen one. In a book, 27 psychiatrists and mental health experts assess President Donald Trump's behavior. “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” features more than two dozen essays breaking down the president’s perceived traits, which the contributors find consistent with symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder, sociopathy, and other maladies. They state that “anyone as mentally unstable as Mr. Trump simply should not be entrusted with the life-and-death powers of the presidency.” Are WE the ones that are delusional because of our expectation of leaders?
In 2017, it was said that Trump displays signs of “extreme present hedonism,” which is the tendency to live in the moment without considering consequences and seeking to bolster one’s self-esteem no matter the risk. Or he exhibits “narcissistic personality disorder,” which includes believing you are better than others, exaggerating your achievements and expecting constant praise. Combine hedonism, narcissism and bullying, and you get “an impulsive, immature, incompetent person who, when in the position of ultimate power, easily slides into the role of the tyrant,” Philip Zimbardo (of the famous Stanford Prison Experiment) and Rosemary Sword write. Others suggest that Trump shows indications of sociopathy, including lack of empathy, absence of guilt and intentional manipulation. Put it all together and you have “malignant narcissism,” which includes antisocial behavior, paranoid traits, even sadism. So, if we knew all this in 2017, why didn’t Congress act then? Are there no mental health qualifications for becoming President of the United States of America?
In 2017 psychiatry professor Lance Dodes in the Washington Post states that “Mr. Trump’s sociopathic characteristics are undeniable.” “The Book Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” reiterates that Trump's mental health characteristics will create a profound danger for America’s democracy and safety. Over time these characteristics will only become worse, either because Mr. Trump will succeed in gaining more power and more grandiosity with less grasp on reality, or because he will engender more criticism producing more paranoia, more lies, and more enraged destruction. And when the president stands before the U.N. General Assembly and threatens to “totally destroy” an enemy country of 25 million people, enraged destruction seems on point. Okay, here we are 2020, the chickens have come home to roost.
A few years back a friend told me she went on a job interview for an executive management position at Walmart, in Bentonville Arkansas, to her surprise she was asked to undergo a psychological test as part of her interview. Years ago, Illinois Cook County Sheriff’s included psychological testing as part of their hiring protocol as well. Once again, are there any mental health qualifications for becoming President of the United States?
The question for Human Resource managers and anyone responsible for hiring is this -- have you ever, after hiring someone, a few weeks down the line, were convinced you made a mistake? The cost of hiring the wrong person can be astronomical. America is paying the ultimate price for “hiring” or voting in Donald. America will be calculating the cost for voting for Trump for years to come, in paths manifested through racial injustice, climate change, white supremacy, demolition of women, LGBQT rights, and overall basic human rights. Not to mention, Trump has a particular gift for bringing out all the worst irrational thinking and impulsive actions in his followers. This may have elicited a passing grade in the 1960’s, but not today.
Moving forward, one of the psychiatrists in “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” warns of the rise of “Trump Anxiety Disorder.” (Feeling helpless? Stressed about politics? Binging on social media? Ask your doctor about T.A.D.) Another contributor proposes the notion of a citizen therapist” who “works with people in the office and the community on coping productively with public stress and becoming active agents of their personal and civic lives. The United States made the wrong choice in voting for Trump, but how do we begin our recovery? President Elect Joseph Biden and his team are part of the solution.
One person recommended that opposing politicians can reach Trump voters by not confronting them with fact-based arguments aimed at proving them wrong, but first gain [their] trust as a precondition for exploring the fears, feelings, fancies, stressors, legitimate beliefs, and experiences that have made the false beliefs so believable. WE must begin to heal. My fellow colleagues, I am a believer in prayer and my personal recommendation is that we make positive contributions in our communities and trust God for guidance. “When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something.” – John Lewis.