by Evert Cilliers aka Adam Ash
How to explain Donald Trump?
I'm going to try something I've never seen or read anywhere, until a good friend, a black female school principal spoke to me about when she was teaching the children of rich, privileged parents, and discovered that those parents never raised their kids themselves, but relied on nannies to do all the heavy lifting.
In other words, those parents never loved their children on a day-to-day basis.
My friend knew such extremes as one wealthy divorced mom who would go to Paris for a month of high living, and leave her child with the nanny back in New York.
My friend's theory is that Trump is such a child, who might have been more or less ignored by especially his Dad when he was a very young boy, and is therefore a deeply wounded man. His wounds have created an irrepressible need for adoration, to make up for an emotional orphan-like existence as a child.
Although my friend feels great animosity towards Trump and his policies — heck, she is a middle-aged black woman, so what he is, strikes at her very core — she also feels a deep compassion for him and his suffering.
1. Trump As A Deeply Wounded Man
So this then is the theory expounded in this essay: a man so thin-skinned, he gets upset with beauty queens (and a man so insecure, he never stops bragging) is a man who lived a childhood of psychic trauma.
Bear with me as I continue this line of utterly unsupported non-scientific speculation, which goes beyond the usual profile you may have read about Trump, which depicts him as suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder, and possible sociopathy if not outright psychopathy. (Though the shrink who invented the diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder says Trump does not have a disorder, because he is successful, and people who suffer from a disorder live crippled lives: according to this fellow, Trump is a supreme narcissist, but does not suffer from an actual narcissistic disorder.)
At least now, with the theory of Trump As The Deeply Wounded Man, you are reading something about Trump that you have never read before. So indulge me for my originality, or rather, the originality of my educator friend.
Trump says he loves his father. But I don't think his father cared much about him as a young boy — or rarely showed it when Trump was say twelve or younger. His father sent him to a military-style boarding school; his father wanted to be rid of him.
I suspect that's a clue to Trump's character. He admits that he got into many fights growing up, and even hit a teacher. That might have been him acting out what was visited upon him.
2. Trump's Bizarre Touchiness
I am pretty sure Trump's Dad gave him hidings, so his wound is physical, as well. That would explain Trump as a kid going forth in the world and getting into fights. Which is pretty much what he did as a candidate and what he now does as president. The man relishes a fight, and when he feels attacked, he hits out. Or tweets out.
Surely one of the most bizarre things about Trump is his severe touchiness. Why would a guy who is so successful, so rich, who has dated many beautiful women, who has had three beautiful wives, who has a beautiful, accomplished daughter, who presides over a palatial estate in Florida, who sits his plump bum down on a gold toilet seat … why does this seemingly worldly fellow get upset, for example, about slights from a former beauty queen? Why cannot he simply shrug that off? Why is he not bigger than that? Why is he not grownup about silly crap like that? Why is he such a petulant child? Why, when things don't go his way, does he get in a foul mood and upbraid his staff when the fault lies not with them but with him? (He reminds me of the Hollywood mogul who said, "I don't get ulcers, I give ulcers.") My theory that Trump as a small boy never got much love from his Dad explains that. A deep psychic wound from his childhood gets him upset at any attack upon him.
3. Trump's View Of Women
And why does Trump have such a binary view of women? He rates them on a one-to-ten scale, treats them as sex objects, assaults them, gets upsets with them when they don't look like supermodels (Rosie O'Donnell, Carly Fiorina), yet he gives women big jobs in his real-estate business, and had a brilliant female campaign chief, Kellyanne Conway, who helped make him president.
Perhaps part of his wound is that he wishes his Mom had prevailed upon his Dad to be more attentive. Perhaps he thinks she is partly to blame for the fact that his Dad neglected him.
Trump singles out women's weaknesses, and also men's.
"Low energy Jeb."
He even mocked a journalist with disabilities, something that Meryl Streep was driven to remark upon. He stigmatizes whole groups of people: immigrants, Mexicans, Muslims.
My supposition is that he is projecting the unfeelingness of his Dad to him as a boy out to the world. That's how he salves his wound.
4. Trump's Wound Could Wound Us
I think my theory also explains why the LA Times in a recent editorial was moved to write the following:
"What is most worrisome about Trump is Trump himself. He is a man so unpredictable, so reckless, so petulant, so full of blind self-regard, so untethered to reality that it is impossible to know where his presidency will lead or how much damage he will do to our nation. His obsession with his own fame, wealth and success, his determination to vanquish enemies real and imagined, his craving for adulation — these traits were, of course, at the very heart of his scorched-earth outsider campaign; indeed, some of them helped get him elected. But in a real presidency in which he wields unimaginable power, they are nothing short of disastrous."
4. Trump's Lack Of Empathy
By his own admission he never took care of his children, and only appeared to have become friends with them after they were grownup, when he could use them in his business.
Which brings me to a last point. What is it with Trump's lack of empathy, which has led to the sometimes label of sociopath or psychopath? What is it within him that leads him to stiff suppliers, and defraud elderly folks with Trump University.
Can that be explained by the part a hard, harsh, tough, non-emotional father played in the boy Trump's life?
Stiffing your suppliers without a twinge of remorse — how do you explain that? If it's just plain selfishness, it's selfishness of a pathological degree. Could it be that Trump is unfeeling like that, because he internalized unfeelingness from his father? How do you stiff someone who has done you a service? And when you finally agree to pay up, you whittle the supplier down to a tenth of the agreed-upon price? Unscrupulous. Unethical. It's of a piece with using bankruptcy to your advantage, to avoid taxes.
So this is a new theory about Trump: he is who he is not just because he is a full-blown narcissist, which he undoubtedly is, or a sociopath or psychopath, which he might be. He is who he is because he is wounded. Deeply wounded. Look no further than his life as a young boy with his unreachable Dad.
5. Maybe Trump's Followers Have His Wound, Too
I would go further. Perhaps Trump's most ardent followers suffer from the same thing. Perhaps many Trump supporters are like him. That would explain a lot, especially the fact that most of the men who voted for Trump actually make above-average money, and aren't the downtrodden working class lads about whom pundits punt their punditry.
Perhaps behind Trump marches an army of successful but angry, wounded men who as boys were neglected by their fathers.
Men who deserve your compassion.
Unless you're one of them. In which case, you're the one who most needs your compassion.