Many of my story ideas stem from real life social issues. Then, I have to figure out a good story to illustrate what I am trying to say. My next book, for instance, involves a serial killer on the loose. The story actually began, however, as an attempt to illustrate the mind of a sociopath. This is because I was getting tired of trying to explain Trump’s behavior to people online.
One of the difficulties when dealing with a sociopath is that we always try to understand them based on our own perceptions of the world. We have a tendency to believe that everyone’s brain works the same as ours does. This is known as the false-consensus effect. The problem with this is that a sociopath’s brain works very differently. Throw in narcissistic tendencies (as in Trump’s case), and it becomes very hard to understand that individual’s motivation. The truth is, once one realizes what Trump actually is, his behavior becomes not only understandable but predictable as well.
To put it bluntly, a narcissistic sociopath sees himself or herself as the hero of the story. Always. He or she becomes the person the world revolves around, and without them the world is doomed to fail. They are incapable of accepting blame, because this clashes with their hero mentality. Therefor, if mistakes are made, they are always someone else’s fault.
This can be well illustrated by Trump’s consistent falsehoods. To the outside observer, Trump appears as a consummate liar and cheat. Here’s the thing, though. He’s not actually lying, at least not as you or I would understand it. To Trump, every false statement he makes is the truth. He honestly believes every word that comes out of his mouth. Since he is incapable of being wrong, every word he utters must by definition be true, even when all evidence to the contrary is presented to him. Because he believes that these statements must be true, all contradictory evidence can be easily discounted as leftist propaganda or lies perpetuated by his political foes.
It also explains why he is working so hard to sabotage the upcoming election. It is not, as many have suggested, an attempt to steal the election. For Trump, he is the obvious choice to run the country, and truly believes that he will win without question. What his current behavior suggests is that he is honestly convinced that the election will be stolen from him. As the obvious choice, he sees the Democrats as the perpetuators of a conspiracy to drive him from a position that is rightfully his. In a strange way, he actually sees himself as the protector of democracy, even as he works to dismantle it.
One factor that distinguishes the sociopath from the psychopath (I should note that these terms are no longer considered as separate disorders by the psychiatric community) is the constant need to prove oneself to others. A psychopath doesn’t really care what you think about them. In many ways, a sociopath is just a psychopath with self-esteem issues. Sociopaths actually tend to have below-average IQs, but will go to incredible lengths to try and prove how much smarter they are than everyone else. This is why Trump attempts, on every available occasion, to brag about his own accomplishments. Even when those accomplishments are obviously false or exaggerated. To the outside observer, this is taken as further proof that Trump is a liar, but again he sees it as truth. This is why he becomes so enraged when confronted about his past. His ego simply cannot reconcile the facts with his deeply held belief system.
He also has a real need to be the center of attention at all times. Hence the need for absolute loyalty from those around him and why he surrounds himself with sycophants.
Last, we see Trump’s inability to accept criticism or accept blame, even when things go horribly wrong (such as his administrations covid response). Any mistakes made are the fault of someone else. In the mind of a narcissistic sociopath, they are always the victim. Everything that happens is done to them by someone else. It’s Obama’s fault that he was unprepared for covid, despite the reality that the tools were in place, tools which he himself dismantled. Again, reality has nothing to do with what he honestly believes to be true.
As you can see, when put in this light, his actions take on a profound new meaning. It is, I believe, a meaning that we must begin to understand if he is to be defeated come November.