Donald Trump’s dead giveaway

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A normal person who is the incidental cause of harm, however accidentally, will show remorse for that harm. The greater the harm, the greater the remorse. It’s human nature that we sometimes blame ourselves for things that are related to us but most emphatically not our fault. It’s human nature that we feel sorrow for other people’s tragedy.

I am reminded of Rodney King. During the riots that immediately ensued after the cops who savagely beat him on video got away with it in court, King went on the air to plead with the rioters to stop. He was in tears. He was clearly tormented by the mayhem that was happening across South Central Los Angeles in his name. It was as if he was saying, “Please forgive me for getting beaten up.”

It is a not uncommon human impulse. According to my genealogy I have ancestors who owned human slaves. I understand that impulse — to apologize for something I am powerless to do anything about, to feel remorse for something that’s not my fault.

Donald Trump has never shown an iota of remorse for the attack on the Capitol. And it was his fault. Five people died either shortly before, during, or following the event. Millions of dollars in damage was done. Americans came away from the incident deeply scarred and even united, however temporarily, in their shock and horror that such a thing could have happened. Donald Trump was unmoved, because he is a narcissist.

It is also a hallmark of the narcissist to have an exaggerated sense of self regard. It is almost as if Mother Nature endows everyone with an equal portion of compassion, and those who have little or no compassion for others compensate by having even more compassion for themselves. Donald Trump is such a person. Donald Trump is a narcissist.

While I firmly believe that the blame for the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol building is the fault of Donald Trump, it is not my purpose in this particular article to argue that point. Taking it as a hypothetical that the attack was not the president’s fault, can you imagine any other president besides Donald Trump remaining unmoved?

Certainly Bill Clinton and Barack Obama would have been horrified. So would Carter. Both George W. Bush and his father would have shown solemn decorum, if not outright remorse and horror. So would Reagan. So would Nixon for that matter. But not Donald Trump. Not now, not ever.

I was struck by that quiet fact as the latest January 6 Committee hearing unfolded on Thursday and I watched the disgusting gaffs and outtakes as Trump rehearsed the speech he was preparing. Trump simply didn’t care about the attack, except perhaps the extent to which it failed. The people who died, the damage done both to the building and the people the building represents had no impact on him whatsoever. All he cared about was that it failed to do what he wanted it to do: restore him to power.

For those of us with experience with narcissists it’s a familiar sight. Absence of compassion for others, exaggerated concern for themselves, indifference to the suffering they cause and anger and frustration when they are thwarted are narcissism commonplaces. With Trump it has become so common you almost stop noticing it.

As a nation we Americans have almost stopped noticing that Trump doesn’t give a crap about anyone else. If Obama or Bush ever displayed such callous disregard for the lives and property of others, we’d never get over it. From Trump? Nobody even yawned.


One thing Americans have always required from their presidents is that they also be human beings. Trump is not a human being, and he never has been. He is a monster. That may sound like hyperbole, but it is not. Anyone familiar with narcissists knows exactly what I’m talking about. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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