We’ve all seen that kid in stores----too large to be a toddler yet still lacking restraint or boundaries while insisting their will be done. “Buy it now! I hate you; I hate you. I want it, now!” In foot-stomping defiance. While affluenza is not a medical term, it was first coined in 1973 and describes the negative, horrific actions of over-privileged children in affluent families. The attitudes and actions of the over-privileged unchecked result in many of the monsters among us. We have witnessed the worst of what this kind of child can become. Donald Trump.
The inability to take or accept responsibility and the inability to develop a moral compass are among the major components of a narcissistic personality. In my view, the inability to develop a moral compass alone should make those with this personality disorder unfit for positions of public trust. They are characterized by an inflated sense of self-value and superiority to the extent that others are undeserving of their privilege. They run for public office and crave power and dominance over others.
A few years ago, I was on a flight sitting in business class. A woman sitting next to me had two toddlers, a dog, and a nanny. One child with her, the other going back and forth from mom to nanny, and the dog in a crate. I smiled but didn’t care to engage in her drama because I was not on vacation but traveling for the job. At one point the woman turns to me and asks, “Could you change seats with my nanny so she can help me?” My first thought was to say, “Bitch, please…” Instead, I tightened my eyes, used my mom-voice, and firmly replied, “Absolutely, not.” She felt the chill and got the message. But when you unpack it, it’s an example of privilege gone wild. Business class seats cost more than coach and her nanny was in coach. She essentially had no regard for the fact that my seat was of a higher value because I can only assume, she thought I had limited rights. Fact 2: Her poor planning was somehow my issue to solve, in her mind. Fact 3: How dare she ask me to give up anything for her---a stranger and of no real significance to me. Clearly, she over-valued herself and her importance. I had to wonder, if someone is that blind to the rights of others, how else does this show up in their life?
Psychologists agree that over-privileged children can create big problems—even tragedy—in their own lives, the lives of their family members, and in the lives of strangers.
This is playing out before us as the most visible overprivileged person in the country is being forced to answer for his actions. Predictably, he is lacking restraint---launching threats, name-calling, and claiming to be a victim. He continues to exhibit his lack of respect for rules, laws, and the human rights of others.
During the Trump presidency, we had a 360 view of what happens when a boy grows up believing he doesn’t have to comply with the rules and laws that govern the rest of us. Trump lashes out at authority figures and attempts to undermine public confidence in them. He tried to overturn an election that was proven fair because he didn’t win it. He has refused to return United States documents requested by subpoena, even stating on television that he had a right to have them. His name-calling of opponents, media members, and staff is the stuff of ten-year-olds on a school playground. Why do we endure this behavior? Psychologists say that those who support the Trumps of the world usually have similar psychological traits.
In an interview about her book, Children of Paradise, clinical psychologist Dr. Lee Hausner said there are two common diseases she’s found among children in wealthy families, affluenza and entitlitus. Dr. Hausner was the senior psychologist for the Beverly Hills Unified School District for 17 years. She urged parents to teach kids from an early age the concepts of consequences and accountability.
From crazy to dangerous, will trump follow Hitler’s playbook if convicted in any of the cases against him?
The toy Trump stomps his feet for is complete power and rule over the United States with the ability to hand out favors to friends, punishments to those unlike him, and to remove human rights and freedoms.
Thom Hartmann is a progressive political commentator and a best-selling author of more than two dozen books in the fields of psychiatry, ecology, and economics. In one of his columns about Trump, he describes what he calls narcissistic collapse when narcissists are outed as failures.
Hartmann wrote. “…. Trump, like Hitler, turns his failures into the failures of those around him. Hitler, in those final weeks…. welcomed the destruction of Germany by American and Soviet bombs and tanks. In his mind, the German people had failed, his generals had failed, his soldiers had failed. They had failed Germany, but more importantly, they had failed him — and he wanted them punished for failing him.”
Hartmann warns that, when Trump collapses (possibly from conviction of a crime) it is likely he’ll call his followers to murderous violence.
My older relatives had a saying. They described people as having ‘feet of clay,” which meant that no matter who they are, all humans are mortal (flawed), and not worthy of godly praise. As I look at the cult-like following of Trump and the acceptance of his tantrums, I am infuriated by the refusal to hold him accountable for his transgressions . . . until now. I see a country that has for too long enabled the sickness, insanity, and wickedness of rabid privilege.
Aren’t we tired of this yet? When will the time come for us to stop tolerating behavior that we know is wrong but allow it because it is carried out by a rich, powerful, white male?
Hopefully, it’s now.