Narcissists fall in love with their own image, and exhibit excessive interest in oneself. Everything happens as a result of the narcissists’ desires. That is the world of the narcissists.
Even though the most famous narcissist we know today is Donald Trump, he is not the only one. Trump tries to hide behind nationalism, while others can hide behind ethics. France’s President Marcom rightfully pointed out that nationalism and patriotism must be balanced, similar to the way morality and innovations must be balanced to deliver harmony on earth.
Manipulation lives at the core of narcissists. Often the people being manipulated do not even know they are being manipulated because the tools available to the narcissists vary. Donald Trump uses Twitter, Fox News and his new TV station Trump News to reinforce his messages. Often he claims to be Ivy League educated when he only spent two year at The Wharton School instead of four years. Some narcissists shamelessly publicize their education by fully integrating their degree into their names.
Listen to narcissists and you will hear their legacy exaggerated. Some examples: The greatest accomplishments ever, the highest polling numbers, full employment. These claims usually are outcomes that did not result from their efforts. We normally do not transfer government tax revenue from the poor to the rich in the form of a tax cut when we are in one of the longest expansion periods in US history. Ronald Reagan used a tax cut to stimulate the economy. As a nation, it was Ronald Reagan that turned the USA from a creditor nation to a debtor nation during his tenure. Our current economy is over-stimulated, and the imminent recession will probably start as the narcissist exits. These narcissists claim credit for the artificial growth during their tenure and disclaim any responsibilities during the subsequent recessions. It will be difficult for the USA to recover from the next recession given the loss of allies around the world. Without the moral high ground and already heavily burdened with debt and deficit, the options available to USA are very limited and getting even more limited.
There is a parallel in the form of executive compensation. During the height of the 2004-2008 sub-prime housing crisis when $5 trillion value was lost along with 9 million jobs, the CEO of one of the largest mortgage underwriters, Fannie Mae, walked away with $90 million in compensation. The CEO would be equivalent to the narcissist, rewarded with a lucrative compensation, and not responsible for the hard time we went through to recover from the crisis. Millions of lives were affected…
The 2020s will be tough… Together, as moral innovators, we can leverage our diversity to strengthen our democracy, away from the narcissists’ tendency towards autocracy by surrounding themselves with loyal subjects. After all, democracy is the worst form of government, except there is none better. Hope will propel us to improve our democracy.