Letter to the Editor: Has a personality disorder become a governing philosophy?


The more I study the current state of our politics, the more I keep coming back to the list of traits for narcissistic personality disorder, given by Dr. Jeanne King, a licensed psychologist and domestic violence expert.

Here is my paraphrase of most of her list. People suffering with this disorder: (1) have no capacity for empathy except for selfish gain; (2) are incapable of remorse; (3) have a feeling of entitlement; (4) have no respect for the truth (a lie is not a lie but a mechanism for leveraging outcome); (5) have an emotional dependence on constant admiration and praise; (6) tend to rely on battering, whether emotional, financial, physical or legal, to keep control in a relationship.

One is tempted to look at the current standard-bearer for the Republican Party. But my feeling is that this is too simple an outlook. What interests me is that these same traits seem shared by many in the Republican leadership.

Does this mean that they, too, suffer from narcissistic personality disorder or does it simply mean that they have consciously adopted some or all of the traits of their titular boss?

Of course, we are all capable of such extreme behaviors. Those of us who identify as Christian would say that this is simply part of what it means to be a sinner.

But to be a Christ follower means doing one’s best to fight these tendencies and obey Christ’s command, as stated in John 13:34 (New International Version): “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” An elaboration of what this might mean is given by Paul (Galatians 5:22): “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Maybe the GOP leadership simply did not get the memo.

Frederick Longacre


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