Donald Trump: Master of Disguise, Man of Peace: A Warning.

| August 30, 2016

Donald Trump is faking it. Everybody way down deep sees it. Even you who are his followers and supporters see it, way down deep. Underneath your anger and sadness about the raw economic deal you’re getting in this country, which Trump is playing on like a flute so he can play you as a fool, you must see it. My father would have seen it in a second.

When I was a boy, I would often watch the evening news with my father. My father was a very honest, straightforward man, and he had a great eye for phoniness in a person. We’d be sitting on the couch watching the evening news, and some politician would be on, and my father would watch the guy speaking for a moment, and then say, “He’s a faker, Bobby.” He said it with absolute certainty and complete authority—because he could see it. The weird thing was that I could see it too. I could tell when somebody wasn’t being real. That’s a put-on expression on their face and false sincerity or humility or apology or caring in their voice. They’re faking it. I can tell.

We can all tell. We all know when someone’s faking it. We can all spot a phony. We all know when we’re being manipulated. Way down deep, everybody knows everything all the time.

Donald Trump is a faker. He’s lying. He tells lots of lies, big and small, but the Big Lie he tells is that he cares about anybody, when the truth is that he’s an egomaniacal narcissist who cares only about himself. An egomaniacal narcissist like Trump is incapable of caring about others because for him there are no others, there is no such thing as other, there is only me, only I and I alone, and I alone can fix it.

There is a serious mental illness called narcissistic personality disorder. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a person who has this illness has “a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy. . . . a grandiose sense of self-importance . . . a lack of sensitivity to and an unwillingness to recognize the feelings, wants, and needs of others.” A person with this disorder “is boastful and pretentious, arrogant, haughty . . . believes that he is superior, special, and unique . . . is oblivious to the hurt his remarks may inflict on others . . . is very sensitive to criticism or defeat, to which he reacts with disdain, rage, or defiant counterattack . . . and expects his arrival to be greeted with great fanfare.”

Now see Donald Trump gliding slowly down the escalator in the lobby of Trump Tower to announce his candidacy for President of the United States, Now see his name displayed all over the world, on Trump Tower, Trump Place, Trump Plaza, Trump University, Trump Institute, Trump Resorts, Trump Golf Clubs, Trump Park Avenue, and of course Trump Taj Mahal, where Trump SuperPremium Vodka on ice (Trump Ice) is the best drink that was ever served. Now hear his remarks about Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Ted Cruz’s wife, Elizabeth Warren, Carly Fiorina, Megyn Kelly, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Mr. and Mrs. Khan, Muslims, Mexicans, Iowans, and Serge Kovaleski and all disabled people. Now reread the paragraph above describing a person with narcissistic personality disorder. .

Watch out for this guy. He’s got a serious mental condition. He’s also a liar of the first magnitude, a great deceiver, and the big problem with deceivers is that they can be very deceptive. They’re masters of disguise, geniuses at illusion. Their tongues are not tied to truth at all, so they can and will say anything; tell any lie they have to; make any promise; pretend to be honest, to tell it like it is; pretend to be good; pretend to be anything; claim that they’re the best at everything; put on any costume or mask; get folksy; get cute; get all dressed up; even masquerade as a clown or a savior, to grab your attention and win your confidence—to win you–to attract you and seduce you and suck you into the black hole of their influence. .

Watch out, people. Watch out for this guy. I can see my father looking at him and saying, “He’s a faker, Bobby. He’s a faker.” He’s trying to fool you into believing that he cares about you. That’s what narcissists do. That’s what the sexual predator does when he tries to befriend the little girl he wants to make use of. Narcissists are good at it. Donald Trump is trying to fool you into believing that he’s your friend, that he cares about you. Don’t be fooled by him. Don’t be made a fool of. Don’t fall for the Big Lie. “See it to be a lie, and you have already dealt it its mortal blow,” says Emerson. See Donald Trump to be a lie, and he crawls back into the hellhole he somehow managed to escalate himself out of.

As a responsible citizen, I consider it my duty to warn you that in the next couple of months before the election, when Trump pretends to change; when he hires a new campaign manager; when he pivots; when he moderates his position or softens his rhetoric; when he denies what he said yesterday or that he meant it; when he says he was being sarcastic; when he appears to be reasonable and seems to be sane; when he’s nice as pie; and when he opens his mouth to say anything—don’t believe him. When he’s most charming—and he can be very charming; all narcissists, all con men can be charming; it’s a tool of their trade—especially don’t believe him. Remember: He’s a master of disguise, a great illusionist, a cross between Baby Huey and The Great Houdini. Under his disguise, though, he’s a bigoted, mean-spirited, thin-skinned, narrow-minded, self-absorbed, emotionally immature, intellectually incompetent fraud with a mental condition that massively deludes him into thinking that he’s qualified to be President of the United States. That’s what’s under Trump’s disguise.

If you want some help seeing through his disguise, you can always use Jesus Christ—Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves (Matthew 7:15)—and/or Bob Dylan. His song “Man of Peace” on the Infidels album is all about seeing through disguises, and all about, as it turns out, Trump:

He got a sweet gift of gab, he got a harmonious tongue
he knows every song of love that ever has been sung . . .
He’s a great humanitarian, he’s a great philanthropist
He knows just where to touch you, honey, and how you like to be kissed
He’ll put both arms around you, you can feel the tender touch of the beast
you know that sometimes Satan comes as a man of peace.

Way down deep I believe you know this. You who are his followers and supporters know it. Everybody knows it. Everybody knows everything all the time.


(Robert Mark Alter is a psychotherapist in suburban Boston. He is the author of Good Husband, Great Marriage: Finding the Good Husband . . . in the Man You Married; and Sex with a Married Woman: A Man’s Guide to Loving His Wife)

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