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Thursday, August 4, 2016

"I," The First Person Singular, and Narcissistic Trump

 

Many people consider personal pronouns as relatively unimportant parts of speech. These pronouns are a small set of words whose purpose is to “stand in place” for more illustrative and descriptive nouns. Well, the truth is these substitute placeholders are uniquely significant in their ability to project different points-of view: they are powerful expressions of personal voice rivaling more celebrated, emotive classifications of words such as descriptive adjectives, adverbs, and verbs.

The first-person point of view is used primarily for autobiographical writing, such as a personal essay or a memoir. The first-person POV has certain limitations. First and most obvious is the fact that the author is limited to a single point of view, which can be narrow, restrictive, and awkward.

Less careful or inexperienced writers and speakers using first-person may also fall to the temptation of making themselves the focal subject – the sole subject – of the essay, even in cases that demand focus and information on other subjects, characters, or events.

Let's examine the overuse of the first person pronoun “I.” It carries a great danger of projecting a narcissistic point of view.

Some people – often those hampered by inexperience – constantly use the first person “I” to attack and to counterattack others. These people may feel as if they are the “big fish,” or the smartest people, who must be admired and praised by others. When things aren't working out, they start a campaign of projecting themselves as prodigies while blaming others they see as less important beings for any problems, hoping that the “I” point of view will solidify their self-appointed sole authority stance.

In actuality, this shows a definite narcissism and a lack of awareness that many others contribute to any one person's success or lack of it.

“I don't like losers.” --Donald Trump

“I own buildings. I'm a builder; I know how to build. Nobody can build like I can build. Nobody. And the builders in New York will tell you that. I build the best product. And my name helps a lot.” --Donald Trump

“I'm a bit of a P. T. Barnum. I make stars out of everyone.” --Donald Trump

"I alone can fix it." --Donald Trump

Narcissists actually believe there is no boundary between themselves and others. This attitude actually helps narcissists think people should serve them and allows them to intrude and shamelessly exploit the concerns of others. They avoid the “we” point of view because they want to claim all the credit for their own successes. Often, they love to brag about their self-proclaimed acquisition of physical assets such as money.

"The beauty of me is that I'm very rich." --Donald Trump

“I don't make deals for the money. I've got enough, much more than I'll ever need. I do it to do it.” --Donald Trump

“I'm the No. 1 developer in New York, I'm the biggest in Atlantic City, and maybe we'll keep it that way.” --Donald Trump

“I rely on myself very much. I just think that you have an instinct and you go with it. Especially when it comes to deal-making and buying things.” --Donald Trump

Or, when narcissists do acknowledge the help of people with the pronoun “we,” they compliment others in order to group themselves with certain individuals that portray an attractive extension of themselves. They do so to convince people that their self-interest aligns with the beliefs of influential others. But, let the “we” even slightly disagree with “I,” and the narcissist will instantly deem others' opinions wrong.

“I've been dealing with politicians all my life. All my life. And I've always gotten them to do what I need them to do.” --Donald Trump

“I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me.” --Donald Trump

"I love the old days, you know? You know what I hate? There's a guy totally disruptive, throwing punches, we're not allowed punch back anymore. ... I'd like to punch him in the face, I'll tell ya." --Donald Trump about a protester at his rally.

Narcissists love to feel insulted. They will take a philosophical discussion not aimed at anyone in particular and make it about them or someone they know being offended or getting overly emotional about it.

“I have women working in high positions. I was one of the first people to put women in charge of big construction jobs. And, you know, I've had a great relationship with women.” --Donald Trump

“I deal with foreign countries. I made a lot of money dealing against China. I've made a lot of money dealing against many other countries.” --Donald Trump 

“I understand the military. I know the military.” --Donald Trump

"I think I am, actually humble. I think I'm much more humble than you would understand” --Donald Trump

"I’ve been treated very unfairly by this judge. Now, this judge is of Mexican heritage. I'm building a wall, OK? I'm building a wall." --Donald Trump

Narcissists detest those who don't admire them. They have to be the center of attention, and no one can have or be better than them.

“I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things." --Donald Trump 

"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters, okay? It's, like, incredible." –Donald Trump

“I was a great student. I was good at everything.” --Donald Trump

"Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and you all know it! Please don't feel so stupid or insecure,it's not your fault." --Donald Trump

“My whole life is about winning. I don't lose often. I almost never lose.” --Donald Trump

"I think the only card she has is the women's card. She has got nothing else going. Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she would get 5% of the vote. And the beautiful thing is women don't like her, ok?" –Donald Trump

"My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well been documented, are various other parts of my body." --Donald Trump


Narcissists use other humans without accessing the cost of doing so.

"There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey, where you have large Arab populations. They were cheering as the World Trade Center came down." --Donald Trump

I wouldn't mind a little bow. In Japan, they bow. I love it. Only thing I love about Japan. --Donald Trump

"I think I've made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard." --Donald Trump, rejecting the assertion made at the Democratic convention by Muslim lawyer Khizr Khan, whose son died in Iraq in 2004, that Trump had "sacrificed nothing and no one." Trump was unable to name a single sacrifice when pressed to elaborate. 

"I'd like to hear his wife say something." --Donald Trump, smearing Ghazala Khan, the mother of a fallen American soldier, by implying that she was not allowed to speak, despite the fact that she has spoken publicly about her son's death.

"I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier." --Donald Trump
“I know where she went – it’s disgusting, I don’t want to talk about it. No, it’s too disgusting. Don’t say it, it’s disgusting." --Donald Trump on Hillary Clinton taking a bathroom break during a Democratic presidential debate.

“Now, the poor guy — you've got to see this guy, ‘Ah, I don't know what I said! I don't remember!'" --Donald Trump, mocking New York Times investigative reporter Serge Kovaleski, who has a physical disability.

So, if you like the first-person “I” point of view, Donald Trump is your champion. His narcissism is unbounded by influences of friends or foes. He forgets the other first-person plural reference “we” when he speaks of his successes. This, he believes, strengthens his superhuman image. In reality, he reinforces his own self-admiration while showing the world he pretends to be more than he really is.

Those who take too much credit while caring little about others do not represent leaders who understand community and effective policy. They use the guise of fighting political correctness and tearing down the establishment for their personal gain. I, I, I, I, … Donald Trump lacks one of the most essential skills in discourse. He doesn't understand or believe in anything but the first-person singular reference. His conceit, his lack of substance, and his lack of civility spell “n-a-r-c-i-s-s-i-s-t.”


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