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Viewpoint: Is There a Megalomaniac In The White House?

By Dennis Edwards
Editorial Page Columnist
New Journal and Guide

The word first crossed my mind while watching Keith Olberman’s commentary on the GQ Network. It’s called “There’s Something (Really, Really) Wrong With Donald Trump.” Olberman makes a thought provoking argument based on Trump’s self obsessive behavior, his preoccupation with “enemies,” “who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do.”

But his follow up question really got to me. Olberman said “Who does that? Who defends a Russian Dictator ahead of an American President? Any American President.” That’s when the word “megalomaniac” sent me scurrying back to my dictionary. I researched it once while trying to understand a troubled sibling. Olberman cemented my curiosity as he drove home what feels like a troubling truth “we have elected a man who is not all there!”

Megalomania is “a delusional mental illness marked by feelings of personal omnipotence and grandeur.” Someone who thinks they’re as God, all powerful and all knowing. A legend in their own minds where there’s no room for anyone else. “Megalomaniacs” with what appear to be “Narcissistic Tendencies” (excessive interest in or admiration of themselves) are dangerous because their perception of reality is skewed. The truth is only the truth if they believe it. Contradicting evidence doesn’t matter.

Decided to leave the thought alone. The idea of a Megalomaniac in the White House was more than overwhelming. Until President Trump got upset with Mexico’s President for refusing to pay for a wall along the border. He basically picks an unnecessary fight by urging him not to visit as scheduled, then retaliated when he cancelled by threatening a 20 percent tariff on a half trillion dollars in imported Mexican goods that sustain 1.1 million US jobs. Seems he forgot our neighbor to the South is our third largest trade partner.

Before that Trump went ballistic about how his inauguration attendance compared poorly to President Barack Obama’s. In spite of an Electoral College win, he alleges massive voter fraud is behind his losing the popular vote by roughly 3 million ballots. His claim is 3-5 million illegals or folks masquerading as dead people voted against him.

Trump reportedly refuses to listen to advisors who know he and his misunderstood source of information are wrong. Former Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman said he’s “challenging the legitimacy of his own election,” “while touting how legitimate and huge his election was.” Can The President see the contradiction in demanding a “Major Investigation” of a unanimously discredited claim?

Perhaps the most troubling reaction comes from South Carolina U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham. He told Trump to “knock this off … people are going to start doubting you as a person if you keep making accusations against our electoral system without justification…this is going to erode his ability to govern this country if he does not stop.”

Perhaps it already has. Trump’s public approval rating has fallen as low as 32 percent. The lowest since George W. Bush’s 22 percent. Numbers like that indicate his voters may also recognize “there’s something really wrong with Donald Trump.”

After only 7 days in office Trump’s stirred the nation to protest by halting the admission of people from primarily Muslim nations, picked a fight with China in the South China Sea, weakened Obamacare, defended Vladimir Putin while criticizing US Intelligence agencies and introduced a puzzled nation to “Alternative Facts.”

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What’s scary is someone saw this coming almost 100 years ago. Back in 1920 H.L. Mencken (a journalistic icon) wrote:
“As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.”

Could it be the only noun left out was Megalomaniac? Fascinating and frightening, isn’t it?

Dennis Edwards is an Emmy Award Winning Investigative Television Journalist who’s worked in Detroit, Baltimore, St. Louis, Richmond and as a Freelance Correspondent for CNN. He’s a graduate of Virginia Union University and its Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology.

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