By Autumn Lakeland
In the movie Wall Street the narcissistic protagonist Gordon Gekko says, “If you want a friend, get a dog”. A peek into the world of Donald Trump shows us a world without friends where power-hungry ambition rules and greed is good. Trump is the “Gordon Gekko” of presidents. Not unlike the ruthless billionaire investor villain from the movie, Trump expects those around him to compromise their ethics in order to build upon his golden empire. For those who pose a threat to his power and control will find themselves bearing the brunt of his insult-slinging temper.
Why would successful, wealthy entrepreneurs, like Gekko or the leader of the Free World hurl insults at people? Psychologists will tell you that people with narcissistic tendencies tend to be particularly likely to sling an insult your way so that they can feel better about themselves. For a narcissist it’s a big effect with little effort on those who are too weak to defend themselves. And it’s generally done around a large audience to witness their epic insult.
For most of us it’s a challenge to protect ourselves when being attacked. Many will shrug it off and walk away telling themselves it’s not worth it. That’s precisely what a psychologist would tell us to do. But for the perfect, omniscient narcissist there is no walking away. They are uncompromisingly incapable of retaining any emotional balance. A perceived slight is taken extremely personal and a small disagreement is nothing short of a threat to them. Anger and rage takes control and goes on the attack.
When you criticize a narcissist you can inflict what is called narcissistic injury. Insults and criticism leave a narcissist feeling vulnerable and lowers their self-esteem. If you blame them they will feel shame. In turn they react by lashing out and as with most narcissists, pride comes before fall. Trump has proven that he is a thin-skinned grifter who can be easily offended.
“In jest, there is truth.” ― William Shakespeare
Today’s democracy is flooded with imperfections and injustices. Mainstream media reports on Trump gaslighting the American people and his outright lies. Fake news outlets blur the lines between what is real and alternative facts. With so much going on, this creates a sense of anxiety causing us to feel overwhelmed, fearful and angry to the point where we’d rather ignore what’s happening around us.
Comedy is the medicine for what ails us. They say, laughter is the best medicine and good comedians can force us to confront realities and subjects we’re afraid to face by sugar-coating the bitter pill. It can be a communication tool used to melt the hostilities we feel and bring unobtrusive awareness to an issue. It unites people through a shared experience and response and makes them question and think. Sure, the pill is still bitter but it’s much easier to take.
John Oliver began his HBO show Last Week Tonight with “President Trump. Two words that will always sound unnatural together. Like Fuckable Clown. “
A comedian can use sociopolitical commentary as a vehicle for social change. Satire helps us accept a bad situation. Once we’ve come to terms with facing our circumstances we want to continue to share our feelings and thoughts with others through social media as catharsis.
Jimmy Kimmel Pledges to Keep Talking Truth to Power by
Gleefully Mocking Trump
Trump memes have taken over social media meant to make him look as ridiculous as he acts. News outlets and bloggers reprint the foolish things he says. Comedians on late night talk shows sharply mimic Trump’s squawky voice, flappy hair style and distinct mannerisms. As if this wasn’t enough to grab Trump’s attention now countries around the world are mocking him.
Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, and Germany
where citizens’ trust in the US has eroded to a record low
all want to get in on the Trump trolling, too. -Businessinsider
With Trump regularly being barraged with ridicule he’s constantly on the defense. Disrespect creates his urge to lash out. Like most narcissists he lapses into a state of denial with a defiant attitude and will do anything to preserve his grandiose self-image. This keeps him from concentrating on important issues like WAR. He takes to Twitter to make bold statements about those who have caused him distress by damaging his delicate ego. Skillful comics use their art to craft insults in a way that can stab at the heart of anyone. They show no fear. This is Trump’s achilles heel. Humor is a way of telling the truth and when Trump hears the truth about himself, it hurts.
“Humor is a rubber sword – it allows you to make a point without drawing blood.”
How long can a narcissist rage under continuous assault from reality? They tend to wear a facade of aloofness when facing others but deep within boils an irritating itch ready to be violently scratched. Trump’s fragile ego cannot stand to ever be viewed as imperfect and any challenge or negative remark from another person is considered sharp criticism. But who says we can never “win” an argument with a narcissist simply because they are irrational by nature? The key is not to get angry or use logic against Trump.
Comedians know this best since they find the humor in all he says and then mock him with complete detachment. This is paramount in attacking his ego. By questioning his achievements, calling him a liar, devaluing what he says by laughing and using reverse attacks cuts to the very core of his self-esteem. So when he shouts in anger a comic would laugh and tell him, “Don’t be scared Don.” By not referring to him as “President” and being casually informal discredits his perceived entitlement. Trump uses lies as a propaganda tool to make us doubt ourselves. Those who are vulnerable may fall for his trickery and come around to supporting him. But comics understand that the use of psychological warfare works both ways.
Because Trump is so self-absorbed he has to protect himself from constant criticism. This can causes a ripple effect which affects those closest to him. He rants and raves at them until they get on board the Trump defense train. All of this distraction from the important stuff of running a government puts his advisors, cabinet and staff in a precarious situation. As they walk on eggshells the rational ones will want to control the mad man lest he do something crazy.
Soon the world around him sees a man who is unstable and incapable of running a Country. World leaders and prominent figures will blast the Trump administration and put pressure on heads of state to condemn Trump’s actions. He will soon be labeled undesirable in society as a final crushing blow, knocking him to his knees defeated.
“There is more logic in humor than in anything else.
Because, you see, humor is truth.” -Victor Borge
Like Gekko, Trump needs to be removed from society with the hope that he can reflect on his bad behavior and become a better person before his release. The comedian’s will be waiting.