By Gallagher and Schleicher
We agree with Willie Nelson: “I may not be normal, but nobody is.” You nonetheless must be hurt by and incensed at your critics’ frequent claims you are a narcissist (or worse). They dare to suggest you are that uniquely abnormal sort of person who lives on the precipice between unbounded ego and infinite insecurity.
Fear not, we’re here to help. After all, if you can’t get good psychiatric help from a public relations expert and a lawyer, well…well then you’ll have to settle for political help. Not just any help, but the kind that turns your base from a grower to a shower. You’ll be at 51% in no time.
What’s the secret? We know you loathe experts, but let’s listen for just a moment to those who earn a living diagnosing personalities like yours. Therapists tell us narcissists (and their cousin psychopaths and sociopaths) share traits like a grandiose sense of self-worth, pathological lying, lack of empathy, promiscuous sexual behavior, impulsivity, lack of remorse, manipulativeness, frequent need for stimulation, and a refusal to accept responsibility for one’s actions.
So many traits, so little time. So that you don’t get distracted, let’s pick one out of the hat and focus on it. The envelope please. And here it is…”refusal to accept responsibility.” Hmmm…let’s take a look at the newspapers. A story about you losing more money in a two-year period than any other American. Others about Trump Tower and your Doral resort being in decline simply because people want nothing to do with you and your brand. Finally, a story about the USA Network rebooting “The Biggest Loser” show for another season.
We know you’ve never had enough free time to actually read the Bible, but we do seem to remember something in the gospel of Matthew (to the left of two Corinthians) mentioning that by insisting on gaining something one can lose it, but by losing it, one can gain it. In summary, time to abandon #winning and embrace #losing! The thought no doubt strikes terror into your grinch-sized heart, but consider this: how better to expand your base than to admit you’re a real loser?
Humans are by nature badly screwed-up and there’s nothing we love more than voting for someone who understands us and seems like an extraordinarily ordinary guy. The kind we can share a beer with, while we bemoan the dysfunction in our families and failures at work, not to mention our national impotence on the world stage. Whether fretting over the minuteness of our hand size, endless wars, or the demise of the habitable planet via climate change, as true-blooded Americans we love nothing more than believing the rest of the species is just as miserable.
Consider (easy-to-grasp graphics to follow): (1) Pre-presidency, you lost over a $1b, per leaked tax returns. (2) You lost the 2016 election by about 3m votes. (3) Your inauguration attendance lost out to your predecessors’ numbers. (4) In a record setting manner, you and your party lost the 2018 congressional elections. (5) You lost the government shutdown battle. (6) You lost any political gain from the giant tax cut. (7) You’ve repeatedly lost court battles since becoming president. (8) You’re [and we’re] losing the war against opioid addiction. (9) You lost the war in Syria. (10) You’ve lost the effort to deprive Americans of essential health insurance–although you’ve certainly stripped it from millions.
This list is in no way exhaustive – we could add North Korea and the fractured relations with our key allies – but instead a snapshot intended to prompt you to think of the many, many things to substantiate your most credible claim yet: America’s Biggest Loser. It’s no surprise that modern advice books talk about “failing well,” “failing forward,” and declare “failure is an option.” Like you, they get that the more one has experienced losing, the more enthralling it is if/when one ever finally experiences winning.
You’re a loser, Mr. President, and that’s what many can learn to love about you. Embrace it and the American people will embrace you. Once the “experts” finally see you admitting you are capable of mistakes—dare we say, taking responsibility for them–they’ll have to scratch you off their list of history’s (greatest ever) narcissists.
Now, some are saying you are no more capable of admitting a flaw than, say, showing empathy for someone who was an American prisoner of war in Vietnam. But we know that a self-described “young vibrant man” like yourself can just as easily admit he’s a loser as go a day without lying.
“Trump/Pence 2020, because losing is winning”—now there’s a slogan we can all get behind.
David Gallagher is a transplanted Texan, living and working in London and tweeting at @TBoneGallagher. David Schleicher is a lawyer who splits his time between Waco and D.C., blogging at www.ContranymTimes.com. A version of this column also appeared in the May 23, 2019 Waco Tribune-Herald: Trib version of this column.