We all check the mirror in the morning to do what we need to do. Mirrors when kept clean present an image — sometimes pleasing, other times daunting — always realistic except for the narcissist.
Ever wonder what a narcissist sees in the mirror? And, what if that narcissist is the President of the United States? He sees a younger man with flowing blond hair. The man is fit and unusually handsome appearing aggressive and vibrant. He sees eyes that indicate intellectual prowess and an Ivy League education second to none. The image he sees bursts with a confidence seen only in the exceptionally successful. He squints a bit and now the shrewdness is apparent. Yes, he sees a winner — a hands-down winner. Now for the 30-minute comb-over and spray and he is poised to win skirmishes large and small but only those he either defines or causes.
Does his reflection prompt the internal reflection most of us feel from time to time? Actually for POTUS the mirror only confirms “observed fact.” Based on his tweets and actions the following “indisputable facts” accompany him from the mirror on his day’s journey:
Brown people are less intelligent and less able than Northern Europeans. They come here taking jobs while bringing crime and disease. It’s not just the gardeners, farm workers, day laborers and maids it goes all the way to the top. My predecessor was illegal and therefore unqualified. The Hispanic judge in Chicago cannot perform his duties properly because he is biased against me. Collectively they are disruptive. I actually won the popular vote if not for the millions of illegals voting illegally.
Women are beautiful things; well at least some of them are. They please me and often they do so whether they want to or not. It is a concern how many of them are both ungrateful and liars. They unrealistically accuse. The younger the better. When I walked through their dressing room at my beauty pageant in Moscow their embarrassment was enjoyable and you knew they would say nothing. Older women, while lucky to have my attention, take exception to it. How ungrateful.
The law is a minor consideration in the decision making process. With a shrewd mind and legal “fixers” you can sidestep any legal issue. Attorneys as fixers creatively and therefore legally assist me getting my way with: wives, mistresses (porn stars, playmates and others), defrauded students and friendly oligarchs. The law is an abstraction unless it stops you from getting what you want.
A fact is what I say it is. If enough people believe me and they cheer what I say at rallies then the facts speak for themselves. One six-year old fact: my predecessor was illegally elected until I mentioned one evening that he was not illegal. And, facts can change when I change them. Facts are made to fit the immediate situation. An example: Monday fact — gun laws should be changed. Tuesday fact — guns don’t kill, insane people do.
When questioned with “fake news” send up a flare. A flare — a tweet or confusing statement — distracts and disrupts unwanted dialogue. Flares are situational and transactional and always keep them guessing. Flares keep the press and the people off their game. Some effective flares include: arming school teachers, firing an aide, questioning a war hero being a hero, or loving DACA. Flares and “facts” are similar tools for getting my way? They work.
From the narcissist’s mirror to the office, just another day in the life of POTUS. But, what happens when lies no longer work? When flares prove ineffective? When patriotic, courageous Republicans speak out. When facts become overwhelming? Will that change the mirror’s reflection? Probably not.
Jim Koerlin lives in Groveland.