Narcissus was an amateur compared to The Donald

Do any of these words describe the new resident in the White House? All of them? That would surely be a burden for anyone to carry. Not so, it seems, Donald J Trump, who has made a career out of being the High Priest of Narcissism.

narcissist-acts

It’s just two weeks since The Donald was inaugurated as the 45th POTUS. Good grief! It seems like a lifetime. Now that I’m retired, I often wonder to my wife where time has flown to. When considering all that’s happening right now in the USA, and the profound polarizing impact of this dysfunctional administration, it seems as though we are wading through molasses.

The next four years stretch out endlessly ahead of us (if DJT survives that long), because whatever His Orangeness says or does, affects everyone, not just the USA. He sneezes; we catch a cold.

Following his unbelievable (for all the wrong reasons) Inaugural Address from the steps of the Capitol in Washington, DC on 20 January, The Donald has ratcheted up his invective and vitriol. His minions on the White House staff (Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway come immediately to mind) have stepped into the fray and revealed themselves to be unthinking and deluded acolytes, following the Donald line without question. The GOP in both Houses of Congress appears to have rolled over to have its collective tummy tickled.

Yes. Donald Trump is a narcissist. It’s all about him. He’s playing at being President. It’s the ultimate reality show, only the stakes are much higher, and he’s the apprentice. I think he was in love with the idea of being President. That’s why he ran. He liked the attention he would receive, the fawning, the center stage. Now, everything he does will be scrutinised, and I have great faith in political cartoonists on both sides of the Atlantic to pull him down more than just a peg or two. I signed up for Facebook page called Editorial & Political Cartoons; it’s a great resource.

And because he is so notoriously thin-skinned, this will eventually get to him. Expect a YUMONGOUS reaction before too long, especially when they insinuate that he is just a puppet. Take this cartoon distributed by Pia Guerra on Twitter just five days ago. As the narcissist sans pareil, The Donald won’t stand for this.

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Cartoonists are already focusing on Trumpian characteristics, such as:

  • his remarkable hairstyle;
  • the kaleidoscope of facial expressions (the snarl, the pursed lips);
  • his hands and fingers (small as they are) and exaggerated gestures; and
  • the over-long tie (more like an extended loin-cloth).

He has to be the center of attention, referring to all his ‘achievements’ (but not his multiple bankruptcies) as ‘great’, ‘YUGE’, ‘the best’, etc., while disparaging others. His disrespectful comments are too numerous to list.

His speeches—if you can call them such—are mostly incoherent ramblings often punctuated by his two favourite words: ‘I’ and ‘Me’. Here’s a good example, made at a breakfast recently in the White House to commemorate Black History month. It’s also hard to believe he made these comments at the National Prayer Breakfast earlier this week. And talk about disrespect. During his visit to the CIA a short while after his inauguration, and speaking to an invited (and ‘packed’?) audience in front of the CIA Memorial Wall, he couldn’t resist boasting about the number of times he had appeared on the front cover of Time, as well the unprecedented record crowds who had turned up to his inauguration. He was certainly obsessed with those ‘alternative facts’. It just galls him that he simply is NOT the best.

Anyway, to get back to my original theme of Trump’s narcissism. I posted this simple comment on my Facebook page a couple of days ago or so: Narcissus was an amateur compared to Trump. And that’s why I decided to elaborate on that here.

I also posted the famous Caravaggio painting of Narcissus, painted between 1597 and 1599. Then, lying in bed this morning, thinking about today’s blog post, I wondered if I could superimpose Trump’s head in the painting. However, Google came to the rescue, and I found someone had been there before me.

Furthermore, the author of Poppa’s Cottage had already visited the theme of Trump’s dangerous narcissism in August 2016, and who has written more eloquently than I ever could.

I guess we can all hope that Congress will regain its senses and tell The Donald in no uncertain terms: YOU’RE FIRED!

 

 

The prescience of political cartoonists

Tuesday 7 November 1972. The 47th quadrennial presidential election in the USA.

Richard Milhous Nixon defeated George McGovern in one of the biggest landslide victories in US presidential election history, taking 60.7% of the popular vote, and 520 of the 538 Electoral College votes. Nixon seemed set for a successful second term in office. After all, he’d already made some progress in foreign affairs, having begun the normalization of relations with China, for example.

That was before the scandal we’ve come to know as Watergate surfaced. Such was the impact of this scandal that almost any shady dealings in the public arena today are reported as ‘this-gate’ or ‘that-gate’. It was a significant development in the politics and political history of the late 20th century. And the outcome? Nixon resigned as 37th President of the United States on 9 August 1974.

But even as the Watergate scandal was unfolding, there was one group of media people who really smelt a rat – and I’m not talking about The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. No. I’m referring to a cohort of political cartoonists, especially Herblock and Oliphant, who had latched on to some of Nixon’s shady dealings very early on in the game, over 18 months before Nixon was forced out of office.

At the beginning of January 1973 I moved to Lima in Peru, and took a subscription to both Time Magazine and Newsweek. Once I’d read them I just put them to one side. However, when we moved apartments in August of that year, I took all the magazines with me (never could be sure why), and the pile continued to grow. In early 1974 I realized I had more than a year’s worth of magazines, most of which carried each week one or more political cartoons targeting the latest Watergate revelations – and beyond. What a cartoon treasure trove I’d assembled. It was then I decided to make a scrap book containing all the cartoons and related information I could get my hands on. Many of them hit the nail right on the head, and the cartoonists were well ahead of the other political pundits in exposing Nixon’s crimes.

Just click on Nixon’s image above to view my Watergate scrapbook. I think you’ll find it revealing and entertaining. It’s a large PDF file so it might take a little while to open.