I noticed three instances over the weekend of people talking about Donald Trump’s “campaign of hate.” I wanted to correct them — because they misunderstand this narcissist — but I knew they wouldn’t get my point. It’s not that I’m defending him, because what he does is worse than hate. You simply have to understand the way narcissists think to understand him. Trump doesn’t hate. It’s worse than hate. He’s indifferent and angry with anyone who doesn’t obey him and worship him, those who don’t give him what’s called “narcissistic supply.” People believe that Trump hates blacks or Hispanics or foreigners or whatever group which he’s seen as hating. It’s true that he experiences rage at people who will not give him what he wants, but he’s not in touch enough with his real self to feel real hatred, much less to feel real love. He’s like a vampire who sucks all the available praise and adoration from any group of people — any way he can get it. He doesn’t love rural, blue-collar white folks, but their adoration gives him what he craves. He’s not emotionally mature enough even to hate. For a narcissist, people are simply objects to manipulate, depending on what he can get from them. Trump’s indifference is far worse than hatred. This isn’t ideological or political. It’s pathological. He’s not mature enough to hate.
The decline of modern culture can be seen clearly by looking at what passes for public discourse. There was a time when people who wanted their ideas accepted made rational arguments. It was assumed that most people were bright enough and rational enough to evaluate those arguments — and a surprising number of them really were. Today, the arguments are made in the form of irrational and simplistic graphics called “memes.” Because these graphics can’t convey complex or nuanced information, they present dumbed-down presentations of positions which are stunningly juvenile and seem designed to offend rather than to convince. We have regressed from books and dense pamphlets to a level more like that of angry kindergartners making crayon-scrawled hate notes to send to other children. Reason no longer plays a role in public discourse, and this signals the coming fall of this society.
Lucy just made possible friends with two little girls, but the girls are more enthusiastic so far than she is. Joy, 5, and Hope, 6, just moved in with their grandmother on my street. I didn’t know this, but while Lucy and I were walking, I heard a tiny voice from the darkness cry out, “Hi, doggie!” It took me a minute to figure out where the voice was coming from, but once I did, their grandmother, Rose, came out onto the porch and gave the girls permission to pet Lucy, which delighted the girls. Joy said she wasn’t allowed off her porch since she had socks and no shoes. Lucy was shy, but allowed them to pet her a bit, while the girls marveled about how soft she is. I hope Lucy will let them be her friends. It’s a joy to see how far Lucy has come since she came to live with me. She’s nothing like the “special needs dog” who I was told would never get close to anybody.