Anonymity requested by the author.
I’m seeing a lot of people wondering why DJT is busy f*cking around with sports personalities and not focusing on (insert any actual problem here you want.)
The answer, as it always is, is NPD. Any disagreement or rejection of a narcissist will result in that person seeking to retaliate for that to the exclusion of all else, even when it’s petty – in fact, *especially* when it’s petty.
On the Venn diagram of how this all works, in this situation we’ve seen this weekend is a perfect storm of overlap between Shame/Embarrassment, Authoritarianism, and Status.
When you reject a malignant narcissist (and rejection can mean any disagreement, really, but in this case it’s an actual rejection), it gets translated by them as a full scale attack on their very being. No one likes being rejected and many people fear it but this is an abnormal level of response. All of their energy will be devoted to retaliation. You can often see this on a smaller scale when a woman ignores a man catcalling her in the street. It goes from zero to aggressively angry almost immediately upon her rejection.
But in this specific case, you have few added variables. One is that professional athletes are often wealthy, famous, and talented. The money they make is based on their actual, proven ability to do something. They did not inherit their money, and they did not inherit their spot on their team, or in the public eye. They actually had to demonstrate an extraordinary gift to be where they are. Many of them came from extremely disadvantaged upbringings, and a great many are POC.
Understand, that’s an awfully stark contrast to a man who was born into tremendous wealth, inherited a great deal of money, and has through his own record of actions, not really demonstrated any gifts or talents at all (of any kind) other than self promotion(which is his one true gift.). Further, he has shown a history of acts of racism (and a zillion other isms, besides).
So when Steph Curry rejects DJT’s invitation, it’s not JUST a rejection (which would be bad enough), but the fact that he’s a wealthy, famous, media-friendly celebrity (in that sense, a peer) who doesn’t need a single thing from DJT and is not impressed by him in the least, who has actual, demonstrable gifts and talents and got to where he is by using them as well as being “inferior” due to his race and upbringing? That is UNTENABLE. It shames and angers him to his very core. Also, because of his position, it is a further rejection of his authority – as someone whose status should (in his mind) be unconditionally craved and be subject to adulation.
One of the preferred techniques of malignant narcissists to respond to rejection is to “banish you from their glorious presence”, which in this case meant rescinding the invite to the team. Understand that when narcissists do this, they *genuinely believe* they are punishing you. They REALLY think that you are going to be shamed and hurt by this rejection, because their only frame of reference is themselves. They do not understand on any level, the idea that people (like Steph Curry) *don’t give a single shit* about this. It’s not conceivable to DJT that this could be the case. But what he does know is that he MUST (must must must) find a way to *punish* him. the league, all professional athletes who support him, anyone who shows sign of dissent… whatever) with *all of his personal attention*. To the exclusion of all else.
He does not care, even a little about the crisis in PR, or Irma, or Harvey, or Jose, or any other disaster. He will only ever focus on things that are *personally about him*. Fighting on twitter with athletes is something about him, and something he can control. It impacts his personal brand; his personal sense of status. This is *all he is*. That brand and sense of status are his whole world. The fact that 100% of PR is without power is not even a consideration to him. He doesn’t live there, and they didn’t vote for him anyway.
100% of the time, he will choose to argue over petty rejection than focus on broader issues. Because the former is about him, and the latter can’t be.
It’s just NPD in action, folks. Nothing new, and perfectly predictable..I woke up to find pretty much what I expected out of the news. He’s done this before. While DJT was a minor celebrity and a reality show host his Narcissistic antics might have been entertaining to some. However his impact on our lives was negligible.
Today he is President of the United States.
His NPD driven Authoritarianism now impacts our democracy. His primary responsibility is defending our Constitution from threats both foreign and domestic. Consider this regardless of your personal politics.
What happens when the Chief Executive becomes the biggest threat to our Constitution?
When I was in third grade, two things of note happened. One, my father (if you’re new around here, my father is a career politician and political analyst, now semi-retired – he still does analysis and consulting.) made me memorize the Constitution of the United States. It was crucially important to him that I (his only child then and for many, many years after) fully knew that document inside and out. The second thing was I stopped saying the Pledge of Alliegiance. Done. Forever.
These two things are connected.
The Constitution is the framework that defines the relationship between a nation and its government. It discusses the rights and responsibilities of both of those things, and how they relate to one another. It sometimes needs tweaking, and we have means and methods to amend and change it, should we choose to do so. We have used those means and methods many times now in US history. Sometimes, we even get it wrong, and have to backtrack. It’s not perfect, and neither were the people who drafted and ratified it. But it’s a document that is designed to ensure that government is responsible to the people for its actions and sets out the rights of the people to redress their grievances, and protect themselves against the state. It is there to remind us that the state works for the people. Not the other way around.
The latter is a blind loyalty oath to the state.
Now, if you think both are valuable, that’s completely fine. My third grade self and my present self think blind loyalty oaths are dangerous and creepy, and don’t participate in them, but you do you. *However*, and this is important. if you think the latter is more important than the former, to the point of *ignoring the point* — the very basic point — of the *existence* of the former, I would suggest you’ve said the latter too many times, and neglected studying the former.
I want our veterans to be cared for, respected, and supported. That means the GI bill, it means better, faster, safer and more comprehensive medical care, it means job placement services, it means making sure no veteran is *EVER* homeless or hungry. That is what we owe our veterans and we fail at that an awful lot. The sad irony is that the very people who keep insisting that they are so very pro military shoot down those spending bills over and over (and if anyone doubts that I will cite chapter and verse. I wouldn’t test me here.)
Respecting our veterans means putting money toward veterans services. It does not mean empty flag waving. It means not getting into easily avoidable conflicts so that overgrown children with no danger to themselves can have their war moment and play toy soldier. It means not sending them off to fight those conflicts in the first place, because we can *do better*, we can *be better* and we can avoid them.
I rarely go to sporting events, but I don’t get up for the national anthem anyway. I have yet to find a reason we PLAY the national anthem at sporting events other than our military _paid_ all the major sports bodies to do it, to help increase military enrollment. That’s not patriotism. It’s just another version of the PoA. What’s *way* more important to me is that people honor the principles of our Constitution – the document that is literally there to ensure that the government is responsible to the people, and that the people have redress against the government when it goes off the rails.
I support the right of every and any citizen to express their dissent against the state (and that means local, municipal, federal… it doesn’t matter.) in any way that is permitted by the Constitution (and let me tell you, kneeling during the anthem is nothing compared to what’s in there.)
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