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Election 2016: Two Perfectly Personality Disordered Candidates

Who are we trying to kid!? It takes a “unique” person to run for President. That much responsibility gives normal folk like you and me the willies. But somebody’s got to do it.

The UK’s DailyMail said, “Fearless and dominant people are often a paradoxical mix of charm and nastiness. Cool and calm under pressure, they [are] not easily rattled. They lack the same kind of anticipatory anxiety that most people have so are not put off from taking dangerous actions.” Sounds like the stuff that Presidents are made of. But it kinda’ sounds like a Personality Disordered person too.

A Layperson’s Diagnosis

In August, the American Psychiatric Association encouraged its members to refrain from providing long-distance diagnoses of the candidates saying, “This year, the election seems like anything but a normal contest, that has at times devolved into outright vitriol…The unique atmosphere of this year’s election cycle may lead some to want to psychoanalyze the candidates, but to do so would not only be unethical, it would be irresponsible.”

But that hasn’t stopped writers from trying their hand at it anyways.

According to my other writing venue, The Huffington Post, author Daniel Wagner wrote that, “Mr. Trump appears to be suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).” In The Washington Times, R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., a New York Times best-selling author wrote about Hillary Clinton: “She is an obvious sociopath. I have watched her carefully for 25 years and reviewed her life going back over four decades. She does not know right from wrong. Her recent run-in with the FBI and her obvious lies to the American people and to the relatives of Benghazi’s victims have been preceded by lies during her work for the Watergate committee, during her years in the Arkansas governor’s mansion….”

So there we have it, folks. The long-distance “diagnosis” of the Presidential Candidates of 2016, politics aside, boils down to simply this:

Narcissist VS Sociopath

Everybody’s Ticked Off

Regardless of your political convictions, I’ll these “diagnoses” might’ve pissed you off. This is one election where no one is dispassionate. Even those who don’t intend to vote are passionate: They hate both candidates!

“…voting for them does not make us traitors to ourselves and other victims of abuse.”

But, look at it another way. I doubt there will ever be an election where an emotionally healthy person aspires to lead the nation. C’mon! Do you want the job!?! I certainly don’t! I know I’m not qualified to lead 300 million Americans and I don’t want the responsibility. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. Ever notice how dramatically presidents age, wrinkle and go grey during their time in office? No POTUS emerges unscathed.

In a way, I’m glad there are those who freely choose to step up to the plate, personality disorders and all, to lead this great nation. You almost have to be a little “unique” to say, “Hey! I got this! No problem! Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!”

Presidential Precedents

According to a fascinating article by Pew Research, the most narcissistic president of all time was…wait for it…Lyndon B. Johnson. Writer Richard Morin said that, “…one of the great love affairs of all time may have been between Lyndon Johnson and…himself.” Okay. That didn’t sound good. Y’know what he meant!

Morin goes on to say, “Also near the top of presidents grandly infatuated with themselves were Teddy Roosevelt, Andrew Jackson, Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy.” And they fare quite well in the history books.

Maybe the labels are getting blurred because the UK’s DailyMail on presidential narcissism claimed, “Theodore Roosevelt, regarded as one of the most influential US leaders even though he was in office more than a hundred years ago, ranked highest for this type of personality followed by John F Kennedy, Franklin D Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan” as psychopaths.

Wait a second…almost the same bunch of guys! But who doesn’t love the Ronnie. Both Republicans and Democrats swoon over him!

I love how Pyschology Today phrased it: “You have to have a touch of grandiosity to believe you are the Moses who will lead America to the Promised Land.”

What Others Are Saying

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it many times. It goes like this:  “I will never understand how someone who claims to have been abused by narcissistic personality disordered people can even contemplate forcing not just our nation but our world to that abuse 24/7 for the next 4-8 years. It just boggles my mind.” The writer was referring to Donald Trump. But everyone who’s suffered at the hands of a sociopath are saying exactly the same thing kind of thing about Hillary Clinton.

Remember, the President is not a dictator. With the possible exception of Executive Orders, the Legislative and Judicial branches of government exist to check-and-balance the Executive Branch and vice versa. In other words, voting for Trump or Hillary does not necessarily mean we’ll find ourselves back in the Personality Disordered Hell from which we’ve escaped! We’re not marrying them, after all. (Can I get a “hallelujah”!?!)

Thinking Beyond the Knee-Jerk Reaction

With the epidemic of mental illness, we’ve all been hurt by Personality Disordered people. But those are our main choices in the Election of 2016: two Personality Disordered candidates.

I’m writing this to challenge my fellow Americans to think beyond the psychological terms, beyond the personality disorders and beyond the pain as they cast their vote.

For example, those who have been unspeakably wounded by narcissist may be tempted to throw their vote to Hillary. Conversely, those who’ve suffered sociopathic abuse first-hand might vault aboard the Trump Train.

As voters, our challenge is to think beyond our personal experiences. It is our sacred duty to set aside emotion, fight the temptation of a knee-jerk reaction and choose a leader wisely for the good of the nation…even the world.

A Question of Degrees

In their long careers, both candidates have allegedly and/or definitely done and said some pretty bad things. They’ve both admitted it publicly. Surely we can all agree on that. Voting for them doesn’t mean we condone what they’ve done and said.

More importantly, voting for them does not
make us traitors to ourselves and other victims of abuse.

Voting for Hillary does not mean you didn’t suffer sociopathic abuse in your lifetime.

Voting for Trump does not mean you condone narcissism nor does it sweep narcissistic abuse under the rug.

In your lifetime, there may never be a more important Presidential Election. To quote the most narcissistic president, Lyndon B. Johnson, “A man without a vote is a man without protection.”

Neither candidate is “perfect.” In one way or another, they’re both lemons. But they’re our lemons. So let’s get out there, cast our votes and make some lemonade!

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Election 2016: Two Perfectly Personality Disordered Candidates

Lenora Thompson

For five years, "Narcissism Meets Normalcy" has followed the real-life, ongoing story of freelance writer, Lenora Thompson, and her readers’ healing journey from narcissistic abuse to healing, peace and happiness. In August 2020, Lenora launched a new blog, "Beyond Narcissism…And Getting Happier All the Time" as she and her readers explore the new world of peace and happiness. "Beyond Narcs…Get Happy" is 100% reader supported! To learn more about Lenora, her husband Michael’s heroic fight against Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis and to subscribe to her other writings, please visit Thank you!

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APA Reference
Thompson, L. (2016). Election 2016: Two Perfectly Personality Disordered Candidates. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 28, 2020, from


Last updated: 3 Nov 2016
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