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Op-Ed Article: The truth behind Trump’s need to lie

borosp1

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Apr 12, 2003
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I thought this article by Dan P. McAdams, Psychology Professor at Northwestern University was a unique take on why Trump lies on a daily basis and seems accurate for what we see.. He called him “the episodic man.”

The key to Donald Trump’s psychology is that he moves through life as what I call “the episodic man.” For Trump, each day is indeed “a temporary moment of time.” ]Psychological research shows that nearly all adults develop stories in their minds about their own lives. These stories — what psychologists call “narrative identities” — reconstruct the past and imagine the future to give people a sense that lives have meaning and coherence over time. As you make daily decisions, you implicitly remember how you have come to be who you are, and you anticipate where your life may be going. You live within narrative time.

But the episodic man does not live that way. Instead, he immerses himself in the angry, combative moment, striving desperately to win the moment. Like a boxer in the ring, he brings everything he has to the immediate episode, fighting furiously to come out on top. But the episodes do not add up. They do not form a narrative arc. In Trump’s case, it is as if he wakes up each morning nearly oblivious to what happened the day before. What he said and did yesterday, in order to win yesterday, no longer matters to him. And what he will do today, in order to win today, will not matter for tomorrow.
Article:
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
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your way to late......all of us already know what`s behind Trumps need to lie......
 

pmv

Diamond Member
May 30, 2008
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It's often occured to me that insofar as I worry about morality at all - not having had any kind of religious upbringing God never comes into it - it's because of the need to tell a coherent story about myself, to hang on to some consistent sense of identity. Seems to me that's partially what a 'concience' is.

Feeling one has done something morally wrong is painful because it interrupts that sense of consistency. If you don't have such a sense in the first place, if it isn't important to you, that's one less limiter to your behaviour.
 

FaaR

Golden Member
Dec 28, 2007
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Dumpy's a compulsive liar, plain and simple. A mythomaniac, it's a pathology. There's no psychological reason behind it, his mind was wired this way from birth probably. He's got a compulsive obsession to constantly paint himself in the best possible light, to diametrically oppose any criticism.

He doesn't think of it as lying, I genuinely believe he fundamentally has no concept of what truth is and what a lie is, because he lies so readily and so naturally (although usually transparently and badly.)
 

MtnMan

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Jul 27, 2004
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Dumpy's a compulsive liar, plain and simple. A mythomaniac, it's a pathology. There's no psychological reason behind it, his mind was wired this way from birth probably. He's got a compulsive obsession to constantly paint himself in the best possible light, to diametrically oppose any criticism.

He doesn't think of it as lying, I genuinely believe he fundamentally has no concept of what truth is and what a lie is, because he lies so readily and so naturally (although usually transparently and badly.)
And that is just one of his many many mental issues.

He will be the case study taught to many future psychiatry students. Pop quiz will be "how many diagnosable mental conditions did he exhibit?"
 
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interchange

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Oct 10, 1999
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It doesn't really answer why he needs to lie or operates the way he does.

Regardless, I think the observation is both spot on and much more important than answering why. Understanding that this is the pattern in which Trump lies is fundamental to why he gets away with it. He makes absolutely no effort to create a consistent narrative over time. That is quite different from most people who lie and are corrupt. They try to anticipate different ways people might interpret their actions and try to build a narrative around their own actions actually being normal. However, they try to keep their story logically consistent and are readily defeated when something is exposed which bursts that bubble. Not that Trump doesn't try to conceal his misdeeds. He just does it differently. And when he is had he simply changes the truth. Truth in practice is what you allow it to be. Instead of trying to maintain consistency in your story and to get people to see your actions the way they want you to see them, instead Trump gaslights. He gets you to doubt your own grip on your reality. If he can turn the attention to the discrepancies in what you haven't figured out or what you are not absolutely certain of, then their own discrepancies are no longer important. In the end, Trump will never be defeated by exposing him as a blatant liar. The only way to stop him is to have the will to carry it through.
 
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pmv

Diamond Member
May 30, 2008
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Dumpy's a compulsive liar, plain and simple. A mythomaniac, it's a pathology. There's no psychological reason behind it, his mind was wired this way from birth probably. He's got a compulsive obsession to constantly paint himself in the best possible light, to diametrically oppose any criticism.

He doesn't think of it as lying, I genuinely believe he fundamentally has no concept of what truth is and what a lie is, because he lies so readily and so naturally (although usually transparently and badly.)
I don't think you can say "there's no psychological reason behind it" and then say he's a compuslive liar - saying he's a compulsive liar is suggesting a psychological reason.

I heard something recently about some study that allegedly showed that children raised in very disciplinairian households, particularly where there was physical punishment for misbehaviour, tend to become very accomplished liars. As with everything about Trump I wonder how much goes back to his father.

Regarding your last point, I have to say that's what I frequently thought about Tony Blair. He didn't seem to see much distinction between the concepts of 'true' and 'useful to me'. I put it down to his being a lawyer by training! The point about Trump's inconsistency and lying-in-the-moment in the OP seems a good one insofar as it's something distinctive about Trump compared to others who tell untruths.
 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
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It sounds to me like the OP's article is the description for another term or two. That it describes Trump as brain damaged and or senile.
 

FaaR

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Dec 28, 2007
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It doesn't really answer why he needs to lie or operates the way he does.
He has delusions of grandeur. He honestly believes he's this fantastic terrific amazing super unbelievably unparallelably unbeatably never-before-seen successful person (and STRONG!!!!! He wins so STRONGLY every time!), who accomplishes everything for the first time, things nobody else has done, thinks stuff nobody else has thought of before, knows that which nobody else knows.

When he's criticized he always go back to this internal version of himself, I remember an interview he did fairly early on being presiderp and the interviewer said something to him I can't remember right now, something he didn't like, and he just got this look on his face of abject disappointment that he wasn't being worshipped, for being so clearly super super awesome, and instead criticized. He was shaking his head in disbelief and said like, "I've been so successful... So so successful, and despite that you just criticize, blablabla, fake news such and such..." He was so disappointed.

You could see the tangible need oozing out of him, the need and desire to be pandered to and held up as an idol, and worshipped. That's what he gets at his goddamn rallies, that's why he's been rallying for years even after he won the fucking election. It's an endorphin rush for him, he gets to be the sun around which everyone else orbits.

Understanding that this is the pattern in which Trump lies is fundamental to why he gets away with it.
Rules apply differently to rich people. We tend to not contradict them, because it would somehow be embarrassing to us to embarrass them, and since we enable them and give them power they could then turn that power back on us and blast us with it if we question them. And we don't want that to happen.

And also, people in power aren't held accountable in the same way in the U.S. as they are for example in my own country. Not just Donald Dump, but many Merican politicians at different levels of gov't lie to extraordinary degrees, lie outrageously and/or say horrific outrageous things, often with no genuine repercussions; you would never get away with that where I live. You would get fired by your own party.

In the U.S., if they simply double down on their outrageousness they more often than not seem to ride out the storm rather than be consumed by it. ...Which is why Dems almost never succeed in that, because as soon as they offended some snowflake's fee-fees they have to go on an apology tour, and then they're finished. Repuggers double down, never admit they were wrong, may say it's you who's wrong for getting upset, they're then cheered by hardline rightwingers for sticking to their assholery (IE, "being a real man" as the delusion goes), the party closes ranks, and that's it. That's the end of whatever 'scandal' started the whole mess.

I don't think you can say "there's no psychological reason behind it" and then say he's a compuslive liar - saying he's a compulsive liar is suggesting a psychological reason.
Well, what I wanted to say is I think there's a biological reason for it. It may be categorized as a psychological reason in the way it manifests itself in reality, but my take was, he's got fucked up genes from either his psycho daddy or both parents, and thus he was born fucked up.
 
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nickqt

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Moonbeam

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Well, what I wanted to say is I think there's a biological reason for it. It may be categorized as a psychological reason in the way it manifests itself in reality, but my take was, he's got fucked up genes from either his psycho daddy or both parents, and thus he was born fucked up.
This need to see a biological reason for Trumpiness will always exist because the monster he is is within us and we don't want to see it. Trump is a God of hope, a heaven I dream of being in, where I am He who is worshiped by all. I am not there yet but I am riding on the same train. The flaw you have is that you are just jealous. If you were to contest my truth you would lose so you shower our world with contempt.

Trump can only be defeated by a nobody who does not matter. The abject have no ground to cede, no contest to fight and nothing to win, no story to tell one's self, all that can lose already taken.

Listen close, do you hear that thump, thump peristaltic wave that lies at the ground of being, the utter silence of the stars hurtling though space. Stop now, Moonbeam, before you have an anxiety attack.
 

pmv

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May 30, 2008
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He has delusions of grandeur. He honestly believes he's this fantastic terrific amazing super unbelievably unparallelably unbeatably never-before-seen successful person (and STRONG!!!!! He wins so STRONGLY every time!), who accomplishes everything for the first time, things nobody else has done, thinks stuff nobody else has thought of before, knows that which nobody else knows.

When he's criticized he always go back to this internal version of himself, I remember an interview he did fairly early on being presiderp and the interviewer said something to him I can't remember right now, something he didn't like, and he just got this look on his face of abject disappointment that he wasn't being worshipped, for being so clearly super super awesome, and instead criticized. He was shaking his head in disbelief and said like, "I've been so successful... So so successful, and despite that you just criticize, blablabla, fake news such and such..." He was so disappointed.

You could see the tangible need oozing out of him, the need and desire to be pandered to and held up as an idol, and worshipped. That's what he gets at his goddamn rallies, that's why he's been rallying for years even after he won the fucking election. It's an endorphin rush for him, he gets to be the sun around which everyone else orbits.


Rules apply differently to rich people. We tend to not contradict them, because it would somehow be embarrassing to us to embarrass them, and since we enable them and give them power they could then turn that power back on us and blast us with it if we question them. And we don't want that to happen.

And also, people in power aren't held accountable in the same way in the U.S. as they are for example in my own country. Not just Donald Dump, but many Merican politicians at different levels of gov't lie to extraordinary degrees, lie outrageously and/or say horrific outrageous things, often with no genuine repercussions; you would never get away with that where I live. You would get fired by your own party.

In the U.S., if they simply double down on their outrageousness they more often than not seem to ride out the storm rather than be consumed by it. ...Which is why Dems almost never succeed in that, because as soon as they offended some snowflake's fee-fees they have to go on an apology tour, and then they're finished. Repuggers double down, never admit they were wrong, may say it's you who's wrong for getting upset, they're then cheered by hardline rightwingers for sticking to their assholery (IE, "being a real man" as the delusion goes), the party closes ranks, and that's it. That's the end of whatever 'scandal' started the whole mess.


Well, what I wanted to say is I think there's a biological reason for it. It may be categorized as a psychological reason in the way it manifests itself in reality, but my take was, he's got fucked up genes from either his psycho daddy or both parents, and thus he was born fucked up.

I agree with what you say at the start of this comment - Trump's overinflated opinion of himself I'm sure has everything to do with this sort of situation. My feeling is still that he probably did get a briefing of some sort, but misunderstood it because he doesn't listen because he thinks he already knows everything. Then he can't wait to announce what he thinks he knows to the world.

I don't personally believe such things are biological - I'd bet you could find the makings of Trumpery in the nature of his upbringing and subsequent experiences as someone born rich - but there's not likely to be anything productive in going over the endless nature vs nurture debate here.
 

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