Much of the dialogue around him, the journalism and analysis, even the statements of his own surrogates, amounts to a desperate attempt to construct a Theory of Trump, to explain what he does and says through some story about his long-term goals and beliefs.
We badly want to understand Trump, to grasp him. It might give us some sense of control, or at least an ability to predict what he will do next.
But what if there’s nothing to understand? What if there’s no there there? What if our attempts to explain Trump have failed not because we haven’t hit on the right one, but because we are, theory-of-mind-wise, overinterpreting the text?
In short, what if Trump is exactly as he appears: a hopeless narcissist with the attention span of a fruit fly, unable to maintain consistent beliefs or commitments from moment to moment, acting on base instinct, entirely situationally, to bolster his terrifyingly fragile ego.
We’re not really prepared to deal with that.
We overanalyze Trump. He is what he appears to be.
David Roberts, Vox
We’ve seen results when one’s predictable
behavior stems from hardened arsonism,
but patterns yields to inexplicable
with diagnosed malignant narcissism.
Mary Boren, 5/13/17