America’s Crash Course in Narcissim 101

Joy Tiz


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV-TR) is the diagnostic manual used by mental health professionals.  A diagnosis of narcissism requires five out of nine characteristics.  Note these traits must endure overtime and must not be reactions to a particular situation or environmental stressor:

  1. Grandiose sense of self-importance.
  2. Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, beauty, or ideal love.
  3. Sense of specialness, belief he can only be understood by or should associate only with other special or high-status individuals or institutions.
  4. Need for excessive admiration.
  5. Heightened sense of entitlement, leading to unreasonable expectations that others should treat him especially favorably or comply automatically with his expectations.
  6. Tendency to be interpersonally exploitive.  A person with NPD does not hesitate in taking advantage of others to meet his own ends.
  7. Lack of empathy, an inability or unwillingness to recognize or identify with the feelings or needs of others.
  8. An envy of other people, or conversely, a belief that other people envy him.
  9. A tendency toward arrogant behavior or attitude.

In his essay on Obama’s narcissism, Sam Vaknin references Obama’s haughty body language and condescending attitude.  Vaknin also points out Obama’s “emotion free language.” Commentators frequently describe Obama as cool and aloof. 

Some narcissists learn to mimic normal human emotions. Clinton is the master of this; he claimed to feel our pain, and plenty of Americans believed him.  Clinton learned how to win people over with his pseudo empathy.  Obama has yet to demonstrate anything we could call true empathy; irrespective of the words he uses, there is no real emotional content.

When children experience overwhelming trauma, they protect themselves as best they can with a variety of defense mechanisms.  There is no question that life for little Barry was traumatic, full of chaos and abandonment, as well as genuine fear.  The adults in his life betrayed him and taught him hate and mistrust.  Otto Kernberg, in his research on narcissism, states that it evolves as a defense against a cold and unsympathetic parent.  The child withdraws part of himself from the unavailable parent and turns it back toward himself, creating a grandiose sense of self.  Healthy emotional development was just not possible in young Barry’s environment. 

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  8. Posted January 26, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

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  9. Posted January 26, 2010 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    In other words, Obama is the empty suit all us racists said he was, way back before the “stuck on stupids” elected him.

  10. BobM
    Posted January 26, 2010 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    I meant post #2… God I wish websites would be more uniform and have the same rules They should number these posts!

  11. BobM
    Posted January 26, 2010 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    I agree with the first poster… it comes from being an Affirmative Action Baby! This explains why he refuses to release his grades and papers from his school years. He knows as well as all his handlers, that the record doesn’t live up to the hype that’s BO!

    Also the use of the Teleprompters… can’t shoe any mistakes, even in front of elementary school children. What is he afraid of?

  12. XKarenX
    Posted January 25, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Unlike many, I do not think Obama is a superior intellect except in the way an expert grifter can learn the game and become adept at how to work a system & con and play people. He has written of his appreciation of his own charisma and awareness of how to use it to work a group or crowd of people. The closeting of his school papers, grades and records would tend to indicate less than stellar scholarly achievement. He also appears to have little education in or understanding of US or world history except for buzzwords and the radical chic Cliff notes version. Barack Obama’s narcissism, (along with influential friends) is a key component of his success. How else could a person with so few accomplishments, so little experience and so little respect for America & Americans even conceive of applying for the job, especially in such a difficult time? How else could he continue in it when he is so clearly out of his depth. Here’s hoping he doesn’t take all “57 states” with him over the “edge of the clift”.

  13. MarioG
    Posted January 25, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Obama’s narcissism probably tries to cover up an inferiority complex from being completely out of his depth.

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