Neurotic leadership has consequences. It’s a common phenomenon in management science, that Neurotic Leadership, leads to Neurotic Organizations. Trump is certifiably a Neurotic.
Trump has every sign of deep Narcissism, and other related psychological defects. Often out of fear and opportunism, those that follow adopt and mimic the neurotic styles of influential leaders. In such settings, the culture sooner or later becomes neurotic and toxic. This is exactly what has happened.
His neurosis has infected almost 70 million Americans, who by the way, could be argued already had weak mental states that made them susceptible and indeed accelerate the onset of neurosis. Extreme, constant worry and negativity among his followers has crossed into neurotic behavior. Trump is NOT only neurotic, but he picked up on the fears of ordinary Americans to build his base of followers to infect. Deviants attract deviants. Ask alcoholic couples, etc. These poor folks had lost jobs, saw their take home pay stagnate or decline while America has become increasingly polarized economically.
One mental health official explained it this way:
“In mental pathology, where higher functions are impaired, an individual tap more easily into “the primitive brain,” which is irrational but very powerful, as it is survival-driven. Illegitimate power is like oxygen to the narcissistically- or sociopathically-disordered mind, and such a person would be driven to do anything—including annihilate himself and the world—for his psychic survival. Losing an election would, therefore, not at all be like a healthy person’s experience of defeat. In fact, we know how much Donald Trump fears it through his readiness to call others “losers” and “suckers”, in order to separate himself and to disavow qualities he cannot tolerate.
Many of his followers will equally experience his downfall as a life-or-death matter, since he has conditioned this into them. Their bond is pathological to start, based on developmental wounds or regression to an earlier stage of development under stress, which led them to seeking a parental figure. They are thus vulnerable to someone manipulative and exploitative enough to say he will take care of them and protect them in unrealistic ways that defy reality. And once they do, they often give up their agency and rationality. Recent footage of his followers chanting, “Fire Fauci!” is disturbing in its depiction of their conformity, loss of personality, and alignment with Donald Trump’s thinking—to suggest proactively that he remove the reminder of his unwanted reality: the pandemic. Delusions, paranoia, and violence-proneness are among the most contagious symptoms, and we see all these tendencies in his followers.ial explained it this way: “
This in fact is the greatest issue facing America now. Somehow, sanity needs to be restored, BUT how? Many of the problems are structural and could take a whole generation to fix. At the heart of it are major issues with education and health care systems as well as impact of new technology transforming manufacturing and global markets. In the past decade American manufacturing has grown, but manufacturing employment has declined. Energy markets are shifting. Note his followers are 90%+ uneducated whites, in a declining lower/middle class demographic stratum. America has hollowed out, and Trump’s whole base is the donut hole in its center that has been most affected and now has a GDP lower than Portugal, while American coastlines are booming.
He has infected not only Americans, but also politicians abroad – inspiring the rise certifiably neurotic leaders from Brazil, to the UK, to MBS in Saudi Arabia. He has turned the world upside down. His influence and impact has been horrific. But he is ultimately, a symptom, not a cause. Biden needs to dig deep and quickly move to address the core issues that led to his rise. Without the deep depression and economic blight in Germany, Hitler could not have risen to power in the way he did. Democrats need to visit the heartland and figure out how to restore sanity.
Recently, more than 100 senior mental health experts went on video record to declare that Donald Trump was too psychologically dangerous and mentally unfit to qualify for the presidency or candidacy for reelection. “Shared psychosis” has been well-documented by renowned mental health experts.
Bottom-line, restoring sanity will be very, very difficult. It’s a critical issue.