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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Bible signing: Trump’s ego or worse?


There are lots of snarky comments about President Trump signing a Bible on Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey’s Twitter page. He was visiting a Baptist church in Opelika, Ala., that is serving as a disaster relief center. You can see a video of him signing a Bible on The Hill, here.

This is from The Hill:

Local volunteer Ada Ingram told reporters that Trump signed several hats and Bibles, including one for a 12-year-old boy, an action which drew applause from people who came to see Trump.

“I enjoyed him coming,” said Ingram, who said she voted for Trump and would again in 2020. “I think it’s a godsend. I’m sorry. The situation is bad. And there are going to be people who will say ‘why did he come to my town?’ I don’t know why. I don’t why the hurricane happened [either]. But there is a reason.”

This story was covered extensively in the news. This is a Google search of Trump Bible signing.

Politico puts this politely: “President Donald Trump on Friday extended an unusual gesture as he sought to comfort Alabama residents devastated by a tornado outbreak last weekend — he signed Bibles.” Unusual? How about outrageously unprecedented? Then they note the following:  “Trump said Federal Emergency Management Agency staff will stay in Alabama as long as needed as the state recovers. He took off from Alabama to head to Mar-a-Lago, Florida, for a weekend at his private club.” Mr. Sensitive? At least he didn’t throw rolls of paper towels.

I can see someone being caught up in the moment and not wanting to disappoint a fan who hands him a Bible to sign. However, the is the Holy Bible, more than just a book to millions of Christians and, for the Old Testament, for Jews around the world.

While this incident probably says a great deal about Trump supporters, consider the outrage among Republicans if President Obama had signed a Bible in a similar situation.

Can you imagine the uproar in the Muslim world if the leader of a Muslim country signed a Koran?

The president could have politely declined and offered to scrawl his famous, or infamous (depending on your point of view) signature on something else: a sheet of paper, for example.

There are garden variety narcissists and insufferable narcissists, narcissists who are amenable to change dragooned into therapy by their spouses or bosses, and there are those individuals whose narcissism knows no bounds and who revel in bullying others.  Clinicians like Dr. John D. Gartner, founder of the Duty to Warn group which is producing a documentary “#UNFIT” where some of the nations leading mental health experts will explain why the president has a combination of psychiatric conditions sometimes subsumed under the rubric malignant narcissism. Gartner writes “I don’t have to tell you that he flashes his disorders in plain sight daily. The CPAC rant was especially out there. The danger heightens.”

I wrote about Trump’s CPAC rant calling it a “Cornucopia for psychiatric diagnosis.”

While Trump’s rambling rant at CPAC was a blatant demonstration of potentially dangerous psychopathology,  the Bible signing is another indication that few days go by when Trump doesn’t demonstrate his self-aggrandizement, bad judgment, or lack of empathy.

In fact, since the Bible incident, there was another small but telling incident of Trump’s lack of empathy and consideration, this time involving his wife and Monika Babišová the wife of Czech Republic Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. Isabel Jones writes in Yahoo Lifestyle:

Once the visitors’ black SUV pulled away, the couples chatted for a moment before (seemingly without consultation of his wife or Babišová), Trump and Babiš turned to reenter the White House. And OK, I don’t typically alert my boyfriend every time I’m preparing to walk through a door, but what makes this so uncomfortable isn’t the act itself, but rather Melania and Monika’s reaction to it. As the men begin to walk away the women stand still for a moment, unsure of how to proceed, and then they share a mutual shrug (which we interpret as an exasperated exclamation of “MEN!”) and follow their husbands in.

These are comparatively minor examples of Trump’s psychopathology. If you want to be scared, really scared, about the consequences of having a president who is both a malignant narcissist and by all the evidence those of us not privy to what Mueller knows adds up to about the president:  He “is an elephant standing in America’s living room right now staring us in the face” and that he “may well be compromised by the Russians.”  from “A Rogue President: When The Commander-in-Chief Is ‘Unfit,’ What’s a General to Do? Jim Mattis’ Resignation Was Just a Beginning” in The Daily Beast.


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1 thought on “Bible signing: Trump’s ego or worse?”

  1. “The president could have politely declined and offered to scrawl his famous, or infamous (depending on your point of view) signature on something else: a sheet of paper, for example.”

    Yeah, but this is a guy who couldn’t do something like that when handed a purple heart medal. He has no shame.

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