Thus, despite their knowledge and their intellect, certain personalities and individuals are drawn by the allure of Washington, and in turn the allure is underpinned by nothing other than an inclination towards “black magic” and stupidity. Why these individuals are drawn by the allure despite there being nothing other than embarrassment, humiliation, and mental illness at the end of it all is best explained by a concept or term employed by the late American political psychologist Jerrold Post, known as “Narcissistic Entitlement.” As Post wrote in a book titled “Narcissism and Politics: Dreams of Glory”:
“Individuals with narcissistic personalities have feelings of grandiosity and a sense of entitlement, indulge in arrogant behavior, and engage in exploitative actions. This sense of entitlement and grandiosity produces a unique situation in which such individuals feel justified in passing judgments on others while they engage in the same acts they decry themselves. It is as if they are living in some rarefied strata, gifted with a unique and superior nature that lifts them above the moral expectations and laws that apply to mere mortals.”
And while money and fame are the fuel and fodder for the sense of “narcissistic entitlement” that takes hold of these individuals, the overriding factor to such a psychological state is the complex intersection of morality and sex which prompts the “Swiss cheese conscience” that leads them into thinking that the rules, laws, and norms which apply to regular people do not apply to them. Post wrote:
“Some have described this as a ‘Swiss cheese conscience,’ one in which there are strict moral prohibitions, but where the individual can satisfy his own needs without moral prohibition, as if he pours through the holes and is able to justify his actions. These characteristics and behaviors are easily found in the countless news stories about politicians spouting strong family values in their speeches while secretly having affairs, righteously expressing campaign messages of disgust and outrage for other politicians caught red-handed while engaging in the exact same behaviors themselves, demanding the end of homosexuality while privately engaging in homosexual acts, and the like.”
In turn, the people which the narcissist surrounds himself or herself with – for instance, their spouses, mistresses, lovers, advisers, and friends – all play the role of self-objects, according to Post. There is always an “imbalance” in the relationship between the narcissist and his or her self-objects, and the “imbalance” is tailored by the narcissists themselves in order to confirm and reassure themselves of what was initially noted, namely, their sense of “narcissistic entitlement.” Thus, the relationships between the narcissist and their self-objects are never mutual.
Also, the narcissist assumes and balances two different and paradoxical approaches towards other people. For one, the narcissist seeks to garner power and prestige for himself or herself through others. But at the same time, the narcissist admires and worships the power and prestige that is wielded by certain personalities other than themselves, as in the case of Trump admiring Putin and Kim Jong Un and so forth. Hence, the narcissist will only take in whatever it is that feeds his or her sense of self, and will reject whatever it is that does not feed his or her sense of self. But what is common amongst all narcissists is their troubling inner void which can never be filled. More on the concept or notion of “self” in the next blog post.