The narcissism of Donald Trump's candidacy

Story highlights

  • Alan J. Lipman: Donald Trump, throughout his career, has been noted for his inability to tolerate disagreement
  • He is guided by impulse, the search for praise and vengeance, and the wish for personal grandiosity, Lipman says

Dr. Alan J. Lipman has been a professor at Georgetown University and The George Washington University, and has held positions at Yale University School of Medicine and The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He is the founder of The Center for the Study of Violence and Washington Psychotherapy. The views expressed are his own.

(CNN)Donald Trump's statement in the final Presidential debate that he would leave the nation in suspense over whether he would accept the election result is merely the most recent example of the narcissism that has marked his candidacy. But while some might be tempted to dismiss such remarks as simply bluster, their extremity and breadth reveal something fundamental -- and critical -- about how a President Trump might perform in office.

As a clinical psychologist, I have worked with many narcissists over the past 30 years, and have taught how to detect and treat such behavior. That's why it isn't hard for me to spot some of the signs, even from a distance