Daffyesque Donald

Unpublished, June 8, 2017

I'm not diagnosing Trump with narcissism, just comparing his cartoonish traits with those of Daffy Duck.

As I watch Donald Trump as candidate and president and read his tweets, he keeps reminding me of Daffy Duck.

A nursing school class on mental health required the students to present on a major personality disorder. One of the students chose narcissism, and her brilliant and unforgettable presentation used Daffy Duck as the subject.

First, she showed via YouTube the 1957 Warner Brothers short, “Show Biz Bugs.” Afterward, she identified five traits that Daffy Duck exhibited that were included in the DSM IV diagnostic criteria for 301.81, Narcissistic Personality Disorder. They included:

1. Grandiose sense of self-importance

Daffy: “Boy! Listen to that! They love me!!” when the audience was actually applauding Bugs Bunny.

Trump: After he and Melania rode down Trump Tower’s golden escalator in June 2015 to announce his run for the presidency, Trump proclaimed that Mexico sends its criminals and rapists illegally across the border, bringing drugs. Trump piñatas began appearing all over Mexico. In July 2015, his “border tour” involved touching down in Laredo “despite the great danger” for all of four hours, long enough to declare that Rick Perry was doing a lousy job as governor and that he will take jobs back from China and Japan and give them to “the Hispanics … they’re going to love Trump (referring to himself in third person)!”

2.   Envious of others

Daffy: “What!? That rabbit’s name over mine!?! I’m the star! I’ll just see about this.” Daffy Duck was looking at a sign advertising Bugs Bunny’s show that listed, in small print, Daffy Duck as a supporting act.

Trump, tweeting June 18, 2013: “Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow — if so, will he become my new best friend?” Trump’s bromance with Russia’s Vladimir Putin belies an intense envy. After all, Putin’s house is bigger than Trump’s; he has more money than Trump; and rules as dictator without challenge from a pesky media.

3.   Sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

Daffy: Yelling to his cab driver after being driven one block, “Twenty-five cents!? It’s robbery, but I’ll pay it! But you get no gratuity. It’s enough that you’ve had the honor of having a celebrity like me in your cab!”

On numerous occasions, Trump allegedly asked former FBI Director James Comey and high-ranking national security and intelligence officials to drop the investigation of Michael Flynn’s ties with the Russians.

4.   Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people

Daffy: After performing, Daffy receives no applause from the audience. He becomes furious, shouts “Ingrates!” and storms off the stage.

Trump: Rather than universal gratitude when he fired Comey, he got universal outrage, prompting him to tweet: “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press.” Then his own Department of Justice informs him they’ve appointed a special counsel to lead the investigation into his campaign ties with Russia. He tweets: “With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel (misspelled) appointed!” And “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”

5.   Requires excessive admiration

Daffy: Performing numerous tricks to gain the admiration of the audience, he danced an elaborate tap routine, trained pigeons to walk tightropes, tried to sabotage Bugs Bunny’s fame by putting TNT in his xylophone, and finally, blowing himself up with a mixture of uranium, nitroglycerine, gunpowder and gasoline. He finally received massive applause for this final act.

Trump staged a post-election victory tour and gloatfest.

I’m not diagnosing Trump with narcissism, just comparing his cartoonish traits with those of Daffy Duck. The difference is, Daffy is lovable.

Toni Inglis, MSN, RN, CNS, FAAN, is a lifelong Austin resident and retired editor and neonatal intensive care nurse. She writes a monthly opinion column for the Austin American-Statesman editorial page.