Brooks: Trump ‘Obviously Displays Extreme Narcissism,’ and ‘Certain Manic, Hyperactive Attention’

On Friday’s broadcast of “PBS NewsHour,” New York Times columnist David Brooks stated Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump “obviously displays extreme narcissism, but most of all, he displays a certain manic, hyperactive attention.”

Brooks said Trump’s recent statements aren’t “a decision he is making. It’s a condition he possesses. And we’re not used to talking about the psychological mental health of our candidates. And in some things, I think it’s not fair to talk about his mental health, in terms of how he operates with his kids in his private life, but there’s a such a thing as public psychology and political psychology. And in public, he obviously displays extreme narcissism, but most of all, he displays a certain manic, hyperactive attention. And so if you graph a Trump sentence, every eight-word verse, he’s like associative thinking. And there’s a term in psychology called the flights of thought, where one word sets off an association, which sets off an association, and as one psychiatrist said, compare his speeches to Robin Williams’ monologues, but without the jokes, but with insults. And so he’s not in control of his own attention, I don’t believe. And, therefore, you get these rambling, weird sentences. You get things he patently shouldn’t be saying. And then even this, I’m being sarcastic about the sarcasm, I’m obviously being sarcastic, and then maybe a fifth a second later, he said, but not that much. So he’s contradicting himself within 12 words. And that’s a condition.”

Brooks added, while discussing the RNC cutting off funding to the Trump campaign, “I think the morality is, you cut off funding, but just on political grounds, do you think, well, if we spend the money on Senate campaigns, at least we can shore those up. But the blunt fact is, if Trump totally collapses, and he gets 38, 40, 42 percent of the vote, then the tsunami is so big, it probably sweeps out a lot of the congressional races, no matter what they spend on locally. So, where to put the money is an interesting question.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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