Is Barack Obama a Textbook Case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Rick Right Pernick

I was watching a television program yesterday in which one character was describing to another the traits of narcissistic personality disorder, wherein one feels compelled to create villains to defeat in order to be perceived by others as being a hero. Much of the following explanation of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is taken directly from the DSM-IV, the rest is taken from family reunions, BBQs, and Discord Christmas parties. 

While I have accused Obama of being a narcissist on many occasions, it didn’t occur to me until last night that his narcissism could be diagnosable.  So I decided this morning to learn more about this from a credible source—no, not our resident Dr. Nick of behavioral health, Mick Zano—I went to the  NPD is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. Those with NPD believe that they’re superior to others and have little regard for other people’s feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism.   In other words, someone with NPD should never ask a question of our Ghetto Shaman.

Diagnosis: Narcissistic personality disorder is one of several types of personality disorders. Personality disorders are conditions in which people have traits that cause them to feel and behave in socially distressing ways—ways that limit their ability to function in relationships and in other areas of their life, such as work or school (or big white government buildings).

Symptoms: NPD is characterized by dramatic, emotional behavior, in the same category as antisocial and borderline personality disorders.

Narcissistic personality disorder symptoms may include:

  • Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
  • Exaggerating your achievements or talents
  • Expecting constant praise and admiration
  • Believing that you’re special and acting accordingly
  • Failing to recognize other people’s emotions and feelings
  • Expecting others to go along with your ideas and plans
  • Expressing disdain for those you feel are inferior
  • Setting unrealistic goals
  • Having a fragile self-esteem
  • Appearing as tough-minded or unemotional
  • Painful urination and discharge (OK, I made that one up)

Although some features of NPD may seem like having confidence or strong self-esteem, it’s not the same. Narcissistic personality disorder crosses the border of healthy confidence and self-esteem into thinking so highly of yourself that you put yourself on a teleprompter…er, I mean pedestal (it’s like, reaching CEO Pierce Winslow levels of self adoration).

When you have NPD, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious. You often monopolize conversations. This was on display for all to see during Obama’s so-called Health Care Summit.  According to those keeping time, Obama spoke for 119 minutes during the session, compared with 110 for Republicans and 114 for the other Democrats.  It was necessary for Obama to provide a rebuttal for every point republicans made in opposition to his plan.

When Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner announced how much more time those in favor of reform spoke vs. those opposed, Obama said “I’m the president, my time doesn’t count.”

You may belittle or look down on people you perceive as inferior, like those who cling to their guns and religion. You may have a sense of entitlement.  How often have we heard the president say “I won” [the election]?  And when you don’t receive the special treatment to which you feel entitled, you may become very impatient or angry. Obama has demanded and received high praise from the mainstream media, and when the media asks a legitimate question, Obama mocks them publicly. 

You also may insist on having “the best” of everything — the best car, athletic club, medical care or social circles, for instance.  But underneath all this behavior often lies a fragile self-esteem. You have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have a sense of secret shame and humiliation. And in order to make yourself feel better, you may react with rage or contempt.  This is prevalent in virtually every aspect of his presidency.  For every issue, there must be a villain, Wall Street, Insurance companies, big oil, big business; and everyone who disagrees with him is considered a potential home-grown terrorist according to his Homeland Security goons.

Causes: The causes of NPD are not known. As with other mental disorders, the cause is likely complex and involves a college education, country clubs, and numerous gin spritzers. Some evidence links the cause to a dysfunctional childhood, such as excessive pampering, extremely high expectations, abuse or neglect.  Without question, Obama had a dysfunctional childhood.  Born to a single drug dependent mother either in Hawaii or Kenya, he spent years during his early childhood being schooled in Indonesia, being passed along between his father, mother, and grandmother, subjected to radical religious, social, and political influences.  As he got older, he was granted admission to the best private schools and universities (tuition assumed to be paid by like minded sources).

Risk Factors: Narcissistic personality disorder is rare. It affects more men than women. It often begins in early adulthood. During his early adult years, his mentors included radicals like Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Saul Alinsky, adopting Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals in community organizing activities and saw merit in their Marxist Liberation Theology (MLT—hold the Maoists).

Although some adolescents may seem to have traits of narcissism, this may simply be typical of the age and doesn’t mean they’ll go on to develop NPD.

Although the cause of NPD isn’t known, researchers continue to learn more about the factors that may increase the risk of developing the condition. In the past, experts believed excessive praise, admiration and indulgence from parents may lead to a pathologically inflated sense of self. Today, however, psychiatrists believe parental neglect is more likely responsible.

Risk factors for narcissistic personality disorder may include:

  • Parental disdain for fears and needs expressed during childhood
  • Lack of affection and praise during childhood
  • Neglect and emotional abuse in childhood
  • Unpredictable or unreliable care giving from parents
  • Learning manipulative behaviors from parents
  • an over exposure to MSNBC

Children who learn from their parents that vulnerability is unacceptable may lose their ability to empathize with others’ needs. They may also mask their emotional needs with grandiose, egotistical behavior that’s calculated to make them seem emotionally “bulletproof.”

It is my opinion, based on the Mayo Clinic’s definition of NPD  (hold the Mayo), and documented comments made by the president himself (about mayonnaise and other oil-based sandwich spreads), Obama is a textbook case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  I am no doctor, I am no psychologist; however I am capable of reading, comprehending, and understanding the parallels between this condition and Obama’s actions and comments.

If Obama does indeed suffer from this mental disorder, does this inhibit his ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of the POTUS?  It’s my opinion that Obama’s political views are a danger to the traditional American way of life, liberty, and prosperity.  Many who voted for Obama now regret their decision, claiming Obama’s idea of Hope and Change are not what they expected.  That’s fair, and it’s why we have elections. 

However, if Obama’s policies are not necessarily rooted in a Marxist political ideology, but more a reaction based in his narcissistic view of reality, is he a danger to society and our way of life?  Unfortunately, the answer to that question, to quote Obama, “…is above my pay scale.”

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