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Opinion Donald Trump’s disturbing tweets expose his fatal flaw

Donald Trump (Mandel Ngan/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

A casual observer with no particular ax to grind, but one who cares about the country’s stewardship, would probably think the president-elect of the United States would have better ways of spending his time than tweeting nasty, personal attacks against political opponents who are backing vote recounts in battleground states that he narrowly won.

Apparently, Donald Trump, preoccupied with himself, has too much time on his hands. The vote-recount effort has got him in a royal snit.

Trump has gone so far as to call the Green Party bid for an election recount in Wisconsin a “scam” and an effort to “fill up their coffers.” Not satisfied with that swipe, Trump tweeted that Hillary Clinton’s popular-vote victory was aided by fraud. “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide,” he tweeted, “ I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” It’s a claim, by the way, that objective analysts totally debunk.

Paul Kane speaks to Libby Casey about President-elect Donald Trump's unfounded claim that millions of people voted illegally for Hillary Clinton. (Video: The Washington Post)

Trump’s latest whining tweet about the recount effort: “Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California — so why isn’t the media reporting on this? Serious bias — big problem!”

What an unseemly reach for vindication. A vote recount ought to be regarded as a mild distraction, if that, especially by a president-elect preparing to step into the world’s most difficult job in a matter of weeks.

Donald Trump has a plan to fix the craziness of his tweets

Where is Donald Trump’s mind? At what level does he operate when left to his own devices? What does America have on its hands?

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These are not trivial questions.

The Donald Trump on display during the primaries, general election and now presidential transition is a disturbing figure. Sure, give the billionaire props for his business acumen and his successful way with deals. He’s a proven mass communicator and is in far better tune with his audience than his detractors ever imagined.

But there is this side of him — the Donald Trump who, when he feels insulted, depreciated or even opposed, succumbs to a need to go all out after the source — that is a disturbing feature.

It’s clear that Trump isn’t satisfied with winning. He craves adulation. He wants more than a victory. He needs to vanquish, to bring to heel, to feed his fantasy that he is the conqueror.

Hence, his summons to TV executives and anchors to Trump Tower for a post-election dressing down. (Nothing less than their total subjugation will do.) Hence, his outrage at the thought of a vote recount and his attack on Clinton, who had graciously conceded defeat (she should be grateful he’s not sending her to jail). Hence, his jugular assaults on his GOP primary opponents even as they went down in defeat. He wanted them completely subdued.

All of which expose Trump’s “hamartia” (Aristotle’s word for the fatal flaw that lead’s to a hero’s downfall) — his insufferable grandiosity, coupled with his desire to triumph over and bring to submission all whom he encounters.

An ethical double standard for Trump — and the GOP?

He will soon learn that while he defeated Republican senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, he did not bring them under his domination.

Likewise, his victory won him the White House. It did not give him control of Congress or either side of the aisle. That reality awaits him.

Which brings us back to how Trump is spending his time. His single-minded focus on himself and his self-esteem — as illustrated in his smack-down of the Green Party and the defeated Clinton campaign — may ultimately cost him and his presidency.

In this day and age, a narcissistic personality disorder and the grave responsibilities of the Oval Office could be a toxic mix.

Where is Donald Trump’s mind?