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by | Jun 19, 2021 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you’re looking for an example of someone with Supremacist Syndrome, you need look no farther than Donald Trump. His frequent lapses in self-censorship provide an unfiltered glimpse into the mind of a supremacist. While most public officials don’t admit it when they prefer that their group dominate people from other groups, in June of 2020, after the murder of an African American man by police ignited mostly peaceful protests in dozens of cities across the United States, Trump advised the nation’s governors in a conference call:

“You have to dominate. If you don’t dominate, you’re wasting your time. They’re going to run all over you, you’ll look like a bunch of jerks.[1]

Social dominants like Trump believe that the world is a competitive, dog-eat-dog place where the strong run all over the weak.[2] Trump has believed that for years, tweeting in 1982 that “Man is the most vicious of all animals, and life is a series of battles ending in victory or defeat.”[3] Thirty-five years later, he still looked at events from a supremacist’s zero-sum, win-lose perspective, promising in his Inaugural Address that, with the adoption of his America First policies on trade, taxes, immigration, and foreign affairs, “America will start winning again, winning like never before.”[4]

Like many social dominants,[5] Trump is a narcissist with a strong need to exercise power over others to satisfy his inflated feelings of superiority. The others can be women, members of less powerful ethnic groups, people from other countries, or animals, leading him to be a racist, a sexist, a nationalist, and a human supremacist, checking all the boxes of the Supremacist Syndrome.

Racist: With typical hyperbole, when asked in 2019 whether his attacks on an African-American lawmaker were racist, Trump claimed that he was “the least racist person there is anywhere in the world.”[6] If that were true, he likely would not have said that a rally of white supremacists which was met with protests included “very fine people, on both sides.”[7] Or, when Trump was asked in a 2020 presidential debate whether he condemned white supremacists and white militias, he would have said he did. Instead, he advised members of Proud Boys, a far-right group that often engages in violence, to “Stand back and stand by.”[8] And if Trump were not a racist, he would not have questioned why the United States should accept immigrants from Haiti or “….hole countries” in Africa rather than countries like Norway,[9] which are predominantly white.

Sexist: In 2005, Trump warned the host of a television show that he might start kissing a woman they were about to meet, saying, “I’m automatically attracted to beautiful ‒ I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”[10]

If his admission that he often groped women left any doubt about whether he is a sexist, in a 1991 interview for Esquire magazine, Trump said he was not concerned about some bad press he had received, saying, “You know it really doesn’t matter what they write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass. But she has to be young and beautiful.”[11]

A woman’s value, to Trump, depends on her appearance. He has compared women he didn’t find attractive to “fat pigs,” “dogs,” and “disgusting animals.” When asked about that when he was running for president in 2015, he replied, “. . . what I say, and oftentimes it’s fun, it’s kidding. We have a good time. What I say is what I say.”[12] During that campaign, he said of a female rival for the Republican nomination, “Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?”[13]

Nationalist: From the outset of his administration, Trump has been a nationalist. In his Inaugural Address, he promised:

“From this moment on, it’s going to be America First.

Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.”[14]

This priority led his administration to withdraw from international agreements, including the Iran Nuclear Agreement, the Paris Climate Agreement, and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

Although he may deny that he is a racist or a sexist, in 2018 he admitted at a campaign rally for a Republican Senator that he is a nationalist, saying:

“You know, they have a word, it sort of became old-fashioned. It’s called a nationalist. And I say, ‘Really? We’re not supposed to use that word.’ You know what I am? I’m a nationalist. OK? I’m a nationalist.”[15]

Human Supremacist: In 2019, when signing bipartisan legislation that closed a loophole in a previous law that had made it illegal to create or distribute a video showing an animal being crushed but failed to criminalize the crushing itself,[16] Trump said that “With today’s act, we take the critical step toward being more responsible and humane steward’s of our planet and all who we want to cherish and take care of, and all of those who live on it.”[17]

The steps his administration took, however, consistently went far in the opposite direction. Among them[18]:

  • Withdrawing an animal welfare rule for that would have required farms seeking organic certification to allow cows to have year-round access to the outdoors and to have cages large enough that the birds they raise would be able to move freely, stretch their wings, stand normally, and engage in natural behaviors;
  • Weakening the Endangered Species Act by ending the automatic protections previously given to “threatened” plants and animals, one step below those that are “endangered”; and
  • Opening the coastal plain of the nation’s largest remaining stretch of wilderness, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, to oil and gas drilling.


          Although he admitted in a 2020 debate that humans activities have played some role in warming the planet,[19] his administration not only withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, it took steps that increased the country’s emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases, including:


  • Weakening fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for passenger cars and light trucks;
  • Withdrawing methane emission standards for oil and natural gas facilities; and
  • Rescinding the Clean Power Act that limited carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

Talk is cheap but, as Maya Angelou said, “When people show you who they are, believe them.”  Trump’s actions show that he is a human supremacist with little concern about whether his actions harm the animals who share our planet or the planet itself.


[1] “President Trump’s call with US Governors over protests,” accessed on May 3, 2021 at https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/01/politics/wh-governors-call-protests/index.html

[2] Ryan Perry, Chris G. Sibley, and John Duckitt “Dangerous and competitive worldviews: A meta-analysis of their associations with Soclal Sominance Orientation and Right-Wing Authoritarianism,” Journal of Research in Personality 47 (2013), 120.

[3]  Dan Alexander, “Trump’s Decades-Old Quotes Sound A Lot Like His Current-Day Tweets,” Forbes (September 28, 2017), accessed on May 3, 2021 at https://www.forbes.com/sites/danalexander/2017/09/19/trump-decades-old-quotes-sound-lot-like-current-day-tweets-1982-2000/?sh=5ae2e3d82fc6

[4] Januray 20, 2017. Accessed on May 8,2021 at https://trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov/briefings-statements/the-inaugural-address/

[5] Aleksandra Cichocka, Kristof Dhont, and Arti P. Makwana, “On Self-Love and Outgroup Hate: Opposite Effects of Narcissism on Prejudice via Social Dominance Orientation and Right-Wing Authoritarianism, European Journal of Personality 31 (2017), 378.

[6] Jordan Fabian, “Trump says he is the ‘least racist person anywhere in the world,” The Hill (7/30/2019), accessed on May 10, 2021 at https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/455295-trump-says-he-is-the-least-racist-person-anywhere-in-the-world

[7]Angie Drobnic Holan, “In Context: Donald Trump’s ‘‘very fine people on both sides” remarks (transcript)”  Politifact (April 26, 2019). Accessed on May 10, 2021 at https://www.politifact.com/article/2019/apr/26/context-trumps-very-fine-people-both-sides-remarks/

[8] “September 29, 2020 Debate Transcript,” The Commission on Presidential Debates, accessed on May 11, 2021 at https://www.debates.org/voter-education/debate-transcripts/september-29-2020-debate-transcript/

[9] Alan Fram and Jonathan Lemire, “Trump: Why allow immigrants from ‘….hole countries’?, Associated Press (January 12, 2018) accessed on May 11, 2021 at https://apnews.com/article/immigration-north-america-donald-trump-ap-top-news-international-news-fdda2ff0b877416c8ae1c1a77a3cc425

[10] Daniel Victor,“’Access Hollywood’ Reminds Trump: ‘The Tape is Very Real,’” New York Times (November 28, 2017) accessed on May 11, 2021 at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/28/us/politics/donald-trump-tape.html

[11] “Trump on Talk Shows: 30 Years of Toxic Maculinity,” Esquire (January 10, 2018), accessed on May 11, 2021 at https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a15051693/trump-on-talk-shows-30-years-of-toxic-masculinity/

[12] “First 2015 Republican Primary Debate Transcript: Classic Debates from the 2016 Election Cycle,” Rev Transcripts (July 25, 2019), accessed on May 11, 2021 at https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/first-2015-republican-primary-debate-transcript-classic-debates-from-2016-election-cycle

[13] Neetzan Zimmerman, “Trump mocks Fiorina’s Physical Appearance: ‘Look at that Face,’”The Hill (9/9/2015), accessed on May 12, 2021 at https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/253178-trump-insults-fiorinas-physical-appearance-look-at-that-face

[14] Januray 20, 2017. Accessed on May 8,2021 at https://trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov/briefings-statements/the-inaugural-address/

[15] Quint Forgey, “Trump: ‘I’m a nationalist,’.” Politico (10/22/2018) accessed on May 11, 2021 at https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/22/trump-nationalist-926745

[16] The Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010, Public Law 111-294.

[17] John Bowden, “Trump signs bill making animal cruelty a federal crime,” The Hill (11/25/2019), accessed on May 12, 2021 at https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/472001-trump-signs-bill-making-animal-cruelty-a-federal-crime

[18] For a complete list, see Nadia Popovich, Livia Albeck-Ripka, and Kendra Pierre Louis, “The Trump Administration Rolled Back More than 100 Environmental Rules. Here’s the Full List,” New York Times (Januray 20, 2021, accessed on May 13, 2021 at https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/climate/trump-environment-rollbacks-list.html

[19] “Donald Trump and Joe Biden 1st Presidential Debate Transcript,” Rev Transcripts (September 29, 2020), accessed on May 16, 2021 at https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/donald-trump-joe-biden-1st-presidential-debate-transcript-2020