Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely


In mid 19th century, Lord Acton observed, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” He was referring to such individuals as the Roman Emperors who declared themselves gods and Napoleon Bonaparte who became the self-proclaimed Emperor of France. Nearly 200 years later, Donald Trump is the poster child for this most dangerous and insidious dynamic.

As I predicted since the primaries, Trump’s psychopathic single focus has been to become the ruler of the free world. Through his intentional deflections, lies, manipulations and deceit, as described in Roger Cohen’s New York Times Op-Ed, Trump has much of Congress running off in all directions, completely confused about what might be the best line of action.

In my book, From Bully to Bull’s Eye – Move Your Organization Out of the Line of Fire, I discuss the characteristics of a psychopath as summarized by Dean Haycock, Ph.D. Trump epitomizes the psychopathic bully. If Trump looks like your boss, it would be well worthwhile reading the book to learn how to deal with all types of bullies.

U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) was the first to suggest Trump’s ouster by invoking the 25th amendment, as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle. This is perhaps the last of the checks and balances in place that can be used to deal with such authoritarians. Trump, acting autocratically, demonstrates that there is a method to his madness.

Unfortunately, when people see this behaviour, especially those in his dwindling base of support, they falsely feel the same sense of power. People who are living in a state of fear, such as the one Trump has created, are swept into this vortex swiftly. The time has come to take assertive action to stop this runaway train.

Photo credit: Sacha Vega/TED