As conventional wisdom goes, the public doesn’t deeply focus on the presidential campaign until the last three months. Entering the home stretch, Donald Trump is coming apart. The simplest explanation has to do with self-inflicted injury. Perhaps the largest factor in the calamity, though, is his crippling narcissism. Nothing illustrates this personality trait better than these three Instagram shots. You could say the photos are dated (especially James Estrin’s), but given how close we are to the election, we could more accurately look at them as “ripened.”
Starting above, the Trump rally photo from last September is about politics and fandom. But Mark Peterson’s image-in-an-image not only makes it easy to imagine the candidate coming upon this cell phone cover, but also the effect it would have.
You know how the myth goes. Narcissus saw his reflection in the pool of water and fell in love with it, not realizing it was just an image. Unable to pull himself away, he stared at it until he died. Underneath the exploitation of angry white voters, it’s the obsession with how things appear to him, in defiance of facts, that is demolishing Trump’s standing.
As you can see from the caption, NY Times photographer James Estrin took the photo in 2007 while Trump was posing for an advertising shoot at Macy’s. Leveraging off his playboy image, it illustrates Mr. Gold Toe’s notion of himself as the ultimate seducer. Put to the test this year in every living room and bedroom in America, though, we’re seeing how well that’s working.
Call him a walking storm cloud. As I’ve mentioned before, the most telling feature of Trump’s dysfunction is his humorlessness. This Peterson photo from February is a wonderful illustration of The Donald’s ability to relate to others, to be in the moment, to get out of his own head, and to comes across as friendly. Right? Taken during a candidate town hall last February, I would be hard pressed to find a better example of self-absorption.
(photo 1: @markpetersonpixs/Instagram. caption: A supporter of Donald Trump takes pictures of other supporters aboard the USS Iowa battleship in Los Angeles September 15, 2015 while waiting for @realdonaldtrump to appear. Shot on assignment for @msnbcphoto. photo 2: @jamesestrin/Instagram on assignment @nytimesphoto. caption: I’m posting some photos of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton I’ve made over the years. Here Is a portrait of #trump made while he was marketing his furniture line at Macy’s in 2007. photo 3: @markpetersonpixs via @msnbcphoto/Instagram. caption: Photographer @markpetersonpixs was behind the scenes in Charleston today to provide an exclusive look at MSNBC’s town hall with Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump. South Carolina prepares for its Republican primary this Saturday and all eyes are on Trump. Considered a political outsider who is tapping into voter anger, delivering a populist message and drawing raucous thousands to rallies. The hour-long town hall featured questions from South Carolina voters tackling everything from his political rivals to his admiration for Ronald Reagan to empowering African-Americans as president. Feb 17, 2016.)