“Oh yes, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, if you haven’t read about it, are trying to see who has the bigger micro-penis. I mean, that’s what this is all about, isn’t it?”
Maher’s words mirrored what he said on March 11, 2016 when Maria Konnikova, author of The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It … Every Time, appeared an interview guest on “Real Time With Bill Maher.”
Maria Konnikova is the author of two New York Times best-sellers, The Confidence Game (Viking/Penguin 2016) and Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes (Viking/Penguin, 2013). She is a contributing writer for The New Yorker, where she writes a regular column with a focus on psychology and culture. She earned a Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University, was a recipient of the 2015 Harvard Medical School Media Fellowship, and is a Schachter Writing Fellow at Columbia University’s Motivation Science Center.
At Donald Trump’s Super Tuesday news conference on March 8, Trump featured a table full of Trump-named products.
“To me that…screamed confidence man.”
“You know, I saw him and I thought, ‘I’m a psychic, because I clearly predicted that this was going to happen. I mean, the moment that they analyzed what his products actually were, they found out that they weren’t his products. [The products bear his name only.] He was blatantly lying. The hallmark of a psychopath, but also the hallmark of a con artist, is someone who deceives you for their own ends. So they’re trying to convince you to support them, to vote for them, in this particular case, and they’re doing it by tactics that aren’t actually real.”
“[Trump was] standing there in front of a table of steak. Now, I don’t eat steak, but most people love steak. I thought this was like, subliminal advertising kind of stuff. Like, people looking at that and going ‘Trump. … steak,’
‘If I vote Trump, I’ll eat steak.’ I mean, they look juicy, you know, steaks look good, people are like, mmm.”
“You know what? Think of the voters he’s trying to appeal to. So he’s actually going for that common -“
“People who would like to eat steak but can’t afford it.”
“People who want to eat steak. ’Let them eat steak.’”
“We see him trying to get the popular vote. It’s the same appeal that he makes all the time. That he’s honest, that he’s a man of the people, he’s telling everyone exactly what they want to hear. And he doesn’t actually say anything. So that’s what confidence artists do.”
“He’s a con man but he is a good one”
“He’s a very good con man. That’s why they’re called con artists.”
“Right. The Art of the Deal,” [The title of Donald Trump’s 1987 bestselling book.]
“You make the point. You know, everyone is saying, ‘Donald Trump has hijacked the party,’ but a con man doesn’t take anything from a person – you give it to him, willingly.”
“Absolutely, yes. We give them our confidence.”
“[The origin of the phrase “confidence game” comes from a man who once stole watches] but he never actually stole them. He went up to people on the streets, and said, ‘Have you confidence in me to lend me your watch until tomorrow,’ and people gave them his watch. They gave him their confidence, and that is exactly what Trump is doing to the party. He isn’t asking anyone for anything, people are willingly giving their trust.“
“The more I hear about this Trump University the more it sounds like Scientology. People paying great sums of money to find out a secret that isn’t really a secret.”
“And people being coerced to keep giving good ratings [to Trump University.] We have Scientology, where you also have the same coercive tactics, where people basically get brainwashed into saying that Scientology is wonderful – Trump University’s 98 percent approval ratings. [Trump University graduates] had people watching them and calling them. We’ve read stories of people who say they’ve been called every single day to change their rating, and finally they say, ‘Fine, I’ll change my rating to 100 percent.’”
“You called him a psychopath [earlier]. What is a psychopath? We all throw that term around. I’d be hard pressed to find it right now. What is a psychopath?
(Maher immediately refers to a checklist for narcissism and asks Dr. Konnikova if the characteristics of a psychopath are similar to those for a narcissist)
“There is a lot of overlap”
(Reading the characteristics of a narcissist personality type)
“Exaggerated sense of self-importance…Need for excessive admiration…Sense of entitlement. Lacking empathy…Believing others to be envious of him…arrogant, haughty, contemptuous behavior or attitude.”
Konnikova responds by saying that characteristics of the psychopathic personality include lacking empathy and the arrogance of putting down other people.
“He does this very funny thing; to his voters, he says very wonderful things to their face. But then, behind their back, he says terrible things about the same groups… he makes the same statement, but in opposite ways, depending on who he’s talking to. So you end up seeing these two sides of him, where the truth is a fungible thing. There’s no such thing as absolute truth, there’s just what’s true in the moment to him.”
“That’s both a narcissist and a psychopath. Those are two of the dark triad of (personality) traits. The third is Machiavellianism.”
Maher warps up by revealing his theory about Trump’s actions, including the infamous time when Trump defended his penis size at a presidential debate:
“It also seems that he is a prime candidate for micropenis…somebody who always says ‘I’m the best, I’m the greatest, I’ve got the biggest…isn’t that someone who obviously does have a small penis?”
“I’m sure Dr. Freud would have something to say about that. I’m sure there is a Napoleonic complex prevalent [in Trump].”
(“Real Time” panelist Bill Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard, referring to an editorial he published in January about Trump called “The Confidence Man.”)
“He’s a very skillful demagogue, and he’s dangerous for that reason, obviously.”
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.