I want to congratulate our president on a recent achievement.

To his credit, he followed the teleprompter during his speech after the recent shootings at Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas. He condemned both hate and violence and never went off script by saying something stupid.

Ignoring his impulses must have been agonizing for him. His impulsive self, I am sure, badly wanted to go off script and counterpunch those who were connecting the dots between his own gate rhetoric and the mass shootings.

Delaying gratification, saying no to impulses, is a major step in the maturing process. Basic to the advancement of civilization is the recognition that others exist and learning others have feelings.

The development of empathy is necessary for genuine love. In his speech he never took his eyes off the script and there was no, not even a trace of empathy in his voice. Nonetheless, for him, it was progress.

A 2-year-old in a tantrum wants what he wants. He doesn't want to give up his narcissism (I am the center of the universe) and rants against others trying to control his life. If parents lose this power struggle and give into the demand of the child, they delay the child's emotional development. The child learns he can control others by his or her mood. Repeatedly rescuing the child, even into adulthood, is the core cause in a number of disorders.

To understand this president, research "histrionic personality disorder." He is a textbook case. Basic to all types of character disorders is the inability to take responsibility for ones mistakes. They blame others for their failures. Specific to his type of disorder is the feature of an incessant need to create drama in which he remains the very center of attention. For the 2-year-old in him, the presidency must be heaven.

Hal Pullin

Mount Vernon

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