In a recent article in The Weekly Standard entitled "American Narcissus", Jonathan V. Last writes:
"Why has Barack Obama failed so spectacularly? Is he too dogmatically liberal or too pragmatic? Is he a socialist, or an anticolonialist, or a philosopher-president? Or is it possible that Obama’s failures stem from something simpler: vanity. Politicians as a class are particularly susceptible to mirror-gazing. But Obama’s vanity is overwhelming. It defines him, his politics, and his presidency."
Fortunately for Obama (and also Hillary), the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (due out in 2013) has eliminated five of the 10 personality disorders that are listed in the current edition, and narcissistic personality disorder is among the five.
The decision to eliminate narcissistic personality disorder ("N.P.D.") from the list, however, is causing no small amount of controversy. As noted in an article in The New York Times entitled "A Fate That Narcissists Will Hate: Being Ignored", Charles Zanor writes:
"One of the sharpest critics of the DSM committee on personality disorders is a Harvard psychiatrist, Dr. John Gunderson, an old lion in the field of personality disorders and the person who led the personality disorders committee for the current manual.
Asked what he thought about the elimination of narcissistic personality disorder, he said it showed how 'unenlightened' the personality disorders committee is.
'They have little appreciation for the damage they could be doing.' He said the diagnosis is important in terms of organizing and planning treatment."
Perhaps what Dr. Gunderson fails to take into account is that N.P.D. has reached epidemic proportions and that in today's world it has become the norm.