“If you criticize me that means you hate me…” that’s the reasoning of the narcissist. The narcissist can accept only adulation and agreement, and feels hurt, betrayed and attacked when met with any challenge or critique.
The narcissist is also deeply parochial, only interested in Me, incurious and dismissive of anyone else’s reality.
IMHO America has become — like many late-stage empires — a narcissistic culture. At every level, from Congress to media to the average sadly undereducated Joe and Jane struggling to make ends meet. The price of oblivious narcissism generally comes due in one of two ways: 1) sleepwalking off a cliff, or 2) being overtaken and devoured by some faster, meaner, leaner, hungrier, smarter critter on its way up (which we’ve been ignoring all along).
I would suggest that the US has almost finished sleepwalking off a cliff (current POTUS being strong evidence of same) and that the devouring critter at this historical moment may not be a small fast mammal, but climate destabilisation (which most Americans are still trying very hard to ignore).