There is Much to be Angry About Trump. There is Also Much to Pity.

The More We Get to Know Mr. Trump, The Sadder A Case We See.

I will yield to few people in my anger and fundamental dislike of Donald Trump. Both the person and the president are terrible examples on pretty well every count.

My anger and displeasure remain unbroken (and are still growing). But I have to say that on a purely human level, I feel a little bit sorry for the guy. This is one sad life, riches and power notwithstanding. Even if one tends to agree with Trump, it is difficult to make the case that this is a well-grounded person running a good team with solid processes. Five core elements of this person stand out as crippling.

I can honestly say I have never known anyone so self-centered (the first trait), yet so insure (the second trait). I am not a psychologist; I do not know if these two traits, in such extreme forms, normally come together. I can say I have never seen anything like this at these levels. The man seems incapable of measuring anything – and I mean anything – except through the lens of how it affects him personally.

We all tend to think about things from a personal impact perspective. That is natural human conduct. But in a normal human, this is but one of the evaluation criteria to form a judgement. It is not always the most important factor. For Mr. Trump it is the only factor. The results of this mindset have been on display before us for almost two years now.

This yields some bizarre framing of issues. Someone is sending bombs all over the country. Your expressed concern is the effect on your political momentum. If that is your top tier concern, you are not a whole person with rational thought processes.

You are never content; everything that is not 100% in alignment with you is, by default, 100% against you. Any opposition, even doubt, is to you a vicious, personal attack. One responds in kind. There are no opponents, only enemies and threats. That is a hell of a way to live.

So, extreme self-centeredness and insecurity unable to deal with disagreements are core elements. The third element likely springs from the first two.

The third element is that nothing is ever, ever his fault. Given the first two traits, how could it be otherwise? If the Republicans do well in the midterms, it is because of his coat tails. He has been telling rallies that “this is a vote for me.” If they do poorly, it’s not his fault, because as he has told others “I am not on the ballot.” Remember the conversation when he said he has asked for no forgiveness because he has not done anything wrong?  Ever. Really? Who thinks like that? Do not confuse that with confidence; that is, to use a technical term, nuts.

The fourth element is lying and exaggerating at unimaginable levels. What is interesting here is that it appears that once a thought appears in his head, it is the truth to him. He believes his own stuff. It seems to me that he very often does not know a lie from the truth. The separation does not exist in his head. That alone makes him not only dangerous, but pitiable. How could one possibly organize a life, less more run a country, with that set of cards? Not very well, apparently.

Fifth, all indications are that this man has little native curiosity, no sustained concentration and little ability to process anything complex. I have no idea if this is a mental disease, a function of aging, or a lifelong trait. We do know from many sources that this is the case now. This may be the most worrisome of the five traits in this president. This shortcoming makes any correction of the other four most unlikely.

Those who would celebrate these very traits in Mr. Trump should know they are doing him no favors. He is digging an ever deeper mental and emotional hole. I would to say that this is none of my business and I wish him luck in normal circumstances. But he controls our nuclear codes, sets policies (after a fashion), and affects lives all over the world. It is the business of all of us.

We deserve better and he needs a rest. This is who he is. There will be no improvements, no positive changes forthcoming. He does not have the capacity to reflect or grow. I actually feel a little sorry for the guy, and I worry about the rest of us becoming collateral damage. The sooner he gets that rest the better.

       Bill Clontz

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2 replies to There is Much to be Angry About Trump. There is Also Much to Pity.

  1. Hey Bill,
    Your emotions and rhetoric are understandable for our times. There are those who closed the curtain behind us in 2016 contemplating a choice of which train to hop on; the train that included a deplorable section on the road to genderisms, bathroom legislation, identityisms, and a continuance of the booting of our founding father’s faith and sovereign ideals from the public square. The other train ticket was equally controversial, yet appealed to the sensibility of let’s not keep doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. We decided.

    Thanks for blogging on a higher plane.


    • Hi, Stan. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic. I think you raise some good points, although I would take exception on a couple of items. Just to be clear, I think it is a bit off target to say “we decided” that Donald Trump would be president. I concur he is the legal holder of that title, unless the pending Special Prosecutor investigation leads to a conclusion of greater Russian influence than is credited now (which I doubt) by way of the electoral college. That is the 3rd time in recent memory someone who did not win the popular vote got the office anyway. By a few million votes “we” did not choose Mr. Trump. Of course, over 90 million voters chose no one, a continuing problem in this country. Really a shame we don’t do better than this, irrespective of who we elect.

      The other item I would highlight is that while surely there were a number of Trump voters who felt as you stated (I have never understood the Right’s fixation on keeping anything about gender or bathrooms for that matter off limits for public discussion and change, but that is another blog topic perhaps), but a good number just felt ready to take a chance on someone completely different, rather than on any particular policy or ideological grounds. By all indications from polls and elections since 2016, a big percentage of those folks have genuine buyers remorse, as well they should. I have a number of friends in this category myself. We will know a week from today and in 2020 how much that is the case; I suspect it will be a convincing number, but time will tell. I am betting not a few people will decide one ride on that train has been more than enough and would like to see an actual government (and a real Congress too, please).

      I apologize for deleting the link you provided on the PBS article on LBJ. Its a good read, but as a matter of process I would rather not start too long a stretch in these block and links to other sites on somewhat other topics. I hope you will post it on your own blog or social media links – it’s a good choice.

      Thanks again for reading and contributing to the dialogue. I will be working at the polls today. Maybe I will see you there!

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