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.
If you find this blog worthy of your time and curiosity, I invite you to do two things:
(1) Join the conversation. Your voice counts here.
(2) Share the word about this post with friends and colleagues. Share a link in your emails and social media posts. Let’s grow our circle.