Flatiron Hot! Pundit: The Truth About Donald Trump
By Max Shapiro
Well, our dear leader Donald Trump has been in office for under a month now, but I think we’ve got a pretty good idea of what we’re in for these next four years—assuming he isn’t thrown out of office before that point, which I wouldn’t write off.
In the two months leading up to Trump’s inauguration, there was always that twinge of hope that he would “become more presidential” once he assumed office, that he would leave behind his erratic, egomaniacal behavior and become the unifying leader our divided nation desperately needs.
Yeah, that was cute. I never indulged in that notion, because as I’ve said before, what you see is what you get with Donald Trump. But for anyone who did have those hopes, they were likely crushed immediately upon hearing his inaugural address, which consisted of the same fear-mongering doomsday rhetoric we’ve heard since the beginning of his campaign. Not only have The Donald’s Twitter tantrums and alternative facts not faded away, they’ve continued to get worse—whether it’s picking fights with Australia’s prime minister while simultaneously kissing up to Putin, claiming that the media doesn’t cover terrorism, whine-tweeting about Nordstrom and his daughter’s clothing line in the middle of an intelligence briefing, or going ahead with an action as major as the travel ban without consulting anyone besides Steve Bannon. While Keith Olbermann has said endless things about our president, this quote in particular sticks with me the most: “Trump says he has a ‘running war with the media.’ He does not have a running war with the media. He has a running war with reality.”
I’m sure we’ve had self-absorbed presidents in the past, but this man is a whole other level. Day after day, Trump continues to live in his bubble. What he says is fact, regardless of what that pesky evidence says. He is gradually dragging us into a fact-free world. He didn’t support the Iraq war, he didn’t mock a handicapped man, he did have the largest inauguration crowd ever, there were millions of illegal votes cast, and the murder rate is at its highest in 40 years. Evidence be damned—as long as The Donald says it enough times, it’s the truth. Anything at odds with his omniscience is obviously fake news (you know, just like the kind he was tweeting out in the months leading up to the election).
It’s quite the cruel irony that the Electoral College was created with the intent of keeping people exactly like Trump from reaching power, and yet it is solely because of this system that he’s sitting in the Oval Office right now. We are in under the rule of the exact kind of person founding fathers like Adams and Jefferson were fearful of. But don’t worry, President Trump isn’t alone. He’s very carefully selected the most qualified individuals to fill the cabinet that aids him. His Secretary of Education? Hates public education. Head of the EPA? He’s sued the EPA 13 times. Secretary of State? An oil tycoon who’s BFF with Putin. Secretary of HUD? A neurosurgeon. Makes perfect sense!
So clearly, the EC isn’t as foolproof as our founding fathers thought when it comes to keeping absolute lunatics out of power. And make no mistake, the man is mentally disturbed. Think I’m exaggerating? Here’s the basic textbook description of Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Craving power, exploiting others to achieve personal gain, having a sense of entitlement to superior treatment, needing constant admiration, having no tolerance for any sort of criticism, the list goes on. Much like a five-year-old, Donald Trump must always have the last word. SNL made fun of him? It’s unfunny. Meryl Streep dared criticize him? She’s overrated. John Lewis spoke out against him? He’s a terrible congressman. What makes these petty insults so unspeakably childish is how Trump is never simply trying to defend his own position. He knows he can’t do that, and he can’t simply move on either, so all he can do is fire back in a completely ad hominem fashion. Not to mention how he fired the sitting attorney general Sally Yates the second she decided not to defend the travel ban, only further showing how he is incapable of stomaching even an ounce of opposition.
When you’re the president, there will always be people who criticize you. So it’s beyond me how someone with an ego so inflated and a skin so thin will be able to endure that for four years without having some major breakdown. Before I move on, I’ll leave you with this one particularly disturbing tweet Trump sent out last month, which I think takes the best snapshot of the inner workings of this man’s mind: “Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!”
Ego and power have been the one and only thing motivating Trump from the start. He claims to be nothing like other politicians but in reality he’s just a more extreme version of them, having clawed his way to the top by continually exploiting the fears and frustrations of people who worship him like a god, people he will inevitably turn his back on. How Donald Trump ever managed to gain this Andrew Jackson-type “man of the people” status is absolutely beyond me. The man is a fraud in every sense of the word. This is a guy who likely hasn’t paid any tax in decades, and has a history of stiffing workers who built his towers and golf courses, the very people he claims to be fighting for. And take a look at what he’s done so far: he’s signed executive orders that let mining companies dump their waste into river streams, allow oil companies not report bribes they receive, and get rid of a fiduciary rule that basically prevented financial advisers from ripping off their clients. How does this help the “little guy”, again?
This is a crisis that transcends political parties. I strongly urge both Democrats and Republicans to keep resisting.This isn’t about liberal or conservative. This about a genuine crazy person being in charge of our nuclear weapons. Bipartisanship is all but irrelevant here.The second we give in to this man’s unstable nature, it becomes normalized. Don’t let that happen. Trump’s not going anywhere, so neither should we.