So we’re a week into Trump’s reign of terror and the common theme to me isn’t Republican or Conservative so much as it’s Piss Off As Many People As Possible. During the campaign, there was a lot of debate around what kind of president Agent Orange would ultimately turn out to be. Would he moderate back down to reality, since his previous positions at one point in time were closer to the Democratic platform? Would he toe the line of the Republican establishment since he was running as the head of their party? Would he fluctuate wildly from day to day and/or break all of his campaign promises?
We’re only a week in so any of those could still happen, but I think the running theme throughout Trump’s life has made itself the de facto position of his Presidency: Be A Dick.
Donald Trump desperately wants to be liked and he also wants to be the center of attention. He’s an insecure narcissist, and that’s sometimes at odds with itself. On one hand, all press is good press, as taught to him by his mentors from Roy Cohn to his father, but on the other hand, he wants to be accepted by the elite. Donald Trump’s father made a name for himself in real estate and construction, but not in Manhattan. The elder Trump was never able to break into Manhattan real estate where the real money is and that was Trump’s goal. Make it big in The City, earn the respect of your peers, hobnob with the rich and famous(ly wealthy). He did that, but he never got the respect. Nobody really likes him. Old Manhattan Money thought he was boorish, uncouth, and rough around the edges, so they wouldn’t have him. Trump was on the outside looking in, wishing he could be included, but turning his nose up at them as a defense mechanism.
Fast forward to this campaign, and he’s still the same insecure boy. He desperately wanted the approval of the Hollywood Elite, but since he couldn’t get it, he pretended he didn’t want it. It’s 3rd grade lunchroom behavior.
“Can I sit with you guys?”
“No you stink.”
“Fine, I didn’t want to anyway.”
And he flips over the cafeteria trays. Donald Trump has been flipping over cafeteria trays his entire life because nobody likes him. This isn’t to drum up sympathy because I truly think he’s one of the most disgusting people on the planet, but the basic fact is, Donald Trump’s feelings are hurt because nobody likes him and he knows that.
Here’s a little anecdote I found in an interview with some of Trump’s biographers. Politico pulled together Gwenda Blair, Michael D’Antonio, and Tim O’Brien to discuss President Velveeta and what form his leadership style was likely to take over the next four years. It’s very good read with some interesting insight, but this story from O’Brien is a great example of how Trump thinks.
I remember one thing in Palm Beach at a party there. I had dinner with him and Melania, and afterwards he was cranking music up around his swimming pool as loud as he possibly could and he leaned over to me and he said, “All these stuffy so-and-so’s here in Palm Beach hate how loud my music is, so I want to turn it up as loud as I possibly can, so they can hear it everywhere—and I don’t care if they don’t like it.” That’s more or less what he said to me, and that’s fun and funny that he’s taking on the Palm Beach establishment. But the reality, too, is that he chose to move to Palm Beach and tried to become part of the community there at the same time. So at the very moment he hates the establishment, he also desperately wants to be approved by it.
Trump’s executive orders are turning the music up on Palm Beach. He’s not keeping campaign promises because he has any loyalty to the Deplorables or any kind of integrity that compels him to follow through on promises. He’s crashing through the government like sledgehammer because he can. He got elected so he can do whatever he wants. Half the country hates him? More people marched against him than showed up to his Inauguration? The majority of the planet is voicing their disgust and directing it at him? Good. He didn’t want us to like him anyway. He’s got more attention than he knows what to do with. All press is good press. We’re talking about him, so that means he’s important.
Meanwhile, the lil baby Cheeto deep inside is all by himself in the gilded cage of his own making wondering why nobody wants to be his friend. Every Tweet, every comment, every action is the result of that lil Cheeto wanting to be liked and then the overwhelming narcissism answering with a resounding “Screw em” and flipping over the cafeteria trays. Donald Trump doesn’t even know enough about the world to know what he’s signing or what he’s ordered by executive action. He’s not doing any of this as part of his policy strategy. He just wants to piss people off, see his name on TV, and brag about how he’s sticking it to all the people who hate him anyway. I hope everyone has earplugs because it’s going to be very loud for a very long time.