Quote: “No, I don’t take responsibility at all,” (Trump on his botched Coronavirus response (Nathalie Baptiste, Mother Jones, 3.13.20).
In the news: Trump removes independent watchdog tasked with overseeing economic recovery funds (Zachary Cohen, CNN, 4.07.2020); No respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and recklessness (Terry H. Schwadron, Salon, 4.07.2020)
In context: Donald Trump seized power in the US on a technicality at a time when a minority in the world’s only superpower saw him as refreshingly outspoken and as a man who got things done. That view of him has endured with a baseline of Trump supporters despite the fact that Trump is a born loser who parlayed a few flashy wins into a blazing brand as a winner.
Terms describing Donald Trump as unfit for the office he holds run the gamut from narcissistic, ignorant and lawless to reckless, corrupt, despotic and racist.. Incompetent and dangerous have been added during his mismanagement of the Coronavirus global pandemic. Those attributions are accurate based on his history and the very form of his reactions confirms the charges. In the White House Oval Office, he has grown beyond compelling outrageousness to deadly dangerous.
An objective Trump resume would show a skimpy record. He renovated the New York Central Park skating rink in record time and drenched the local media with newsflashes about the feat. Then he moved on, leaving upkeep to others and the smack of ill-will in his wake, unpaid bills being the tip of the iceberg.. Notwithstanding, Trump next shot to national fame with a TV show featuring the glamour of his ruthlessness. with the famous “You’re fired” as its brand mark. When audience interest in the nastiness faded, Trump moved on to politics.
The Trump version of his own resume would simply state that he was the best ever in whatever he undertook. He succeeded beyond belief with casinos, vineyards, neckties, steaks, golf courses, resorts and magnificent big buildings all over the world. The dizzy panoply would omit the status of the project, whether defunct, ailing or forfeited. The notoriously censured Trump University of success would be nonexistent in the Trump version of his footprint on the world. Nor would there be mention of the Trump charity defrauded by Trump.
Donald Trump is undoubtedly accomplished in defrauding the world, maybe because objective reality and Donald Trump have little in common beyond the most deceptively superficial. Big glitzy buildings in the world’s biggest cities are synonymous with the Trump brand, leaving out the face that most are located in the developing world of dark money and far from A-list status in the current global hierarchy. It took a global pandemic to show just how shallow was the Trump claim to significance.
The US presidency is arguably the most powerful position in the world. It has traditionally been attained through a combination of personal and political skills. Donald Trump took a shortcut by fabricating success.
Trump may have been born with a self concept already formed and numerous accounts indicate that family funds enabled him to barrel headlong after ambitions without a look back. Failure led not to introspection and course correction but to increased brazenness in exalting himself. A portfolio of bankruptcies, failed ventures, cutthroat deals gone awry, contract violations and legal litigations all attest to successes through failure, except that secrecy, refusal to disclose and aggressive legal action to thwart discovery all cast doubt on whether Trump ever learned from his failures.
A healthy ego incorporates outside information to grow and increase competence in dealing with the outside world. A defense mechanism interferes. Anna Freud, daughter of teh famous Sigmund, first set out these operations of the mind that allow it to protect itself from the harsh lessons of reality. In essence, the mind makes up its own version of why an outside event fell short of expectation and then devises its own plan for how to make a correction.
One example is to cast blame on others, with an attendant reactive behavior that exacts revenge. Projecting feelings onto others is another example, as is its cousin paranoia, accompanied by reactive behaviors that denigrate, humiliate and vanquish perceived enemy assailants. In the Oval Office, Trump has manifested his mastery of all such defense mechanisms and their attendant reactive behaviors, with the exception of the defense mechanism of sublimating feelings for a higher purpose.
Donald Trump’s feelings are as transparent as a bank check forged by a five-year-old child and they are just as raw. Outspoken was the term used by the Trump base. Ugly is the term more applicable based on the effect. He vilifies and casts blame instead of solving problems. His big skill is in selling the idea that he is a man of accomplishment.
The Trump repertoire of chicanery is legendary. Lies, vilification, retributions, purges and trade wars complete with reversals shake the world daily. With the grace of God, the world will one day come to see Trump as an adolescent prank played by the puckish young American superpower. In the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, however, America’s healthiest response to Trump is to recognize Trump as a born loser hell-bent on taking down the country that won’t grant him the respect he demands.
Being a man of all show and no substance won Trump the presidency. The show, however, was based on ugly defense behaviors that left the ego undeveloped. Trump was a will o’ the wisp, a giant oak tree threatening to topple when American conservatives lit upon him as a camouflage for the implementation of their goals in the wake of the Obama progressive era.
Trump was a one-man walking threat to American values but containing American values within safe limits was paramount to American conservatives. To them, protective rights took precedence over progress. Protecting pale male dominance against invading hordes of non-whites was tantamount. Flamboyant Donald Trump with aggressive defenses learned in the cutthroat world of the New York real estate business gone dark money global was perfect for distracting the media and the world as the conservative agenda went forward, Then the Coronavirus pandemic struck and exposed the flimsy skeleton beneath the Trump edifice.
Buttressed by the world’s leading experts on epidemiology, Trump cavalierly ad libbed that a poison could be a remedy for a virus destroying lives and the economy, which he claimed to have created and which was the best ever. Blow-back forced a deflecting dodge. Trump would embark on a new round of public appearances to pump the base.
In reality, the base needed a boost. Highly touted federal stimulus programs had not delivered. The unemployed shut-ins getting conflicting reports about possible relief were growing explosive about which direction to take. The Trump base was shrinking only to become more distilled. Swastikas and AK-47’s appeared at state government offices to push the Trump invective for opening commerce even as the pandemic spread. And while the situation is wholly unprecedented in the history of the world, the role of Donald Trump is classic, a born loser who made it to the top only to founder disastrously.
The Trump of all show and no substance has revealed himself nakedly through a pandemic. But the born loser part of Trump needs a deeper look than the veneer he presents to the outside world.
As the people of the country flounder and institutions to help them are overwhelmed by conflicting messages from the top, Trump carries out the complex task that to him is simple. He needs only to hold attention, with enough people to get him elected again. The country and the world will fall in line with the agenda he has been recruited by his political party to carry out. Should that plan fail, the serial loser able to sell himself as a winner no doubt has contingency plans.
The Trump base of operations has moved from tax heavy New York to Florida, an owner friendly state. He is in talks with Russian Vladimir Put. Perhaps the postponed Moscow Trump Tower is still in the works. With the country in a shambles, Trump is ready to move on to a new project. The only question is whether the country is willing to give him another four years for destruction of its Constitutional framework.