While I think I have a sense of what either Hillary or Bernie would do or at least try to do as president, I have no idea when it comes to Donald Trump, other than he will try to build a wall on the southern border, because that is one of the few concrete proposals he has made. I believe he has blown the issue way out of proportion, one of the tricks of a demagogue, but successfully enough that I actually might be in favor of building the stupid wall just so we can stop arguing about it.
While there is much that concerns me about Trump as president, right at this moment I feel most uncomfortable about the Donald’s need to win as a way of continuously building up his ego. It is as if he needs to continue to notch wins lest he will start shrinking like the wicked witch of the west when doused with water. Criticism is Trump’s water.
My concern is: How will he define being a winner as president? In business winning is to make money and then make more of it. Winning either a primary race or the presidency (or a game of TV survivor) is even more clear cut. You win the contest or you are a loser.
But being a winner as president is really a matter of opinion and subject to never ending debate. Obama takes pride in the nuclear deal with Iran; Republicans call it a terrible deal. Trump calls it the worst ever. Years after the fact historians look back and judge presidents as more or less a winner than they were judged in their time. And those judgements keep changing over time, too.
There are few clear cut presidential wins like the surrender of Germany and Japan.
Of course, Trump would always act like he is a winner, but since there are no simple ways of keeping score, I think that would unnerve him. As you may have noticed, he doesn’t react well to criticism. It takes the gloss off his shiny sense of self. Last week, for example he did a four western state campaign swing which could have been a victory tour, but because he is a vindictive sort, it was more of a “grudge tour,” as a Washington Post article described it.
He spent much of his time attacking a number of people who as the Post put it, had”done him wrong.” Among the malefactors were Republicans who have yet to endorse him, like “low energy Jeb” and the female Republican governors of South Carolina and New Mexico, Nikki Hailey and Susana Martinez.
The last named happens to be chair of the Republican Governors Association in addition to being a Latina, a backer the self-proclaimed party unifier could particularly use. But in his unique way of courting support he told a crowd in New Mexico their state was in trouble and their governor needed to do a better job.
If president, given Trump’s diaphanous skin when it comes to criticism, he should be glowing red and seething under the hot light of the 24/7 coverage that comes along with the presidency. And criticism might eventually sprout from his present true believers who at some point seem likely to feel let down once again by a politician.
The kinds of changes Trump has promised could only be carried out if he were elected king. At a time when a gridlocked Congress elected by a polarized populace hinders changing much of anything, at what point do King Donald’s subjects begin to question his reign?
Sure he would blame everyone else for getting in his way, but after all he did say to a crowd just last week that “Politicians have used you and stolen your votes. They have given you nothing…. I will give you everything. I will give you what you’ve been looking for for 50 years. I’m the only one.”
Being the “only one” doesn’t leave him much room for excuses.
At what point do some of his ardent fans look behind the curtain of the all powerful Oz and see a little man at the controls projecting a phony awesome image?
P. S. – The Washington Post article mentioned above can be found at: