I think of Donald Trump as the boy who would be king rather than the man who is president. Certainly he acts like he thinks he’s king, ignoring traditional protocols and government norms and treating his children, and one particular spouse, as princes and a princess, his closest advisors. Also, he acts like a difficult child who won’t pay attention, wants what he wants right now and has temper tantrums.
That is the gist of the abnormal, even surreal, political environment our Republic has fallen prey to and it makes a difference in how to deal with this so-called president. It is his impulsivity, his inability to pay attention and desperation for approval which prompt him to careen all over the place, like a small child behind the wheel of a car.
You just can’t hand him the keys and wish him well.
I believe many people in positions of authority both at home and abroad see Trump in this way and their reaction is to work around him not with him. The key is to appease him or ignore him, whatever it takes to go about one’s own work. The recent meeting of the G20 nations is illustrative of this tendency, as the gathering now can be seen as the G19 who conducted business around our boy king, such as affirming the Paris climate accord.
I will elaborate more on that in a future post. Right now I want to provide support for what I’ve just said by directing you to an essay by David Brooks, a moderate conservative columnist, a fine writer and deep thinker. I stole the title of his piece because it captures my contention so well and Brooks’ analysis goes deeper and is better than I could write myself.
He illuminates Trump’s immaturity and then sums up why we can’t count on him to be our leader: Trump is “sloppy, because he lacks all impulse control, and above all because he is a 7-year-old boy desperate for the approval of those he admires.”
Here is a link to the essay. It is worth reading a couple of times. Let it sink in.
I’ll make you a deal. You read that twice and I won’t darken your email door until at least Wednesday.