As Trump’s world collapses around him—abandoned by CEOs, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, several key Republicans in Congress, and some in the conservative news media—it’s time to see him for what he is: a minor business executive who has no business being president of the United States. That judgment has less to do with his decisionmaking capacity or his lack of governing or overseas experience than with his temperament. He has a reckless disregard for the truth, an inability to empathize, and a demoralizing desire to humiliate anyone, friend or critic, who challenges him. Winning comes first for Trump; the subject matters little compared with showing that he’s in charge and that his view is the only one that counts.
In years to come, Donald Trump will doubtless be the subject of numerous psychological analyses. The experts will try—some have been trying since Day One—to figure out how and why he behaves so differently from any normal leader. But sociology may be just as useful as psychology in Trump’s case: we need look no farther than his business dealings and his background to see that what we witness today is perfectly consistent with Trump’s past. Donald Trump quite simply is doing what comes naturally—being the authoritarian figure who gives orders, expects them to be followed, consults no one, demands absolute loyalty—and in the end increases the wealth of Trump Inc. He surely must be asking himself every day why this model isn’t working just as well in government as in business. “What’s wrong with all these people?” His sense of entitlement is truly extraordinary.
The problem for the rest of us is to figure out how to prevent such a person from committing further destruction. A cornered animal is especially dangerous, as we all know, and Trump is entirely capable of getting the country into a shooting war with North Korea, China, or Iran. But his resignation or impeachment is a very long shot. (See Michael Marien’s “Trexit Scenarios” at https://melgurtov.com.) So is the possibility that his administration will collapse from within due to sudden mass resignations. The Congressional Republican leadership—the one group that holds the key to getting rid of Trump—will continue gnashing its teeth and taking no action.
We the people can and should continue protesting in the streets and by email. But most of all, I think we need to support candidates at every level of politics who will “repeal and replace” this awful proto-fascist with progressives who, unlike Trump, still believe in democracy and social justice.
Right on Mel……….but the entire Trump ‘cast’ must go, not just Trump!
I don’t actually think that impeachment is such a long shot. True, there may not be the votes for it right now, but what stops us from raising it as a possibility, and gathering people in support? Surely most of us now realize this man isn’t going to get any better. He is likely to get worse. So, absent his removal, how do we think this ends? The very worst thing about the Trump presidency is not the bad tings he’s done, but the almost total lack of pushback from the other side. Outrage, sure, but talk is cheap. To date, we have no viable counter-plan for reforming Obamacare, no alternative tax plan, no infrastructure plan, no plan for resolving North Korea. If Trump exploded tomorrow along with his entire White House, we would have no clue as to what to begin to put in place. We need a plan, people. And it starts with getting this guy out of the White House. Now, before anything really bad happens.
Mental health professionals with clear and unbiased observation techniques are in agreement as to what it is, the why is an interesting angle that will be debated for a long time. The issue however, is that the traits would be less harmful in a person not been given power. That he is in power can be solely blamed on those who voted and those who did not.
Absolutely. They were warned, as were we; some of us listened, and our worst fears are being realized.
Some more comments on your latest post, if you don’t mind, because I’m still trying to figure this problem out and bouncing off of your posts is helpful. I hope for an updated version of Trexit Scenarios in the next week or so.
1. “Trump’s Collapsing World” parallels my cite of Sen. Bob Corker warning of a “downward spiral” in June, but then going on to comments that it is “rather slight so far.” Recent events suggest some acceleration (not yet reflected in the polls), but short of
a “collapsing” process. Hope I’m wrong on this.
2. You go on to describe Trump’s faults quite well in the first two paragraphs. But does ”Winning come first?” Surely high on
his list of warped needs, but I would argue that adulation is just as high. As Laurence O’Donnell noted yesterday evening,
our “Divider-in-Chief” (his delicious term) is not a normal politician who seeks to build on his core and get a broader coalition of support. And why try? There are so many citizens such as you and I who thoroughly hate him, I think it is hard if not impossible for him to get any anti-Trumpies to come over to his side on perhaps anything. Moreover, Trump seeks instant gratification, which is why he hold rallies of core supporters and feeds them red meat (including promises of winning bigly), in turn worsening polarization and keeping him from winning anything significant.
3. Thank you for citing me that “resignation or impeachment is a very long shot.” Not my wording: both scenarios came under the
heading of “Somewhat Likely Scenarios,” sorta 50-50 ish. In the past week, impeachment became somewhat more likely in my mind, sorta 60-40ish. (Not very rigorous political science, but how many political scientists are weighing in on this?)
4. I question whether “The Congressional Republican leadership will continue…taking no action.” As Trump acts more outrageously to retain his base, and his polls drop, Congressional Republicans will increasingly worry about re-election and control of Congress
after 2018, and the cost-benefit of throwing the “cornered animal” under the bus so as to favor Pence. Not yet likely to take action, but edging closer, I think. Agree?
5. We the people should not only support candidates who will repeal and replace not only DJT, but also his allies in Congress who approved of the domestic cabinet kakistocracy (Perry, DeVos, Perdue, Carson, and esp. Pruitt) nominated by Trump.
All good thoughts, Mike; thank you. Let’s face it: It’s very hard to put odds on where events are moving, how fast (or slow), and with what outcome. Some days the odds look better for Trump’s removal and other days don’t look very good. Likewise for speculating on who among the Republicans will act like Jeff Flake, in good conscience. Even then, would Flake vote for impeachment?
Needless to say, “repeat and replace” applies, as you write, to Trump’s allies in Congress.
Mel I think he is the republican brand. The congressional rs and others won’t abandon him because they are afraid of his base. It is ghastly that 30 percent of Americans are xenophobic racists. The far right is being normalized and they are recruiting alienated unemployed and under employed. Youth. Gun laws come into play. We are fortunate guns wernt fired in Charlottesville
If I had written this blog post, I think I would have used the past tense, ‘collapsed.’ IMO, everyone except #45 already knows that the bubble has burst and the downward spiral has been in progress for some time. Today’s paper says that BANNON has departed, but he’s been on the fringe for weeks. No great loss. NYT is far from clear about whether BANNON resigned or was fired. If he has any integrity remaining, I’d like to think that he walked on his own. The snot-nosed Kushner has far too much influence…Thirty-six or 39 and a Senior advisor to the president? Please! At that age, his primary responsibility is probably tying #45’s shoes each morning. When all else fails, #45 certainly gives you plenty to write about – and about 96% of the time, you get it exactly right. As much as I enjoy reading those who agree with our feelings, there is also much to be learned by reading those (few?) who still adore #45. I’m sure that you read some of them as well, even if doing so causes some nausea.