More than a few people have tried to explain the persona and psychology of Donald Trump. While I tried most of my adult life to avoid thinking about him, ignoring his desperately cloying attempt at self-justification with his reality TV program “The Apprentice” and all its spinoffs, it has been impossible to avoid him now that he’s, gulp, still officially the President of the United States.
The best any of us can do to deal with this strange bit of unreality is to use our personal frame of reference and try to comprehend why a blatant egotist such as Trump is worshipped by his base. In my case, I’ve had the opportunity to deal with a number of Trump-style personalities in my life. I learned quickly how shallow they can be in how they think and what they value. I also learned how prodigiously they like to project those “values” on everything they encounter in life. And how some people still invariably worship them for these traits.
Once while traveling to a client meeting in the company of the President and CEO of the marketing firm where I worked as a creative director, the man who called himself Mr. Big turned to me and said, “What’s the best running shoe?”
He knew that I was a competitive runner, so I thought he was curious about the best type of running shoes for his own exercise routine. As I began to explain the differences in the various types of shoes available on the market, noting there were shoes for cushioning, stability and…he interrupted me and said. “No, I mean, what’s the most expensive shoe?”
That is how he judged quality. What costs the most. He wanted to make sure that the sneakers he wears are somehow better than yours.
To Trump, the White House is a dump
We now know that a “my sneakers are better than yours” attitude is one of the most Trumpian traits of all. After all, it was Trump that branded the White House a “dump,” likely comparing the historic symbol of presidential occupancy to the glitzy hotels on which he slaps his own name as if it were a label on an expensive shirt. It’s what Trump does. And little more.
Shitholes and brown-skinned invaders
But the public insult toward the White House was not enough for Trump. He went on to label countries that he did not like “shitholes” because they did not meet his perception of what developed nations should be.
That Trumpian slur was rife with racist implications, a fact proved beyond doubt when Trump went on to brand immigrant traffic from largely white countries, such as Norway, far more desirable than people coming to America from countries whose principal populations happen to have brown or other colors of skin. In Trump’s estimation, the “best sneakers” on the immigrant market have fair hair, blue eyes, and white skin.
It’s all in what you own
We’re also faced with a President who once paid off a porn star for silence about their relationship, and who walked in on half-dressed teenage girls at beauty pageants because he thought he “owned” them.
That same President repeatedly tried to “own” President Obama for golfing during his terms in office. Yet Trump has proceeded to golf more than any President in history, mostly at resorts that he owns so that his companies will profit at the expense of the American taxpayer. His properties even charge the Secret Service $650 per night, thus maximizing Trump’s personal profit by overcharging an agency that can’t say “no” to his demands because they are charged with protecting him. This is criminal activity according to the emoluments laws governing the President of the United States. Trump should be impeached for it.
Fraud and fecklessness
But Trump is a feckless egotist, a person incapable of grasping that the fraud committed through his own University and the closure of his own foundation for corrupt activity are clear indictments of his criminally corrupt nature. In that same vein, he also claimed that his coercive call to the president of Ukraine was “perfect” and then proceeded to malign the whistleblower, the free press, the public servants testifying about corruption and Congress for investigating and telling the truth about Trump’s actions and baldly apparent motives. Even Senators that voted to acquit Trump admitted that he’d broken the law.
A petty thief
The Trump presidency is essentially one petty theft of virtue after another. Every day brings a new little crime, as if Trump were walking into an expensive shoe store, tossing his own shoes aside, slipping on a pair of the most outrageously priced footwear he can find, then walking out the door as if he owned them. If anyone questions the criminality of his actions, he blames the store for selling that brand of footwear in the first place.
Bad sneakers and the viral stench of Coronavirus
To Trump, any truth that conflicts with his oversized ego is a set of bad sneakers that he brands “fake news” and then turns around to brag about how much his own stupid sneakers are worth.
But now his selfishness and bald-faced attempts to protect his petty theft of God and country are having deadly consequences. He spitefully killed the agency established by President Obama to prepare and protect the nation in the event of a pandemic. Then lacking any credible information about the threat to come, Trump also chose to ignore and lie about the deadly nature of Covid-19. Instead, Trump tried to hide the threat from the public and claim that it would disappear “like magic.” All done so that his precious perch on a humming economy (thanks much to President Obama) would not be impacted. As for his equally clueless and tone-deaf First Lady Melania Trump, all she could do during the rising pandemic was tweet about some tennis facility she was proud to christen. But she’s got nice sneakers…
You fellah, you tearin’ up the street
You wear that white tuxedo
How you gonna beat the heat
Do you take me for a fool
Do you think that I don’t see
That ditch out in the valley
That they’re digging just for me
–Bad Sneakers, Steely Dan
Now the United States has surpassed even China in the number of tested cases of a dangerous strain of Coronavirus. Trump insists that everything is going great and that his administration has done everything it can to help the American people. He even begged the Senate to toss a bunch of money together to bail him out of this mess by bribing business and the American people into not blaming him for the gross incompetency related to the dangers of this pandemic. It’s clear that it is Trump’s sneakers that stink in this case, but he’s blaming the smell on everyone else. And always will.