Just Plain Bad
By Patrick F. Cannon
I’ve recently resisted writing about President Trump. The world probably doesn’t need another opinion about him, after all. But recently I’ve talked with some of his supporters, people I like and respect. I won’t stop liking and respecting them, but I would like to remind them and all of Trump’s supporters – including Republicans in the Congress – of something they need to admit and accept: Donald Trump is a bad man.
How bad? Let me just say this: we have had presidents who have knowingly lied to the American public, but in most cases they knew they were lying and did it anyway, sometimes for reasons they thought were justified. Trump lies continuously, and really doesn’t make a distinction between truth and fiction. If he says it, then to him it’s true. He is a classic narcissist; only he is important; only he deserves loyalty (notice how he quickly turns on people who deign to disagree with him).
Everyone should realize that only the courts and the Congress have kept him from ruling by decree. He is less intelligent than Hitler, and has more hair than Mussolini, but he is the same type of megalomaniac.
Anyway, it seems unlikely that the Senate will vote him out of office, even if he’s impeached by the House (but we can always hope!). And unless the Republican Party regains its soul, he’ll probably be their candidate in 2020. If you plan to vote for him anyway, by all means go ahead, but please do so without illusions. Vote for him knowing that he is a thoroughly bad man.
Copyright 2019, Patrick F. Cannon
6 thoughts on “Just Plain Bad”
I didn’t vote for him, and I certainly can’t apologize for or defend him. He seems to have what shrinks call Narcissistic Personality Disorder, “a long-term pattern of exaggerated feelings of self-importance, an excessive need for admiration, and a lack of empathy toward other people. People with NPD often spend much time thinking about achieving power and success, or on their appearance. Typically, they also take advantage of the people around them.” Someone like that can get on your nerves pretty quickly. In his case, with the press and the political establishment it took less than two minutes!
Of all the personality types out there, we ended up with this guy. We expect our leaders to be idealistic and humane, whether sincerely or not. They should keep pets, treat their spouses kindly, attend services on Sunday (or Saturday) but not too devoutly, avoid offending others and generally present themselves as models to emulate. They should be nice people.
Although we have been fortunate to have had a few admirable leaders, such virtues are anomalies in the political world. Unless you’re the lead dog on the dog sled team, the scenery never changes. The dogs behind you are not following, they’re chasing you and looking for any way to get you. Trump, of course, didn’t make his way up the line. He came out of nowhere and went straight to the front. And enough voters fed up with the ways of both parties and government really liked that.
The question may be: Can someone with NPD be of benefit to the country in a leadership position? In his case the jury is still out. The economy has improved for most people, the Swamp is a little less swampy, China has been called out for what it is, and the anti-American sentiment that animates our elites has been addressed. But the process has been chaotic, improvised, capricious, contentious, and divisive.
I think the question should be left to the voters in 2020, not a contrived impeachment process.
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He takes credit for the economy, just like all the president’s have done who have had no actually effect. Any Republican would have done much of what he has done. There is a time when even this country has to draw a line. I repeat: he’s a bad man.
Even Obama takes credit for the economy (eight years of stagnation set the stage?). Tax rate cuts and deregulation have helped, tariffs have not. Debt is troubling. If the gods are favorable (where’s that ex machina?!) we may get a good person next time. The ones on the scene inspire despair.
Of course you are right, but “bad man” makes me think of the Pakistani in that Seinfeld episode!
Illegitimi non carborundum!
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I’d forgotten about the Seinfeld episode. Tax cuts are great only if you don’t keep spending money you no longer have. By the way, Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Having Coffee” on Netflix — and maybe on line? — puts us in the strange world that comics inhabit. At least that one’s funny.
Too bad his comment from Wednesday was too late for this blog. I would love to read your take on building a wall on the northern border of New Mexico (aka Colorado). Add geographically challenged to his list of things we love about him.
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If I were the U of Penn, I would publish his grades! Or did dad pay for them?