Really, it’s hard to take the man seriously at this point. At this point, mockery and parody are in order.
But before I write here about Donald Trump and his condition, I want to tell his supporters that you are not Donald Trump. Therefore, whatever I write about him – and I will be extremely critical – does not apply to you.
If you feel you share some of Trump’s traits, it’s up to you to determine that.
But I have many longtime friends who are conservative or Republican (or both) and most of them don’t talk or act like him. The vast majority of Republicans I know personally are polite, civil, and generally respectful of others. They may agree with some of Trump’s policies or views, but they don’t express themselves with the rudeness and hostility he repeatedly uses. As human beings, they are far better and far more caring than Trump.
Lest you think I’m being too generous in my description of Trump’s supporters, let me admit that some of them are indeed as militant as he is. Some are intentionally provocative, intentionally confrontational, and literally incapable of having a civil conversation with Democrats or anyone critical of Trump.
But the wildly ugly types are a small minority of the tens of millions (74 million in the 2020 election) of citizens who have supported Trump in the past. The vast majority of these people just choose the politician who most – not perfectly – matches their point of view.
So, when we talk about Trump — and only Trump — I’ll be honest with the man. I trust Republican readers will see the separation I maintain between him and them. This separation is important because Trump is extremely destructive to the nation – and must be seen as such – while his supporters are American citizens who are and will be an integral part of shaping the country as we move forward.
All that said, back to Trump. He is a man-child who is thoroughly underdeveloped in almost every possible way.
His intellectual abilities are almost zero. As president, he would not — and could not — read the regular daily briefings and news reports that all presidents should read. National security officials, who update the president daily, were so alarmed by his inability to read and stay focused on critical intelligence that they eventually resorted to verbal, pictorial and graphic formats in an effort to keep Trump engaged. Conducting briefings was literally like trying to get a 3 year old to listen to a lecture.
His inability – and unwillingness – to either cooperate or learn is now documented in legend. From “I can fix it myself” to “I have the best mind,” Trump has consistently shown his shocking state of ignorance as president. He wasn’t aware of how much he didn’t know, and he had no “habits of mind” to be curious, ask for advice, listen to experts, or learn.
Plus, as insecure and narcissistic as Trump was and is, he lies all the time. From claiming the largest inauguration crowd in history to claiming the 2020 election was stolen from him, he lies without restraint. These lies matter because the nation looks to its president to tell us the truth. Democracy cannot survive citizens operating under dishonest leadership.
Emotionally, Trump is an underdeveloped, damaged, dysfunctional human being. This is perhaps its worst shortcoming.
Emotional intelligence in adults is the basis of this person’s abilities in many ways. Good emotional development and skills anchor empathy, humility, judgment, intentions, values, and the ability—and desire—to communicate effectively. It allows one to imagine the lives of others.
Trump’s emotional immaturity is obvious. Whether he is mocking, insulting, or belittling people, his cruelty and disrespect for others is evident. He is impatient, unruly, saddened and supremely self-absorbed. He was and is not emotionally fit to lead the American people.
Which brings me back to citizens. All of us — Republicans and Democrats alike — deserve better than Trump. In particular, his supporters—rich or poor, empowered or alienated—are better than him. Trump is a fraud and his supporters have been duped by him, Fox News, talk radio and the siren songs of the Webworld.
On this Thanksgiving weekend, when we are encouraged to feel gratitude and when we can realize how extraordinarily much we owe to other people, we can inexorably cultivate generosity of spirit and solidarity with our countrymen together.
Trump is anti-Thanksgiving. It is the opposite of gratitude and brotherhood. If we think about how all ordinary people – of every type – how our lives work every day, we can see that to imitate or rationalize Trump’s malicious character is idiocy and pure poisoning.
Even the tabloid New York Post, a longtime Trump supporter, finally acknowledged it was time to leave him. Hence the newspaper headline: “Florida Man Announces”.
At this point, and especially on Thanksgiving, let’s all embrace some measure of common sense and mutual solidarity.
The Florida man-child, with his tantrums and endless need for attention, should be left in his adult facility at Mar-a-Lago.
Brian T. Watson of Swampscott is the author of “Headed In the Abyss: A Story of Our Time and the Future We Shall Face.” Contact him at [email protected]