The Eggo — Our President
E.J. Dionne Jr.
Perhaps the most insightful take on the character of Donald Trump that I’ve read was delivered by E.J. Dionne Jr., syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, a couple of days before Hurricane Irma hit South Florida. It packed a wallop and blew me away—the column, that is (I survived the ’cane intact).
Dionne distilled the essence of the current U.S. president’s character in one sentence: “Trump is the exact opposite of what he tries to project: The thing he cares about is what others think of him.”
The newspaperman elaborated: “So he’ll adjust his views again and again to serve his ends as circumstances change. He’s not Mr. Fearless. He’s Mr. Insecure.”
From reports that his base may be dwindling, it appears a few people may have awakened to reality. It took a lot of wild-eyed Tweets, contradictory proclamations, exoneration of racist alt-right (sorry for the redundancy) protesters in Charlottesville, and policy positions antagonistic to the Republican Congress for these defectors to see through this man and realize that he is an empty vessel.
Americans and Dems Be Damned
To be sure, some of these actions, such as his middle-fingering of
Ruth Marcus, another syndicated Washington Post columnist, noted additionally on MSNBC that Trump didn’t do anything for anybody without expectation of something in return. His agreement with the Democrats on the debt ceiling may have been a ploy to win their approval of his tax plan, which would mostly benefit the rich.
Trump’s Nightmare Act
It was on the DACA (Dream Act) program that Trump revealed most clearly the extent of his fakery. DACA put him in a bind. Ending the program satisfied his own penchant for meanness
What to do? He shifted the problem to Congress, and delayed implementation by six months. But then the polls showed the big majority of people opposed the decision to deport the “dreamers.” So he tweeted cryptically that if Congress didn’t act, “I will revisit the issue!” Thus, as Dionne wrote, “a six-month delay might not really be a six-month delay. It might be extended. Or maybe not. Who knows?”
The president’s political waffling is so transparent he should be dubbed Eggo Trump. It’s high time somebody
“He presented himself,” wrote Dionne, “as the guy who said whatever was on his mind, who didn’t talk like a politician, who didn’t care what others thought, and who railed against ‘political correctness.’ In fact, just about everything that comes out of his mouth or
The columnist said further, “The improvised character of the Trump presidency owes to his inclination to see politics as entirely about public performance. He cares above all about the reactions he arouses day to day and even hour to hour.”
To some who are abandoning the man who promised to “make America great again,” it’s about his failure to deliver on his radical-right-wing campaign promises. For others, it’s the revelation that their “tell it like it is” guy is the most deceptive, unprincipled and perfidious of politicians. They realize they’ve been suckered.
To those who remain faithful to Trump, he is a cult personality to whom they will be loyal no matter what he does. People in that category are on the order of Adolph Hitler’s followers and the disciples of James Jones, the 1970s fake religious cult leader—mindless folks looking for a God-like savior from what they perceive as the evils wrought upon themselves and their country. That there are so many of them in America—polls show a third of the population still supports Trump—is cause for alarm.
For those disillusioned Trumpists who have come to understand their error in judgment, Dionne offered this lesson: “It is a bad idea to elect a president who worries far more about how his actions look than what they actually are.”