Post#: 325-18 – Words: 2402 – Audio: N/A
“If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.”
From the outset of the 2016 campaign I’ve banged away that Trump, the man, was NOT capable of being President of the U.S. primarily because his behavioral shortcomings and emotional demeanor was way too much out of whack to be effective in the job. I mean, even if you separate him from his immoral, racist, misogynistic outward tendencies that marks his character, he exhibits a relatively common and somewhat predictable behavioral aberration that should never occupy the Oval Office unless as a visitor.
But then you may be asking right about now, “What makes YOU such a (damn) know-it-all to judge how the President thinks or acts?”. Good question. First, if I were a know-it-all I’d not be wasting my time doing a blog; I’d be exploiting my know-it-all status for cash. Given that, I make NO claims of knowing-it-all about the President (or anything else for that matter). Likely what you are asking me is what makes me think I am qualified in some way to pass judgment on someone who got himself elected to the highest office in the land of the most powerful country in the world.. and I’m putzing with a blog by comparison. Well, you got me there for sure. No.. this is more than simply blowing off some First Amendment steam in an anti-Trump post.
As any of us go through life our normal instincts pick up cause & effect, actions and reactions, as we build relationships with those around us. From the time we first open our eyes to an unfamiliar world we are learning about the people around us. In our minds we stereotype (not necessarily in a “bad” way), classify, quantify, evaluate, postulate, and contemplate how we interact with people. In our minds, over time, we build a quick access database of perceptions that allows us to respond to people based on the inputs from others, or from our own senses. Because of our infinite human variety we all form that mental database under a variety of acute instincts. We all read people differently… and in most cases there’s no right or wrong to it.. the reactions we get back reflect our accuracy, for our purposes.
Yes.. early on I pegged Trump for what he is behaviorally because my internal database contained past experiences with similar behaviors. In my case I’m fairly sensitive to behavioral interpretation to the point that I have a conscious working interest in it, and I actually went forward to attain a degree in the Applied Behavioral Sciences. While I never made the choice to develop a psych career it all served me well in business management. Some people are better at music, numbers, public speaking… this was my “thing”. Add to this the fact that I am a senior citizen means I’ve had a lot of years to learn about people. Nope.. not always correct and I accept any embarrassments as a result. Such is life.
Now, I am far from alone or somehow “unique”. Heck, when it comes to interpreting Trump’s behavior most folks can readily interpret some of the signs; it doesn’t take a psych genius.. or passive “hobbyist”, like myself. In fact, when I first started this blog, right after Trump took office, I included the following post that reflected outside professional psych analysis of Trump’s behavior… HERE.
One argument trying to discourage this analysis has been the idea that how can any psych person do a valid psych evaluation without having the person being evaluated reclining on a couch fessing up about how he feels toward his mother. After all, Trump could be faking his public behavior and he’s really not who everyone thinks he is and that he’s really some genius or something. Possible, but statistically not probable… and in Trump’s case, certainly the last two years reflects a solid constant and predictable behavior.
Last year a book came out… The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President. I’ve read this book and it’s pretty scary what these docs reveal. You can read a review HERE.
All this being said, the direction of my post here is to point out that while many acknowledge that Trump favors nurturing his base with things to fear in order to gain their loyalty and that he is the only one who can save their lives, his own personal motivation is based on his own fears. He bullies because he is afraid.
One major clue is that he is a “silver spooner”… raised in an environment of wealth and pretty much spoiled with entitlement. This doesn’t usually foster a personal skill set of knowing your achievement limits; everything has been provided without earning or achieving it. I can’t speak at all for Trump’s growing up, but it’s very possible he had some threatening physical encounters in school, on the playground, at military school… something made him fear his personal safety, which in turn brought out the bully trait as a kind of pre-emptive defense. I firmly believe he honestly avoided the draft because he feared for his life; he would have to live outside the cocoon of his parents’ wealth, and possibly have to dodge bullets in Vietnam. I think it’s very obvious (to me) he learned to control his environment by using his bravado to control others around him.
It’s also pretty obvious (to me) that he exudes an authoritarian behavior to gain respect, and he has a bit of a messiah complex in his role as President. His body language is famous.. the crossing of his arms when engaging with the press, if you note, always while he is sitting. He feels very vulnerable when sitting. Standing makes him easy to confront people; his rhetoric is his shield. If you recall, when sitting with world leaders he never sits for comfort. He’s always leaning forward in the chair.. ready to stand. Interestingly, this forces the world leaders sitting opposite of him to also lean forward.. not to look more comfortable than Trump for the optics of the moment.
There were two indicators this week that pointed to Trump being afraid for his life… not necessarily as a result of the Secret Service reacting to any direct threat. The first was all the coverage about him missing the cemetery visit while in France due to the rain. Early reports suggested that the bad weather alone deterred his going to the ceremony… in spite of all the other world leaders attending with little or no problem. Then there was some mention about traffic delays from the rain. It was all pretty weak and lame excuses. Then came the reason being the Secret Service told him there might be a security risk. News pundits also thought that lame as well given the President can decide where he wants to go and if attending the ceremony was an important photo op and political visual he could have just told the Secret Service what he wanted.
Then came the interview with Chris Wallace.
TRUMP: No it’s not, no. No. I don’t mind getting bad news if I’m wrong. If I do something wrong – like, for instance, the cemetery. I was not allowed to go because of the Secret Service. Because they expected to take a helicopter –
TRUMP: They had zero visibility. They said, “Sir, we are totally unequipped for you to go.” In addition to that, the cemetery was far too far away from Air Force One, which is sort of like a control center, where you had to be near.
Not one paper that I saw wrote it that way. They said I stayed out of it because of the rain. And yet, the following day, I made a speech at the American cemetery —
WALLACE: I understand.
TRUMP: It was pouring. It wasn’t even really raining the first day but the fog was tremendous. OK?
Part of this you had to visually read Trump’s delivery during the interview. He had a level of honest sincerity and I was drawn immediately to the actual reason he was trying to convey. It lacked his verbal bombasity and hyperbole. He was more detailed and he actually recalled the remark from the Secret Service. I picked up right away that he was actually telling some truth… and it made sense. The Secret Service apparently wasn’t prepared for the weather.. rain and fog.. and told Trump they were unable to chopper him in to the ceremony due to reduced visibility, and the result was a significant link to the safety of Air Force One was not available should he decide to motorcade in. Now, while there was no reported immediate threat to the President it was simply a normal security concern for the Secret Service and they made him aware of the potential risk. Makes sense. Yet the media opted for reporting the story from the perspective that Trump cancelled because of rain in spite of all the other leaders managing to attend… giving Trump the usual “bad” image. Now, from my ill-informed vantage point three things come to mind.
- Why wasn’t the Secret Service better prepared with an alternative plan if the weather became bad?
- Why weren’t Trump and/or his people better prepared to communicate the reason without issuing odd and lame excuses that changed throughout the day?
- Why didn’t Trump just suck it up and motorcade to the event to assure America’s President was there with the other world leaders anyway? Presidents aren’t obligated to do what the Secret Service recommends.. and many times they haven’t. Well… I got the feeling Trump accepted the Secret Service cautionary advice because he had a fear for his own security. Weather was nasty and murky.. fog… an unknown that the Secret Service could protect him from some unknown danger lurking in the mist. He was fearful for his own life to some measure. In his judgement better to cancel his attendance to save his own skin from some unknown threat.
The Second Indicator?
The media has been reporting in recent weeks about Trump’s apparent reluctance to visit the troops at “the front”… the servicemen and women fighting the battles in response to our policies which have sent them to be placed in harm’s way. A couple days ago I mentioned to my significant other as we listened to the reporting on the TV, “He’s not going because he fears for his life. He doesn’t want to get shot.” My SO replied, “Oh? How so?” I explained, “The behavioral nature of his.. displayed behaviors.. is such that he spends a lot of time protecting himself from conflict and ‘injury’ (emotional or physical) using his ‘frightened bully’ and authoritarian demeanor. He sees enemies all around him so he demands loyalty to assure his own safety.”
A couple days ago The Washington Post reported that the inside reason Trump has not visited the troops on the front is that he’s afraid of getting shot.. or worse. So it’s not just me making these observations about our Dear Leader.
Just yesterday… timing being what it is and unrelated to my post here… author Michael D’Antonio wrote in an op-ed at CNN (HERE)
“Who does Trump fear? He fears the independent counsel, whose investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election threatens to expose the inner workings of the campaign and of Trump’s opaque business empire. He fears Schiff and other House Democrats he’s belittled because they will soon chair powerful committees that will launch their own investigations into Trump’s administration and, perhaps, his long-hidden tax returns.
The President’s insecurities all seem to revolve around his fear of being unmasked as a fraud. The tax returns, for example, would allow everyone to compare his claims to great wealth — in 2015 he said he was worth $10 billion — with black-and-white reality. More to the point, we could all see how he has benefited from various tax maneuvers and discover just how much corporate welfare the Trump Organization has lapped up over the years.
Beyond his finances, Trump fears being revealed to be a naïf who has been outplayed by others with power.”
[D’Antonio is the author of the book “Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success” and co-author with Peter Eisner of “The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence.“]
The point is that many in America can easily perceive Trump’s fear as being his personal motivator.
What Can We Expect In The Future From Trump’s Fears?
As the walls of legal investigations begin to engulf him, from Mueller, from Congress, from others, he will very likely get more irritable to say the least. More confrontational as he begins to feel more cornered; he will try avenues of striking back at his “enemies”. If impeachment charges begin, this will make his fighting back all the more apparent. Unlike Nixon, who actually had a sense of his place in history and cared a bit about an impeachment battle stalling the nation, Trump will not resign on his own. He has no interest or concern with his historical perception. I can see a strong possibility that as he feels more cornered he will attempt to get his base involved in his personal struggle… claiming his enemies are the nation’s enemies. This might incite some extremist terror attacks. He will use his power to pardon to keep himself and his family from legal exposure, but the idea of his personal failing in the office may manifest itself in a variety of ways. The “Hollywood” inside me is imagining him striking back using decrees and his pardoning power to create legal havoc in the land. In theory he could make wild and reckless decrees that will end up clogging the courts to overturn. He could use his pardons to empty prisons and set criminals loose upon the land. Far fetched? Very likely. But he does have that power. Also very likely, certain staff would likely intervene to keep him from going too far. But do we know for sure? (Oh dear.. did I just use fear to sell you on fear?).
By and large, we don’t know for sure how Trump will react should his future as President become a little dicey. But it’s not going to be pretty for America.
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