One cannot begin the topic of speculative motives without referring to the President of the United States. Donald Trump fulfills most of the cliches we have in our heads about a schoolyard thug. He is loud, pushy, bigger than most people, spoiled, obnoxious, and with a foul mouth and sneering attitude towards everything, even success. He threatens people, sometimes without reason, and constantly tries to prove that he is better than everybody else.
If we choose to speculate on the motives psychologically for this behavior, we can again go to the laboratory generalizations, and see a person who was constantly bullied at home–a demanding and emotionally cold father, filled with insults, and for whom nothing was ever good enough; an overbearing mother who seemed capable of only picking out the flaws, no matter how loving she might have seemed to be. “Oh, Donnie,” she probably said at one time and/or another, “Don’t take things so hard. You’re my little man! You can do any–oh. You have something on your lapel. Some schmutz. Go fix yourself up before dinner. We have guests coming . . .”
I can hear the criticism of a piece such as this already, and I have to admit they are mostly valid. Except . . . I cannot specifically explore the experiences that developed the man who became our 45th President, having no direct knowledge of them. However, being a student of Presidential history, I imagine there will be far more comprehensive studies in the future about Donald Trump, some with more knowledge, but none as concerned with motive. What I am offering is a serious study of what has developed people’s motives in the past, taking into account the degrees of success individuals have had, and applying these theories to the reasons behind President Trump’s behavior. It is easily dismissed, sure, but, nevertheless, it is a hard argument.
Why does he behave this way, deep down, underneath all the bluster and personal pride? And how do you think he really treats other people in private? Of course we hear the rumors, and there is no reason not to believe them. Cursing people out, humiliating them. He calls people idiots (or low-IQ), and worthless. Incompetent fools, and sometimes (perhaps most frequently) stupid fucking morons! Some poor staffer under the President’s reign does something disapproving, then suffers his boss’s wrath for an extended period of time (recognize this, anyone?) Donald Trump is a man without a filter, and who is only capable of seeing events how they impact him personally. What would you do in this circumstance, your boss attacking you so viciously that you slump out of the room when dismissed, almost broken and nearly (or even actually) in tears? I don’t know–I would go to the press, those tabloid hounds waiting for any scandalous news to take the arrogant president down a notch. And it isn’t even lying, isn’t ‘fake news.’ It is just pettiness–“on both sides!” to quote Mr. Trump. All there is are people who do not respect one another, sometimes even for valid reasons, trying to expose anything that might embarrass one another.
Donald Trump is a master at humiliation, both of others and of himself. For example: if some news source, either in favor of or, against President Trump, were to take a poll on who believes that he was pissed on by Russian prostitutes, there is likely a chance that several of them would put the numbers over 50%. I do not necessarily believe this rumor, but cannot wholesale discount it. And that’s the point. Neither can you.
In line with the humiliation, this seems to be the sort of thing that hard-driving, cutthroat businessmen go in for at the local dungeon. I once had a friend (briefly a girlfriend, in fact, whose child and mother I knew, and for whom our relationship had nothing to do with her job) who worked, unhappily, as a dominatrix. She told me of people who liked to be pissed on, or even shat upon, and for whom mocking their cock size, or calling them fat and ugly was what excited them the most. This is more common than we suspect among the vicious, the cruel, and the sometimes violent. If you are always in charge, it can be very pleasurable to have someone else in complete control.
As the title implies, this is merely speculation. But it strikes a believable cord. At work, or in the White House (I separate the two), story after story has emerged of people overhearing the President scream through doors. Donald Trump is certainly not the first President for whom this has been leaked. It seems like a terrible job. Look at what it does to people:
Carter was only in office for four years, Kennedy for three. And while FDR spent thirteen years, and Nixon an especially stressful six, just look at the broken lines on the faces of these men. How many of us decline physically at such a rate, eight years closer to death?
Donald Trump is at a disadvantage, in many ways, in the fact that he does not truly understand what it means to be the leader of a nation, versus the boss of a company that bears his name. In business, where he was given a fortune to run with, and managed to eventually make a great deal more, I do not believe there was ever a time he did not have absolute control over everything (except during those early years when his father treated him like a personal servant, the way I suspect our President treats his own sons.) Everything for him has always been about proving himself, because nothing was ever good enough. Tearing other people down is the only way he can make himself feel better. Even with successful business deals, the sense of triumph only lasts for so long.
A nation is not a business. This is the foolishness of the American people who elected the man, somehow imagining that all of these ‘social issues’ have gotten in the way of strong government. Trump certainly ran on this idea. But those social issues are a large part of what makes a nation, the people at war with each other over who is right and wrong. The fact that people protest against a sense of oppression only means that there are some who feel oppressed by the way of the world. Those who scream bias are usually people who have experienced it, and who can also recognize this characteristic within themselves. Gender equality, protection from being sick, and natural disasters, the causes of crime, the legality of drugs, the price of houses and oil and food and all of the other things people are convinced they need to survive. Every single one of these issues, while certainly peripheral to business interests, have a separate identity and importance in the functioning of a nation. To ignore such considerations is an easy way to tear the whole world apart. And for a self-loathing bully, for someone like Donald Trump, who feels he has never truly been good enough, and does not receive the respect he believe he deserves; despite all of his success, there seems to be no concern for anything outside of his deepest personal desires.
You hear this said a lot: Donald Trump is only in it for himself (in one way or another, you can argue this for all Presidents–except, perhaps, for George Washington, who never wanted the job, but felt called to do his duty)–Trump never divested himself from his businesses, refuses to expose who he has worked with in the past, despite the fact that conflict of interest with the President offers a clear and present danger to the entire world.
This is not meant as some partisan attack meant to tear the man down in the manner he likes to attack people. What I am offering in this minor character sketch is a profile of a man, who while celebrated for being truly outside the system, offers such a cold shoulder no one is ever allowed to cry on. The difference between this presidency, and literally every other one in the past (even among the worst of them) is that there seems to be no truth in his claims that he loves America. He strikes me as one incapable of loving anything.