It’s logical for journalists, foreign leaders, our military and even us regular citizens to intellectually analyze Trump’s actions, particularly when someone so erratic has so much impact on the world. However, that is the very thing one must resist in order to understand or interact with him. To never normalize Trump must be your premise. I am not suggesting this from a mere partisan position. This is sound advice to understand and operate.
Trump is a two-dimensional, reality show figure. His image as president only exists for him if he’s in front of a camera or he’s watching people talk about him on TV. He is an empty suit that was made in China and sports a Trump label. He did not come to the political scene with any experience or depth in global or domestic matters. He is not reading in-depth reports about foreign or domestic issues or meeting with cabinet members to strategies and analyze intelligence and world affairs. He’s just a lazy, old guy who eats in front of the TV for hours a day, scanning channels for stuff about himself, who also happens to have the power to destroy the planet.
Coupled with his cartoon character depth is his malignant narcissism, and as such, he lacks any loyalty to or compassion for others unless it directly enriches himself. You can’t take the same approach you would with any previous president. To do so is not just incongruous, it isn’t useful and will only scramble your brain.
So he’s shallow, self-absorbed and wholly unfit mentally. Any attempt to normalize his words or deeds is a danger. It is like a board of professors and academics pouring over the process of a preschooler navigating a playroom of toys to determine whether the child left the tricycle for the building blocks because he is prioritizing infrastructure now.
Therefore, the role of journalists is more sobering than it has ever been in our history, and not just because they treated him like a serious politician during his campaign, but because now by simply asking the president a regular, ordinary question they would structure for Obama or even W, they may be steering his mind to take an unintended action. (If his family were reading this, they would be nodding their heads.) Reporters, he hasn’t formed a position about the subject of the question you are asking. And last week was a prime example of what I believe caused Trump to send tomahawk missiles to Syria. During the joint press conference with Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and on the heels of stating only days before he supported Bashar Hafez al–Assad’s remaining Syria’s president (a position he likely took through Putin’s direction), PBS NewsHour’s John Yang asked him if al-Assad’s gas attack on his own people drew for him a red line similar to the line Obama said would be crossed in this incident. Trump responded without hesitation, with his usual, limited vocabulary with it “crossed a lot of lines for me.” Now no one asked a follow-up like, “Could you define a couple of those lines?” which might have either provided context or made it clear he just said it because it seemed like a good ad lib for his improv act.
I saw his face when he said it and thought, “Look out, he just got an idea that will make his junk look bigger than Obama’s.” I can’t be the only one who saw it like that, but I haven’t seen it mentioned. Trump made the decision to bomb Syria because Yang mentioned Obama and Trump had to look tougher. Forget the consequences of what he said about al-Assad being safe to stay or the fallout yet to come, this toddler maniac has the power to blow up stuff. Cool, huh? So he ordered the attack and then a juicy steak, rare. Or vice versa.
Now the media is doing in-depth analysis of what was clearly a stunt and a failed military action. “Why the pivot on al-Assad?” “Did Ivanka’s plea for the children soften his heart?” “What does this mean concerning the allegations he colluded with Russia during his campaign and beyond?” What? No. None of this. He’s a shallow, two-dimensional, mentally unfit buffoon with a distorted ego. Hillary Clinton was right (about everything but) when she said, “There is no other Trump!” He is Being There’s Chance, the gardener.
What he does must not be mistaken as policy or strategy or even a tactic. This being doesn’t know what he is doing. He’s still in private business, sending Uday and Qusay Trump, along with many of his rich, Cabinet member friends, to make deals to enrich themselves, all expenses paid by you and me. He’s a lazy, rich guy who sits around all day, eating and watching Fox so-called news surfing for talk about himself. Then he plays golf. He lacks intellectual curiosity at best, and, at worst, is functionally illiterate; hence the SNL stories that he couldn’t grasp the scripts in their show reads, or reports that he requires no more than a page, heavy with bullets and pictures, in his daily briefings and the video of him in a deposition struggling to read and comprehend a contract he’d signed.
And now he’s sabre rattling with North Korea, a leader we can all agree is erratic and a bubble off the level. Trump is literally threatening a nuclear attack on North Korea. Attention everyone: Do not put ideas in his head! He likes the attention and the ratings’ grab. You can’t approach him like he’s clear headed or fully sane! If he sees his approvals go up as he surfs for his daily “me” news, who knows what he will do for an encore, because he only wants to be famous and have good approval ratings!
Our Constitution defines the role of the free press as the 4th Estate. It’s part of the First Amendment! No wonder this Administration’s ilk wants to attack it. There is a no more imperative than for every real news outlet to stop normalizing his actions, stop having thoughtful round tables on the Sunday shows that apply the president’s personality as a backdrop to anything other than padded walls with a foreground of professionals in white garb amply stocked with horse sedatives. He’s not intellectually fit for the job but what’s worse is he is not mentally well. That’s your premise. Don’t forget. Please. I don’t want these words to be the epitaph for life on the planet.