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Friday, July 7, 2017

Sympathy for the devil?

Many times I have made entries into this blog about the president, Donald Trump.

In them, I represented my thoughts on all of his negative shenanigans. I mentioned how I saw in him someone in emboldened with audacity unlike any we've seen since Nixon.

His daughter I imagine to be self-important and arrogant, armed with a sense of superiority and a “What's in it for me?” mentality. His two elder sons transcend even that, though their facade of machismo is clearly a put-on, awkward display of young guys who were doing their best to emulate their father.

The youngest son just seems confused much of the time, though lately he seems to be doing better in his public appearances, waving on cue and with a certain sense of purpose now. I say “Good for him,” because he must've felt caught in a whirlwind enough prior to his father's presidency, let alone in front of throngs of people.

The daughter, a deified being probably most of her life is fairly transparent now.  Despite her “do-gooding” plans to make the world a better place, never mind the constant faucet of cyber bullying that is her father and the overworked sweatshop employees who make her self-labeled “Ivanka” clothing line, the hypocrisy is easy to see.

It's the oldest two sons that concern me most, for it appears they've been groomed in the manner of their father. Could they have been pitted against each other since day one, hoping to earn their father's approval?

Quite likely, and therein lies the trouble; their father's approval, like his approach to the presidency, is a nebulous, ever changing thing, and it's equally likely that it's always been that way, by design.

His father likes people trying to cater to his whims, be it an FBI Director whose loyalty he's seeking to the boys who have, at least in name, been entrusted with running their father's true love, his business empire.

But in all seriousness, I still see two boys struggling to win their father's acceptance, for I see in their eyes a look of doubt. It's not a gaze that demonstrates the doubt of a sudden, embarrassing moment. Rather it's the look of a lifetime of doubt, of trying yet never quite achieving the holy grail that their father has dangled before them since forever.

It's a look I find scary, to the point where imagining them both in crisp SS uniforms, replete with the Nazi armband and hat that displays superiority over anyone who's not equally and conspicuously garbed.

The icy coldness in the eyes of his son-in-law Jared Kushner personifies the Nazi prototype. Condemning hundreds of men, women and children to a horrible death in a gas chamber and the torture of hundreds more could easily be seen as all in a day’s work to him.

Kushner could, in fact be the standard by which Trump measures his sons, and a bitter rivalry imprisons them all through which no possibility of productive cooperation exists.

Regardless, it's Trump himself who is the subject of my comments today. In dropping all the people who kowtow to him, and all of his sycophants vying for his approval, each of them starving for Trump’s attention no matter what they might have to say to get it Trump is more readily visible as someone with a serious internal struggle.

In saying this, I don't mean to say “He acts and behaves like a grade school kid because of  X.”

No, I'm not coming from that place now at all. If you're looking to read that sort of thing, I refer you to any of a number of outright cathartic expressions of my frustration with him.

Rather, in see in the elder Trump today a look in his eyes that's reminiscent of the look in his own sons. It's very, very worn, maybe to a point where many of us can also see it but refute it, lest it become an admission that our own self-doubt is visible, too.

But, as Trump himself is fond of saying, he's the president and we're not. The look in Trump’s eyes is important when you consider the caliber of people with whom he must consort on an international level.

Do you see doubt in the eyes of Vladimir Putin, Emmanuel Macron, Justin Trudeau Angela Merkel or others?

Perhaps, but they don't have what Trump has when it comes to his self-doubt; an overwhelming amount of invectives directed to people he believes exist solely to impugn and belittle him. He calls it “Fake news.”

Trump is wholly unable to mask his fearful, inner presence with an outer persona that exudes confidence and, yes, congeniality. What went wrong with him then, that leads him to act impulsively and then stand behind whatever train wreck he's just created?

Well, I believe there are two reasons for this. First, Trump is an only child. As such, he had to bear the full weight of his father's attention, and it wasn't always the confidence-building experience that a young boy needs to become a balanced person.

That is, someone who could be counted on to assume some degree of accountability for his actions. Trump’s penchant for directing blame for his own actions toward others is an indication that his past involved considerable scapegoating by his own father, by design.

Further, Trump learned early on that true Love is based upon the bedrock of CYA in whatever form is necessary, for he might later be required to come up with an explanation for his actions.

All the bankruptcies are prime evidence of this, as is his necessity for having a personal attorney on retainer at all times, ready to spin away any blame by Trump for anything and, in fact, he should be suing you for damages.

It's a strategy that's worked for him all his life, in the private sector. Life as an elected public official, which is what the presidency is at its very core, would never settle for such behavior.

It's a big reason why Trump lamented in an interview in January that he “misses his old life,” and that he “didn't think being president would be this hard.”

His statements are born out of the inner doubt he's never been able to shake. The wounded child inside wants to fight back, but the adult part of his thinking asserts that it'd be futile to do so, for he'd then be exposed as for what he is-merely human.

It's what happens, I believe, when a young person is taught the ways of the world and then is left on his own to assimilate and interpret what he sees. The lenses of a child, then, are not sharp enough to really distinguish wrong from right, good from bad, or even inside from outside.

But an outsider is what Trump has both always been and what he fancies himself now, and the wealth in which he's always been endowed has enabled his thinking to include, even require kowtowing sycophants who reinforce the notion that he never does wrong and, perhaps most important, that he's always right.

To phrase it in terms that Trump himself is fond of using, “Sad!” I truly feel sorry for this scared old man who's found himself in charge of such an important operation- running the US government. I wish him the inner peace he's always wanted but still has yet to find.

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