Daughter Trudy is one of my most loyal fans, but has difficulty dealing with our differing political orientations. On occasion our discussions of politics have even become a bit rancorous consequently; we have agreed to limit our conversations to apolitical topics. I have failed in spite of my best efforts to convert her to a more liberal point of view. She says I am brainwashed by CNN and MSNBC and I accuse her of being rigid (must have gotten that from her Mother). As a closely held critic, she has encouraged me to avoid political topics and stick to more pleasant subjects. She also admits to suffering Trump fatigue, a malady for which I can empathize. Nevertheless; as I expressed in a previous blog, I seem to be hopelessly addicted to this stuff, and in the tradition of addicts of all stripes feel compelled to “just do it one more time.”
Disclaimer + My View of POTUS’s Motivation
All this leads me to provide readers with the disclaimer that opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. In my last lambaste of the President I opined that he was not unpredictable, rather that his behaviors were consistent therefore foreseeable. Today, as the coverage of his latest barrage of misdeeds at the NATO conference were covered non-stop, I heard the experts on TV question why he does and says such outrageous things as they are clearly unproductive. The only coherent speculation was that it was to please his base. I have a different idea, i.e., he may be playing to his base, but his major motivation is to please himself and what is most pleasing to him is attention.
Attention at any cost
The NATO thing was a glorious opportunity for Trump. It is hard to imagine a stage with a larger audience and he was ready to deliver a masterful performance. To be seen as predicted, front row and center, in the class photo was only exceeded by the video of him insulting the German government. I couldn’t help but wonder if he had arranged for the camera to be there for him as he kicked ass. After all, what good is it to be the toughest kid on the playground if no one knows it? I can imagine some of his more vociferous followers with comments like: “He sure put that Kraut in his place. He ain’t gonna take no shit from nobody” and other raves of adulation.
Cracks in the Trump Wing
This all seemed too much for even his ardent followers and hangers on in the Senate for in anticipation of his rant, they passed a resolution with a vote of 97 to 3 in support of NATO. To me this was the first inkling that Trumpsters in the Senate realizing the very serious consequences of alienation of our NATO allies were willing to put country ahead of domestic politics. It gave me hope that the democratic process has not been entirely subverted. The most frightening aspect of Trump’s performance is that it was carried out despite warnings as to the possible consequences by his advisors and practically everyone else. He was undeterred however and proceeded to show the world his unparalleled negotiating skills which some might deign to call bullying. Unfortunately, in this instance there were no children whom he could lock up to use as bargaining chips.
If my thoughts on this matter have any validity, we are in great danger. If decisions affecting the country, and indeed the whole world, are based on the status of one man’s ego, we are already in trouble for this one’s is likely a bottomless pit. Theodore Roosevelt’s mantra was “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Such advice is not likely to ever be heeded by our current President.