And I thought I was crawling with character flaws.
In the hours of biographical background tape released to the NY Times and now making the Internet rounds, Trump said he doesn't "have heroes." I tend to the same, since a lifetime of reading non-hagiographic biographies of "the greats" has tended to disabuse me of hero-worship (except for the gentleman at the right, and his current successor). But in reading the Times' tale of the Trump tapes, its subject becomes something of a hero to my sort — the neurotically aspiring. I thought I was at least in the semiprofessional league of clinical neuroses and character flaws — a fearful "reluctance to reflect" on the meaning of life; an acceptance of Peggy Lee's "Is That All There Is?"; the inherent headaches of "being married to me."
But this guy Trump? In the field of neurotics and personality disorders, he blows right by me.
He possesses, for instance, a "deep-seated fear of public embarrassment." For heaven's sake why? See: Peggy Lee's lyrics. He is "fixated on his own celebrity [and is] anxious about losing his status." I have neither celebrity nor status to lose; but if I did, I'd like to think that I'd also realize that fixations on, and anxieties about, them would only hasten their loss. Trump is "contemptuous of those who fall from grace." Are they not merely more human, worthy of empathy? He also experiences a "visceral pleasure … from fighting." I've come to detest conflict — unless I'm confronting an oxymoronic, Mediacom "customer service" rep.
Trump said as well that he "never had a failure." Now that's a sign of major-league neurosis. In seeing nothing but personal failures, I'm in the minors.
Thus far, we, Trump and I, are about on a par when it comes to unfitness for the White House. He excels at some neuroses, I at others, and neither are characteristics that one would wish in a president. There is one taped passage, however, in which Trump's presidential unfitness, as noted, blows past mine like a typhoon. "For the most part, you can’t respect people because most people aren’t worthy of respect," he said.
This, of course, we already knew about Trump. He treats his political followers with the same respect with which he has always treated his business partners: none. To Trump, everyone is a mark. His Trumpeteers are fools and he knows it. But their foolishness isn't worth enlightenment; it is, rather, just a failing to be exploited, much like the greed of his stiffed partners. To Trump, the highest virtue is that of flimflamming the lowest common denominators. To Trump, since all propositions are self-serving, disrespect for others and their interests comes naturally.
In a president, whose charge is the welfare of 319 million Americans, is a more egregious characteristic imaginable?
And here I thought I was crawling with neuroses, character flaws and presidential unfitness. You win, Donald. You're an absolute loser.