By George Evans
A recent NY Times article on a typical Trump day in the White House fleshed out for me the scenario of what I believe will be his final days as president.
He will leave, I predict, in two years, not with the bang of an impeachment (though that remains quite possible), but with the whimper of a an angry resignation. Of course, he won’t see it as a whimper; whimpering is for losers and Trump is not, in his mind anyway, a loser. He will resign in clouds of glory, condemning Congress, the media, and the American people for not recognizing the greatness of his two years in office.
The article, written after numerous interviews with knowledgeable people, showed Trump wandering the White House, pretty much alone, watching TV news, for example, as he eats lunch by himself. His family is not there, nor are real friends, because he doesn’t actually have real friends, in the sense that, say, Joe Biden had friends throughout Congress and D.C.
Trump has family and sycophants who are, like him, on their various power trips, inflating their egos with a whirlwind of activities. These are not friends, the kind that you care deeply about and who care deeply about you.
He is not the first president to feel alone in the office, but he surely must be the most lonely. The presidency, as others have noted, has a way of isolating a person, who though the most powerful person in the world is also one of the most isolated.
Unlike his predecessors, Trump seems to have no real core that would deaden the pain of aloneness. Dig inside the man and you would find nothing but hot air.
That core makes life possible for individuals, no matter how isolated and how demanding their lives. Trump doesn’t have that core. He needs the reflection of others to get through the day. He is not the sun powered by its own light, but a pale moon reflecting that light.
On the campaign trail he received almost daily the reflections of others. Each rally he attended he basked in the reflected adulation of the crowds, which mainlined the attention he needed to function. They were his drug of choice, a drug without which he becomes a shadow of himself, a cardboard cutout of a functioning human being.
As the days go by he will become more and more the prisoner of his office?
He will daily and obsessively search for the reflected glory he needs so badly; he will thunder and tweet and issue edicts, but most of it will simply tighten the manacles he’s forged for himself. As the manacles tighten, he will find more media criticism and finally criticism from his own party. He will become a joke—and a very dangerous one.
The polls will begin to show—and they are showing already— not the warmth of success but the frozen landscape of sustained criticism. Everywhere he turns he’ll find no lasting help. Sycophants don’t help. His family won’t help, though they’ll try. He can only rescue himself, and he’s neither wise nor observant enough to realize that he’s the problem.
No one changes dramatically enough after 70 years of life to save himself, except for Scrooge, but Scrooge had the advantage of a universally loved and respected Charles Dickens.
Trump faces the same problem that Sarah Palin faced, the same problem that those afflicted with what seems to be narcissistic personality disorder. They look in the pool and see only themselves. Other people exist only as they reflect favorably on the searchers. Sarah Palin lasted two years as Alaska governor, and then left for a life she thought would give her the attention and adulation she craved.
Donald Trump will, like Sarah Palin, take the same path. Finding nothing but criticism everywhere he turns, denied the adulation those afflicted with this disorder so badly need, and with no inner core and no real friends to sustain him, he will, with dramatic posturing, resign and return to the life he was most suited for: the business world.
In that world, he will, like King Midas, turn everything into gold. lf he’s lucky, he might have the good sense not to turn his food into gold and, like the king, starve to death.
Given his previous life, I wouldn’t count on it.
Editor's Note: As utopian as this scenario of Trump's exit might seem, we have a history of failed presidents in the modern era who served out their first term but imploded - LBJ. And of course Richard Nixon who left before his second term ended under the shadow of impeachment.
Unlike Trump both of them were men of considerable political skills and a sense of history - but alas their personal demons caught up with them. I certainly hope my good friend and colleague is right on here with Trump - given the clear and present danger he represents to the US and the world.
Reports of Trump being a solitary evening presence in the residential East Wing of the White House bolsters our vision of him as a narcissistic loner addicted to cable news and calling friends for what reason - to get another view or "validation"? It reminds one of Nixon talking to pictures in the White House.
More fodder for thought and laughs: