One can see President Trump as a decisive leader who takes bold action to move the country forward. Or, one can see him as a leader blissfully ignorant of the consequences of his actions.
I choose the latter interpretation.
I am reading about the consequences of his edict to ban entry to people from the seven prohibited countries. This is just one edict among many that are bold and reckless. These actions reveal a pattern to his decision-making.
There are six elements to President Trump’s thought process:
- He believes he will achieve greatness by carrying out his campaign promises: trade barriers, walls, and “extreme vetting”. He believes his supporters have given him a mandate to carry out “the will of the people.”
- He is not interested in facts that disprove his beliefs. The overwhelming evidence is that free trade has been a boon to America. The evidence is also clear that Mexican immigrants are more law abiding than native born Americans and are highly entrepreneurial. And, since 9/11, most terrorist attacks here have been from American citizens, not vetted refugees. He is either ignorant of these easily proven facts, or his ego walls off contradiction.
- One would assume he takes advice from his experts, but that would be a false assumption. If anything was learned from his campaign it is that he firmly believes that trade is bad, Muslims of any stripe are bad, and Mexicans are raping America. These are myths, easily disproven by the data, but who on his staff challenges him on these issues?
- His close advisers are intimidated by him and he wants it so. They unquestioningly repeat Trump’s falsehoods to the American public. Watching Press Secretary Sean Spicer with the White House press corps makes one squirm in one’s seat as he lies outright with no shame. Kellyanne Conway, his media hitman, does the same. Not only does this reveal much about Trump, but it says much about the motives and integrity of his staff.
- When cornered he doubles down on his policies. Name calling and self-aggrandizement are blurted and tweeted to support his thin-skinned ego. One doesn’t need to be a psychiatrist to see this as fundamental to his personality.
- His populist issues propelled him into the limelight of victory and if there is one more thing we have learned about him is that he loves the limelight and won’t let it go—at any cost. This narcissistic preening fuels him and we can expect him to not back down.
In a previous article I pointed out that his superficiality is real and he appears to have no ideological foundation. WYSIWYG. If he would just once expound on an issue in some depth perhaps that would disprove his superficiality, but nothing in his campaign or short presidency belies that fact. I recently had feedback from a reliable source who had done deals with businessman Trump. His comments were that Trump screws up deals at the last minute, he tends to unnecessarily pick fights, and he doesn’t listen to advice. Does that sound familiar?
What does all this tell us about the mind of President Trump? It reveals that it is closed and superficial. Trump believes that issuing an edict will solve “problems”. As H. L. Mencken said: “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” Mencken could have written those words about Trump if he were around today. A president who does not seek a deeper understanding of these critical issues in light of the possible harm superficial “solutions” may do, is dangerous.