Leadership brings prestige and importance.
It’s apparent Donald Trump covets prestige. He continually seeks it and also reminds himself and others of that other gem, importance.
Our current president displays a pathological need to validate himself. He wields and abuses his power and prefers being venerated for being president than actually presiding.
As a news reporter, I detected early on a kind of void in Trump. He was charming, available and boastful. But he was also robotic and unrelaxed. It was hard to articulate.
Always the showman, or “showboat,” he made grandiose gestures as he showed me the inner workings and trappings of his Tower in New York. He ticked off a long list of accomplishments and assets — citing deal after deal, and building after landmark building like he was memorizing them for an exam.
It’s clear he loves Manhattan, a borough his late, commercial-real-estate-developer father advised him against because of lower profit margins, higher taxes and operating costs — despite the glitz and glamour of prestigious addresses. But his son would have none of it.
“You see that, Debbie?” he asks as he gazes out his office window high above New York’s famous Fifth Avenue. It wasn’t enough for me to watch from my seat opposite his desk.
“Come here,” he directed. I was impatient to finish our work, but I was polite and professional as he painstakingly showed me any building or work in progress with his name on it. He beamed. He seemed almost hypnotized by the outstanding view. I was beginning to feel like an unwilling tourist. I was quite familiar with the city, was even born there.
“There’s the Paramount Building. The Paramount! Columbus Circle. And Central Park, Debbie. Central Park!” At first I thought he thought I didn’t comprehend his wealth and power. But even then, in the 1990s, the man was far from obscure. His ego and reputation preceded him.
So why spend so much time on the work clock to impress little ol’ me? I almost felt sorry for him. A little.
Then it hit me. It seemed he was the one who couldn’t quite grasp or accept it all. He was awestruck and vaguely unsatisfied at the same time. He seemed to struggle with a darker side that slighted it all. It wasn’t enough. Ever.
And all these years later I see only a variation of the same theme. POTUS has a naked need for affirmation. Among his favorites are compliments, “loyalty” and standing ovations.
I think most people, regardless of creed, color, profession, politics, education or whatEVER, appreciate the hallowed Office of the President of the United States. No one needs further convincing of its incredible honor and importance except its current occupant, who uses and abuses it daily.
He even gets to have an extra scoop of ice cream! He pulls rank in the most unpredictable ways, from bombing Syria to stuffing himself with extra ice cream.
I get two scoops, you get only one. Nah, nah.
Much has been said of the infantile behavior. He’s a man-child, they say. He’s a spoiled rich kid, they say. He never learned how to work with others. He’s a bully.
Now I don’t claim to be a trained therapist or diagnostician and I myself become edgy when laymen and blowhards act as if they are.
I can’t do that. I won’t.
However, this much I know from motherhood and life experience. To get what he needs, an infant’s only tools are screaming and crying. That’s it. That’s what nature intended.
A baby wants only the basics: food, clothing and shelter — security. We all need that.
By screaming and crying, he creates emergency situations that bring others running.
Most humans grow out of this. Some spend the rest of their lives seeking but never fulfilling their need for security.