Yesterday Donald J. Trump again proved he is an amoral, immature, con-man. He lied about a reporter and attacked her. Why? Because she has (along with her husband/co-host) repeatedly called into question the honesty and overall mental health of a man who can be goaded so easily. In short, she wondered whether a man who occupies the White House, but who can be so easily distracted and pulled into pettiness is qualified, and more importantly, stable enough for the office. That’s the job of journalists.
So, Trump, in 40 words or so, proved she was exactly right. He attacked her personally for questioning his judgment, stability, and decency. Many have criticized Trump for proving (again) he’s effectively an amoral sexist, and criticized him for attacking her as a woman. Ok, I get it, but it’s also not new and frankly, isn’t compelling to his base.
What SHOULD be disturbing for his base is this. Trump does not prove he is strong by attacking those with far less power and authority than the President has, he proves he is weak. He proves he is a bully, he proves he is facile, he proves he is insecure. He is like the adult man who hits his child for speaking back to him. If that’s strength, then it’s an ugly, immoral kind I could never think of as strong. Strong is knowing when something is beneath your engagement, strong is realizing you have responsibilities, and living up to those responsibilities. Mr. Trump has never taken accountability in his life, so I suppose expecting him to do so here is foolish, but the question I have for his ardent followers is this, what is strong about someone who excuses his conduct and blames everyone else for his misbehavior, even when he has far greater problems which we need him to deal with. What is strong about a man who picks fights with those who have nothing like the power to fight back that he has to punish them? Do we think of fathers who beat children as strong? If you don’t, what exactly do you think is strong about this? Is there anything you’d think was beneath his office, if not him personally?
This conduct isn’t really about sexism. Trump’s election proved conclusively sexism is alive and well. No, this is about the petulant bullying of a man so weak he can’t handle criticism and will threaten people with the power of the Presidency to settle personal scores. That’s not strong, it’s pathetic and deeply disturbing.
But.. no matter, being a bully is not weak any longer, it's apparently being strong, at least in the Orwellian world of Donald Trump where his lies are truth, his fake Time news is real, and real news is fake. Yes, those are the signs of a strong man, or maybe the signs of a strongman, but they are also REALLY the signs of the weakest man I've ever seen in a position of real power. They say you can judge a man by how he treats people who he sees as being in a lesser station. If we use that as a bell-weather, then Trump is the weakest man the White House has seen in modern times, if not ever.