He Alone Can Fix It

He Alone Can Fix It

Politico says that Donald Trump is grumpy:

Being president is harder than Donald Trump thought, according to aides and allies who say that he’s growing increasingly frustrated with the challenges of running the massive federal bureaucracy.

In interviews, nearly two dozen people who’ve spent time with Trump in the three weeks since his inauguration said that his mood has careened between surprise and anger as he’s faced the predictable realities of governing, [including] congressional delays over his cabinet nominations and legal fights holding up his aggressive initiatives….

The administration’s rocky opening days have been a setback for a president who, as a billionaire businessman, sold himself to voters as being uniquely qualified to fix what ailed the nation.

The poor dear — he was supposed to make America great again single-handedly, and lesser mortals were just supposed to yield to him. He was supposed to face no congressional or popular resistance when he nominated the most radical cabinet in modern history; affected parties, the courts, and the public were just supposed to suck it up and give in when he issued extreme, hastily drawn-up executive orders. He’s the alpha male! Why isn’t everyone just acknowledging his obvious dominance?

David Brooks thinks the president just needs a buddy or two:

If you could give Donald Trump the gift of a single trait to help his presidency, what would it be?

… the gift I would give Trump would be an emotional gift, the gift of fraternity. I’d give him the gift of some crisis he absolutely could not handle on his own. The only way to survive would be to fall back entirely on others, and then to experience what it feels like to have them hold him up.

Out of that, I hope, would come an ability to depend on others, to trust other people, to receive grace, and eventually a desire for companionship….

Donald Trump didn’t have to have an administration that was at war with everyone but its base….

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He doesn’t have to begin each day making enemies: Nordstrom, John McCain, judges. He could begin each day looking for friends, and he would actually get a lot more done.

But Trump was raised to believe that life is war and the way to win is to be a lone wolf and the meanest SOB on the planet — and then, perhaps more important for the present circumstances, he was politicized by Fox News, a channel run for years by Roger Ailes, who also believes that life is war and America needs a strongman. The new Ailes in Trump’s life, Steve Bannon, also believes in strongmen and perpetual war.

This is the worldview of modern conservatism: cooperation is evil, and collective action even by allies isn’t as good as heroic individualism. And when heroes act, it’s all supposed to work the way it does in the movies: Their bullets always hit their targets, their enemies are always permanently vanquished, and only good things result from their actions.

Trump was supposed to just roll right over the rest of us. His fan base believed that. He believed that. Strongmen always win, you see, and conservatives who talk tough are always strongmen.

It’s not working out like a movie, or a Fox tribute to Ronald Reagan. No wonder Trump is confused.

Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog

authoritarianism, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Fox News

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