Donald Trump hates to be criticized about anything

A curious feature about Donald trump is that he hates to acknowledge that he is not perfect in any way. It is quite extraordinary really. This quality was on clear display during the primary race when Marco Rubio made that jab about Trump having small hands. It was clear that Rubio was crudely implying a correlation between hand and penis size that has no justification whatsoever but rather than dismissing it as a childish jibe, Trump actually defended the size of his hands.

I recall another incident where he was accused of having thin skin. He reacted strongly by insisting that “I don’t have thin skin — I have very strong, very thick skin.” It seemed like he had to defend the thickness of his skin not just as a metaphor but literally.

And then there was this exchange between Trump,, two of his children, and Howard Stern on the Stern’s radio show. Stern asked them how much 17 times 6 was and they all got it wrong.

As Kevin Drum says, “But that’s not what’s so great about this video. Lots of people might screw up this kind of mental arithmetic. What’s great is that even after he’s given the correct answer, he [Trump] insists that his answer is really the correct one.”

He just can’t help it. He seems to be simply incapable of acknowledging even the most minor deficiencies. It is as if he has this immensely fragile ego that even the slightest hint of imperfection will shatter.

As Trump himself might Tweet, “Sad!”


  1. brucegee1962 says

    He even manages to briefly convince Howard that he’s right. Maybe Scott Adams is correct, and he’s got the hypnotic superpower of being able to convince everyone of whatever bs dribbles out of his mouth.

  2. Menyambal says

    I agree with what you said about a fragile ego. I know a young person whose mom was only concerned with making the kid feel good about themself, no matter what, instead of growing and improving. There’s now a messed-up person with a lot of problems, but a massive ego, always the center of attention, always right, always sneering. Even the slightest hint of criticism sets off an angry scene, that often ends in total collapse and despair.

  3. hyphenman says

    One of the lesson I enjoy sharing with my math students is how easy this kind of problem is to solve.

    6 x 17 = 6 x 10 (60) + 6 x 7 (42) =102.

    Why we continue to teach multiplication right to left instead of left to right (as the rest of the world does) is beyond me.

    6 x 17 = 6 x 7 (42… 2 carry the four) + 6 x 1 + 4 (100) = 102 is just silly.

  4. johnson catman says

    re: hyphenman @4
    I immediately calculated it as 6 x 10 (= 60) + 6 x 7 (=42) = 60 + 42 = 102. That seems so easy and just makes sense to me, even though I learned the different, more difficult, method in school. But I was always good at math in school, and I play numbers games in my head all the time. I am glad that you can show your students practical methods so that they don’t get frustrated with doing something the “wrong” way.

  5. Marshall says

    There are a lot of mental arithmetic techniques that take a little practice but end up with pretty impressive results. I remember when I discovered in high school how to square two-digit numbers in my head very quickly; everyone thought I was the smartest person in the world.

    Here’s the technique: suppose you’re squaring x (say x = 42). Round x to the nearest ten (40), and round in the opposite direction by the same amount (44). Multiply these (44*40 = 1760), and add the square of your rounding amount (2^2=4). Result is 1764.

    It’s super easy when you’re up close to 100, if you know your squaring tables, because for example if you have 88, you can round up and down by 12 (76*100 is easy) and add 12^2, to get 7744. Easy.

  6. Lofty says

    If you’re standing too close to Da Trumph you’d probably agree with him just for your personal safety.

  7. Vincent says

    @4 and @5

    Isn’t what you are both describing closer to the reviled “common core math” that everyone seems to hate if their brains aren’t wired to do it that way intuitively? (I might be wrong. I just recall a friend raging about their kid’s common core math, showing it to me, and me being stunned to see that it was describing the right way to math.) It’s also how I did arithmetic in my head as a kid and was the reason I was “good at math” (they didn’t teach it that way at the time). But it made more sense to me so it was what I did.

    I remember the funniest part being that my mental math capabilities bordered on mythical to everyone else, who seemed to take for granted that I was just working the cumbersome right to left nonsense in my head faster than they could. I recall trying to explain how I was doing it faster many times, but was always received with blank stares. Maybe young me wasn’t a good teacher…

  8. hyphenman says

    @Vincent No. 9

    That’s true, you’re absolutely correct.

    I taught Common Core Geometry and Algebra II for the first time this past year. While I still have a few minor problems, the program is a good step forward. What happens in the primary grades, however, profoundly affects how students perform in high school.

    At the end of this past school year I had several conversations with other teachers and administrators on this topic. Primary grade teachers are seldom good math teachers. After all, failed common sense runs, how much math do you need to know to teach kindergarten, first, second or third graders how to add, subtract, multiply and divide (the last a seriously compromised art)?

    Jeff Hess
    Have Coffee Will Write

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