What Trump hates most is happening to him


We know that Donald Trump knows little about policy and seems to care even less. What drives him seem to be greed and a pathetic need for approval, blended in with some nasty instincts. But we do know that he seems to enjoy most the pomp and ceremony of his office, as evidenced by his eagerness to be given the full royal treatment on his visit to the UK. He has always been driven by a desperate need for acceptance by those whom he seems to consider his betters, those who are more successful than him in business and those who belong to high society. Becoming president would enable him to feel superior to all those whom he felt had looked down at him all these years.

But all that is falling apart. The UK visit keeps receding into the distance. And now the annual Kennedy Center gala that features the president and spouse as chief guests who host a reception for the honorees has also fallen apart. The event will still go on but Trump will not be there nor will he host the reception. That will hurt. As James Hohmann writes, this setback and the abandonment by all the other elites on his various advisory panels will really stick in his craw.

People in his orbit say the president has been in a sour mood about all of this. He stormed the barricades, but now he’s the one under siege. Unlike most of the criticism he’s engendered since taking office, the past week has actually impacted his bottom line. The value of the Trump “brand,” which he once said is worth billions, has taken a bath since he declared that some “fine people” were protesting alongside the neo-Nazis and white supremacists at the University of Virginia.

Make no mistake, Trump cares deeply about these snubs. He has spent his entire life trying to get onto the A-list. He’s a Queens kid who has tried hard to win acceptance in Manhattan. The pomp and circumstance of the presidency were big draws when he chose to run. He was genuinely excited about the ceremonial duties of the office after he unexpectedly won the election. More than most presidents, whatever he may say to the contrary, he has shown a love for ceremonies like the one at the Kennedy Center.

What he does not like, and goes to great lengths to avoid, is public humiliation. After his experience at the 2011 White House Correspondent’s Dinner, when Barack Obama and Seth Meyers ridiculed him from the stage, he announced that he’d skip this year’s. He didn’t throw the ceremonial first pitch at the Nationals home opener, as past presidents have, because he was afraid of getting booed.

As an alpha male, Trump seems to take special satisfaction when people who are richer, cooler and better looking than him kowtow. It seems silly to have to write this, but it’s true: Having his ring kissed seems to be one of Trump’s favorite parts of the job. But there’s not been very much ring-kissing lately.

And now universities are under pressure to take back any honorary degrees they gave him.

Live by shallowness and vanity, die by shallowness and vanity. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving person.

Comments

  1. johnson catman says

    from the article linked above:

    Trump is currently the holder of four honorary doctorates. He was made honorary doctor of laws by Lehigh in 1988, honorary doctor of humane letters by Wagner College, in Staten Island, in 2004, and he holds two honorary doctorates from Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Virginia.

    It is not likely that Liberty “University” would revoke the honorary degrees that they bestowed upon him. Jerry Jr’s lips are locked too tightly to 45’s exit port.

  2. says

    His repeatedly misspelling “heal” was a shock to me; I am now beginning to nod toward the people who theorize that he’s got some kind of brain disorder.

  3. says

    Trump mostly hates being treated like a tasteless nouveau-riche parvenu. So: he did the most tasteless nouveau-riche parvenu things he could think of. And now he’s being laughed at. It’s as if he’s doing a remake of Moliere’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme. Normally, I’d try to stay away from class analysis, but in this situation, Trump is basically all about class analysis. The elites he aspires to be one of are just as despicable as he is, only in different ways.

    What Trump is incapable of understanding is that aristocrats would look down on the Trumps for 5 or 6 generations; he can pack his shitsickle travesty of Versailles with popinjays and johnny come latelies, but he will never be part of the cool kids’ club. Jared and Ivanka’s grandkids, maybe, but only if they marry into a good family.

  4. jazzlet says

    Many people in the UK are committed to objecting loudly and visibly if he does come, also though I am definitely not a royalist I will give the queen credit for being capable of extreme frostiness while maintaining strict diplomatic politeness, which won’t suit him at all. And if the visit is delayed long enough and Charles is on the throne Trump will certainly get an earful about his environmental record.

  5. sonofrojblake says

    if the visit is delayed long enough and Charles is on the throne Trump will certainly get an earful

    I wouldn’t put it past Brian to snub him entirely – he could well simply refuse to be involved in a “state” visit. He is and always has been a loose cannon himself, and without his mother in charge of The Firm all bets are off.

  6. mnb0 says

    @4 Jazzlet: the spectacle of the British queen treating the Donald with some classic English frostiness makes me wish he’ll have a tea with her.

  7. fentex says

    The UK visit keeps receding into the distance.

    I’ve been telling friends that who-ever managed to quickly get Trump to put aside May’s (stupid) offer of a state visit deserves a knighthood because – can you imagine the horror of asking a woman who served in uniform during a war against fascists being asked to accept a Nazi enabler and sympathiser into her home?

    ..the spectacle of the British queen treating the Donald with some classic English frostiness makes me wish he’ll have a tea with her.

    You wouldn’t see it, and by all accounts she’s getting frail beyond it being reasonable to ask of her. It may be amusing to imagine a hale and hearty Elizabeth dealing with Trump but the opportunity for it has passed. It would be shameful to put her through the experience today.

    And frankly if the U.S is going to be so stupid as to elect people like Trump, no U.S President deserves the opportunity. It may be fun to rag on him, but he was elected, he is a representative of something.

  8. hyphenman says

    The value of the Trump “brand,” which he once said is worth billions, has taken a bath since he declared that some “fine people” were protesting alongside the neo-Nazis and white supremacists at the University of Virginia.

    Q. What do police call “fine people” who hang out with members of a criminal gang?
    A. Criminal gang members.

    Q. What ought we to call “fine” people who hang out with Neo-Nazis?”
    A. Neo-Nazis.

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