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Donald Trump's victim mentality
A need for validation and praise is a bad quality in a leader.
The news media and "Never Trump" Republicans were apoplectic about a Truth Social post by Donald Trump attacking Mitch McConnell and his wife. But in their outrage over alleged "racism" and "threats of violence," they largely missed the real story: Far from being tough and masculine, Trump remains a very brittle man. This is not a good quality for any leader, much less for a former (and possible future) President of these United States.
It is telling that Trump categorized McConnell allowing continuing resolutions to keep the government open not as a policy disagreement or even as a Republican siding with Democrats, but as a personal attack on him, motivated by "hatred." This, in a nutshell, is Donald Trump's personality: He cannot handle criticism, erupts when anyone dares criticize him (especially someone who is supposed to be on his side) and takes even policy disagreements by current or former allies as a personal affront and a lack of loyalty. The reason Trump is often so vindictive with critics is that he sees himself as the victim.
Trump's brittleness is also revealed in who he re-posts on social media: Critics were aghast when he re-posted a QAnon meme about "The Storm," but the truth is that he is so desperate for validation that he echoes all praise of him. I am not sure Trump even knew what "The Storm" was when he re-posted the meme, or that he knows now. He just loved that someone posted a meme of him as a conquering hero and praised the adulation from the account. Again, this need for validation and praise is a bad quality in a leader, and leads Trump to make bad decisions.
I do wish Trump had embraced this level of fiscal conservatism while he was President, and perhaps the wild spending he oversaw from 2017 through 2020 would have been a little more restrained. Instead, he lashed out at the Freedom Caucus when they were pushing for a more fiscally conservative alternative to ObamaCare - vowing to fight them the same way he fights the Democrats. Trump demanded even bigger COVID-19 stimulus checks than the Democrats were proposing during his final months in office. If Trump's conversion to fiscal conservatism is genuine, I welcome it, but his record does not match his rhetoric.
Outside of spending and protectionism, Trump did give us solid conservative policy while he was President: Protecting due process, protecting religious freedom, and reducing regulations on business. Moving the Overton Window to allow more support for non-interventionism within the Republican Party was a huge accomplishment. Most importantly, Trump appointed three Supreme Court justices who were critical in finally overturning Roe v. Wade last summer. This is why his brittle victim mentality is so maddening: If he would just get out of his own way, he would be a much better leader.
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