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The ABCs of Trump's political demise

By Alon Ben-Meir - posted Friday, 29 December 2017

Trump talks, walks, and brags like a Juvenile. He childishly tweeted: "We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me)." Exactly like an infant, he also engaged in a Twitter war with basketball personality LaVar Ball, after Ball did not thank him for negotiating his son's release from a Chinese prison: "...LaVar, you could have spent the next 5 to 10 years during Thanksgiving with your son in China, but no NBA contract to support you…. Ungrateful fool!" So, if you walk, talk, and brag like a juvenile, you are qualified to replace Trump.

Being Knavish is just another characteristic that defines Trump as he has become known-with no scruples and no principles. He insists that the tax bill will benefit all Americans, when every study shows that the tax bill will benefit the rich the most, and will in fact harm middle class and low income families. He falsely claims that the tax bill "is going to cost me a fortune, this thing-believe me. Believe me, this is not good for me" (this has been disproven by economists). He commonly mistreats his workers (many of whom were immigrants). There are still many lawsuits against him for not paying his laborers. Unfortunately for them, they will have to wait to be paid until he is impeached.

If nothing else, Trump is known as a compulsive Liar, and his political ascendance was built on lies. He really believes that if one repeats a lie time and again, it becomes the accepted truth, and that is good enough for his base. Trump has lied about voter fraud, protesters paid to oppose him, Obama wiretapping his phones, how many times he was on the cover of Time-the list goes on and on. His file in Politifact says he has outright lied over 48% of the time. At a rally in Pensacola, FL, he said "Black homeownership just hit the highest level it has ever been in the history of our country", but it has actually fallen almost yearly since 2004. Trump is in his element when he is living in a world of colorful lies.


As a master Manipulator, Trump uses language to galvanize voters; for instance, by using the marketable slogan "Make America Great Again," he made his politics an easy sale. He has licensed and sold his name to give the appearance of success and stability. He used terrorist attacks in London and Egypt to push his travel ban. He condemns actions that others have done, to cover his own despicable delinquency (like his tweet in response to Al Franken's sexual misconduct, when in fact he is the sexual predator-in-chief). His manipulation tactics are commonly known as 'Trumpism.' For Trump, manipulation is a sort of twisted art form, and he should probably have his picture on the cover of Time magazine with caption, 'The Manipulator of the Year.'

When it comes to being a Narcissist, Trump trumps them all-Putin, Erdogan, Netanyahu, and even Kim Jong Un. Everything Trump does is designed to make it solely about him. When campaigning for failed Republican Senate candidate Luther Strange, he said "I'm taking a big risk because if Luther does not make it, they are going to go after me." Even in tragedy he pulls attention back around to himself: "Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism…" On his desk, instead of having a Truman-esque plaque that reads "The Buck Stops Here," Trump's should read "It is me, me, me, all about me."

Like many others, I wonder how a person, let alone the president, can be as Obnoxious as Trump is. Will he ever quit his disdain of Hilary Clinton? His tweets about her pour out like waste from a corroded pipeline. During the second presidential debate, Trump loomed behind Clinton, following her and making faces at her throughout the duration of the debate. He is still obsessed with Obama's birthplace, and when Obama won reelection, he had a meltdown on Twitter and even went as far as calling for a revolution. In a competition for the title of the most obnoxious person in the world, Trump would win it handily.

When it comes to Polarizing, you've got to give Trump an A+. His policies and behaviors polarize the public: such as the wall, the travel ban, his reactions towards the press, his treatment of immigrants… Trump's name itself is polarizing. He sees everything in black and white, no middle ground, which has become increasingly painful for him in dealing with seriously complex issues. Since he came to office, the political and social divisiveness in the country grew ever wider, and 'Us vs. Them' became the refrain of the day. To keep his base, Trump plays one group against another while enjoying the tension he creates.

One other trait that distinguishes Trump is his Querulous nature. He constantly picks fights on Twitter, makes wild statements like threatening to attack North Korea, and engages in derogatory statements to pick fights with senators, judges, football players, and many others, only to score a point. After Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand called for Trump to resign due to increasing sexual harassment, he showered her with insults and went as far as clearly implying that she traded sexual favors for campaign contributions. He craves mean fights, which seem to energize him and give him that psychopathic satisfaction.

Trump is a Racist man to the bone. Only a person who is disposed to white supremacy could draw a moral equivalence between white nationalists in the Charlottesville rallies and law- abiding counter-protestors, some of whom turned violent. He claimed that one of the federal judges acting in the class action case against Trump University couldn't do his job because "he's a Mexican". And no one can deny the fact that there was a notable difference in his response to Hurricane Maria (which devastated Puerto Rico) vs. his prompt and immediate generous aid to victims of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, which affected Florida and Texas. From Trump's perspective, white supremacy is only natural, as is the 'inferiority' of minorities.


Being a Showman is to a great extent the means by which Trump covers his shortcomings and lack of self-confidence. Everything, starting from his candidacy announcement riding on a golden escalator, has been a performance. He has a predilection for props, from comparisons of Obamacare vs. its replacement, scores of folders purportedly containing plans to disentangle himself from his businesses, to his most recent giant stacks of paper adorned with red tape (to be symbolically cut with gold scissors) to symbolize his efforts to cut regulations. Trump lives on showmanship, and without a stage he feels empty-because he is.

Toxic: There has been a rise of hate crimes and anti-Semitism since Trump took office. The spread of toxicity is known as the "Trump Effect". Trump's selfishness poisons the civilian and political atmosphere, infecting Congress and splitting the GOP. Senators Bob Corker and Jeff Flake have spared no words to describe Trump's toxicity. The list of current and past government officials, conservative media editors and columnists, and intelligence officials in opposition to Trump is incomparable to any of his predecessors. Trump wanted to "drain the swamp" in Washington, but all he has done is leave toxic waste in his wake.

Many people are concerned about Trump's Unstable behavior, and even more are deeply troubled about its implications on his mental instability. Time and again Trump has demonstrated how unhinged he is. He is compulsive and reacts to matters unrelated to governance, getting into Twitter fights with people like Michael Moore, ESPN commentator Jameel Hill, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, with no logical reason. Trump is dangerously losing touch with reality. By freely taunting North Korea, for instance, he raised tensions while disregarding the potential dire consequences. Psychiatrists and psychologists strongly suggest that given his erratic behavior, he has a mental illness.

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About the Author

Dr. Alon Ben-Meir is a professor of international relations at the Center for Global Affairs at NYU. He teaches courses on international negotiation and Middle Eastern studies.

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