Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Today's Trump Sawyer, Mean Mean Pride

Longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone recently admitted to what many Trump critics had already suspected: the only reason Trump pretended to consider Mitt Romney for the Secretary of State position was so Trump could "torture" Romney for his former criticism of Trump.

Trump's behavior since winning the election reminds me in many ways of Tom Sawyer (the Twain book, not the Rush song). Twain's Sawyer was arguably the first "realistic" literary portrayal of a child, especially regarding Tom's childish fantasies which, like all childish fantasies, were simultaneously grandiose and incredibly petty.

Remember when Tom fantasized about running away and becoming a rich and famous pirate -- the dreaded Black Avenger of the Spanish Main? He and his crew would terrify the world (and have lots and lots of "orgies," even though they had no idea what "orgies" were, but the pirates in their storybooks sure seemed to like 'em), respectable men and women would all tremble in fear at the sound of his name ... and then (Tom imagined), at the height of his piratical glory, he and his crew would return to Tom's small-town schoolyard at recess, so all his former classmates could see how cool and piratical he was. (And wouldn't Becky Thatcher be extra-upset that she didn't hook up with this super-awesome pirate king when she had the chance!)

Now we have Trump, who managed to become a rich and famous president-elect of the United States ... and he's doing the equivalent of strutting around the schoolyard at recess. "Won't Mitt Romney feel extra-upset for criticizing me? He should've been nice when he had the chance."

At least when Tom Sawyer had his childish fantasies, he had the excuse of being a literal child -- and his Aunt Polly could reasonably hope "Wait a couple years and he'll outgrow it." But that doesn't work for a man of Trump's age.


Anonymous Dave H. said...

I feel the same way about the election that I felt about 9-11, except in this case people actually are cheering for the downfall of American icons. Trump has a sort of mean-spiritedness that has no equal in American politics that I can ever remember.

In Florida, for example, it is not uncommon for Republicans to rub people's noses in their absolute control over the State Legislature. (So, for example, you need a license and a permit to cut hair, but not to open a gun range.)

But even in Florida, the Governor doesn't use the power of the office to attack private citizens for asking questions. That is a sort of petty self-aggrandizement that is beneath the dignity of even local officials.

But not, apparently, beneath the dignity of the Presidency.

10:23 AM  

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