The Two Faces of Trump

Tony Schwartz, author of “The Art of the Deal” (which he wrote 30 years ago about our now infamous president), states in a recent article in The Guardian, that Trump is “angrier and more self-absorbed than when I first knew him” — and is “still a scared child.”

Schwartz goes on to say …”Fear is the hidden through-line in Trump’s life – fear of weakness, of inadequacy, of failure, of criticism and of insignificance.” As a result, he has made “fear the dominant emotion of our times.”

The fearful divide Trump has exacerbated is not simply between his supporters and his detractors, the rich and the poor, or Democrats and Republicans, but between the best and the worst in each of us.

When Trump made the claim “I alone can do it” during his acceptance speech for the Republican nomination, Schwartz says it struck him as a “delusional expression” of Trump’s grandiosity … like the plaintive wail of a desperate child who believes he is alone in the world with no one to care for him.

Schwartz also tells us there are two Trumps …

The one he presents to the world is all bluster, bullying and certainty. The other, which I have long felt haunts his inner world, is the frightened child of a relentlessly critical and bullying father and a distant and disengaged mother who couldn’t or wouldn’t protect him.

Overall, the article presents a very revealing perspective of our “Leader” from someone who came to know him more intimately than most. He closes with this observation …

The Trumpian worldview is narrow, dark and deficit-driven. Each of us shares some of those instincts: the fear of inadequacy is uniquely and universally human. But we are also capable of so much more.  (emphasis mine)

And finally …

Whatever happens, may the worst of Trump inspire the best in us.

I encourage you to read the full article.


Never A Trumper

The following are excerpts from a column written by Bret Stephens — described as “the quintessential ‘conservative’ columnist” at the New York Times. In the first part of the column, he makes his “conservative” position clear as he lists some of the actions under the current administration and indicates his approval, Even so, it’s apparent he has some misgivings about the administration leader.

The entire column is worth a full reading … I just picked out the points that resonated with me. The column is titled, “Why I’m Still a Never Trumper.”

Conservatives used to believe in their truth. Want to “solve” poverty? All the welfare dollars in the world won’t help if two-parent families aren’t intact. Want to foster democracy abroad? It’s going to be rough going if too many voters reject the foundational concept of minority rights.

And want to preserve your own republican institutions? Then pay attention to the character of your leaders, the culture of governance and the political health of the public. It matters a lot more than lowering the top marginal income tax rate by a couple of percentage points.

This is the fatal mistake of conservatives who’ve decided the best way to deal with Trump’s personality — the lying, narcissism, bullying, bigotry, crassness, name-calling, ignorance, paranoia, incompetence and pettiness — is to pretend it doesn’t matter. “Character Doesn’t Count” has become a de facto GOP motto. “Virtue Doesn’t Matter” might be another.

But character does matter, and Trump’s shortcomings prove it daily.


Trump is empowering a conservative political culture that celebrates everything that patriotic Americans should fear: the cult of strength, open disdain for truthfulness, violent contempt for the Fourth Estate, hostility toward high culture and other types of “elitism,” a penchant for conspiracy theories and most dangerously, white-identity politics.

For those of us who are discouraged, angry, fed-up, even fearful of the current political climate, it’s somewhat encouraging that even those within the Republican culture are beginning to see things as they really are.

Of course the core question is … are they going to do anything about it?

The Political Conundrum

Even though I think most of us feel pretty certain about where we stand politically, sometimes it’s good to review the actual principles behind our beliefs. We may discover we’re not as “full-blooded” as we think we are.

On Robert Vella’s blog, The Secular Jurist, he recently posted the following definitions for Progressives and Liberals. I’m using it here because I like the simple way he laid out the two perspectives. I’ve followed up his definitions with some information related to Conservative beliefs.

Generally speaking, these are the demographic and issue-based distinctions between liberals and progressives in a modern context (subjective interpretations by the author):

Liberals tend to have higher incomes and education than progressives.

By and large, liberals are more ethnically and culturally diverse than progressives.

Progressives are typically more religious than liberals.

Progressives are more numerous, and are distributed more evenly throughout the nation.  Liberals are mostly clustered in a smaller number of urban/suburban communities.

Liberals are more concerned over a wider range of issues including human rights, civil rights, sexual equality, healthcare, public education, social services, immigration reform, poverty, international peace, environmentalism, the separation of church and state, domestic violence and gun control, voting rights, prison reform, constitutional protections for individuals, and the eminence of the Fourth Estate.

Progressives are more oriented towards economic issues, and see income inequality as the greatest threat to the nation.  They support collective bargaining, workers’ rights, labor empowerment, progressive taxation, small business entrepreneurship, and domestic production.  They oppose industrial monopolies, corporate consolidation, deregulation, money in politics, globalization, outsourcing, off-shoring, and the omnipotence of big banks and multinational interests.


I discovered this ideology is a bit more difficult to pin down, but in general conservatives are opposed to rapid changes. They like keeping traditions in society and support the notion of faith. Some conservatives would also like to return to the way things were at an earlier time in our history.

Wikipedia lists the following as being some of the things conservatives support:

  • Individual responsibility, strong family values, and community organizations
  • Capitalism, laissez-faire, and pro-growth or supply-side economics
  • Reduced government spending
  • Lower taxes on everyone
  • A strong military and strong national defense
  • The 2nd Amendment
  • The death penalty for certain cases
  • Educational Choice, e.g. a voucher system
  • Legal immigration, while opposing illegal immigration
  • Oppose government run health care
  • Oppose abortion in all or most cases

Which of these would you say defines you? Or perhaps it’s a combination of more than one. Politics can be a complicated issue, as shown by numerous discussions and arguments (and name-calling) among those who are staunch believers (or at least they think they are) in their particular political orientation.

I welcome input on this topic, but please try to maintain reasoned discussions (and follow blog rules).

Who Cares? Not This Guy!

I’m just going to put this out there …

Related to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that our caring Congress is declining to fund in their (wealthy-favored) tax plan, Sen. Orrin Hatch, Republican from Utah, said this:

I have a rough time wanting to spend billions and billions and trillions of dollars to help people who won’t help themselves, won’t lift a finger and expect the federal government to do everything.

In reality, most of those who benefit from this program work two jobs to make ends meet, attend night classes to improve their skills, and do whatever else they can to keep their families fed and healthy.

In one state alone, discontinuing this program means about 60,000 children will be losing their insurance early next year because their families do not qualify for Medicaid and are unable to afford private coverage.

But hey … Orrin and his buddies’ pockets will be full and that’s all that really matters, right?

Yum! Yum!

Ever wonder why our “illustrious” leader has such a rotund figure? Perhaps it has something to do with his waistband-busting meals.

According to a new book entitled Let Trump be Trump (a behind-the-scenes account of how he became President of the United States), it’s reported that campaign stops regularly included visits to McDonald’s, where the standing order was two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fishes and a chocolate milkshake (2,420 calories).

This fat-laden meal consisted of 112g of fat (172% of tRumpsky’s recommended daily allowance), along with 3,470 mg of salt (144% of his recommended daily intake).

Further, it’s reported that as tRumpsky traveled from campaign stop to campaign stop on Trump Force One, the kitchen had to be stocked with the “four major food groups” — McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza and Diet Coke. Bountiful supplies of cookies and other snacks also needed to be readily available.

Based on recent images, it would seem his diet hasn’t changed much.

While many of us continue to hope for impeachment or some other termination-type activity to take place, perhaps we needn’t worry. Food and health are inseparable partners. Or, as the old saying goes, “You are what you eat.”

You can read more about the contents of the book in this article. (It also mentions his short-fused temper.)