America's Snowflake-in-Chief

Folks on the increasingly "alt" right are fond of describing college students and others who are too fragile to be exposed to disagreement or disapproval as "snowflakes," suggesting that they might melt at room temperature.

They overlook the biggest snowflake of all.

Supporters of President Trump often extol his courage, his boldness, and the size of his testicles. That's ironic because perhaps the defining quality of Mr. Trump is is insecurity, his weakness. Narcissists are not secure people, but fragile ones. People who feel compelled to childishly insult anyone who criticizes or disagrees with them are not people comfortable in their own skins. And Donald Trump is not comfortable in his. He is a weak and insecure man.

And he is a man who feels the continual need to reinvent reality. Much has been made of the unprecedented frequency with which he makes claims which are simply not true and spins every setback as a success. This is not a man to face facts head-on- or to face them at all if he can possibly avoid it.

He doesn't have critics or even opponents; he has enemies. Displaying a remarkable lack of understanding about how our system works, he repeatedly threatened during the 2016 campaign to "change the law" so as to allow him to sue news outlets who publish "intentionally" false news. How intent would be established even if such a thing were not a blatant violation of the First Amendment guarantee of a free press he didn't address. Of course, following his election, he went a step further and sought to discredit the media as "enemies of the people."

The liberal bias of the media is undeniable. Ironically, they have played into his hands by becoming even more openly partisan in their coverage of this most outrageous and unfit of presidents, thereby legitimatizing his attitude at least in the minds of his supporters.

Two wrongs do not make a right. The irrationality of Donald Trump and the movement do not justify the inability of the press to inform the American people in a manner free of bias. The slanted reportage of Fox News does not justify the prior and longstanding leftward spin given the news by virtually every American news medium. But that prior bias at least is honest. Reporters are overwhelmingly liberal Democrats. They "call them as they see them." But they "see them" through the filter of a worldview which is unhealthily uniform. Those responsible for informing us as a nation have uncomfortably similar attitudes, values, beliefs, and inclinations. In many cases, they went to the same schools. They go to the same parties. They read the same books. There is no conspiracy here and no malice. There is simply a deplorable shortage of conservative journalists whose honest understanding of the events they report can interact with the bias of the others to create a parallax which brings the truth into focus. Nobody is completely objective, no matter how hard they try. A free society requires a diversity of viewpoints in order that the people may judge for themselves what is true and what is not.  Conformity to an accepted viewpoint is the totalitarian answer; diversity of opinions is the only soil in which freedom can thrive.

And Donald Trump embraces conformity. Whoever is not with him is against him, and whoever criticizes him even slightly risks not simply an inappropriate and undignified Twitter attack, but a verbal assault from the President of the United States which ought to embarrass an eighth-grader. Those who criticize the president are not mere critics, but enemies.

 Richard Nixon- who was not the demon the media would have us believe, but a brilliant and successful president undone precisely a much milder, but still fatal, case of insecurity- was many times the man and many times the president Donald Trump is. He had "enemies" rather than mere opponents, too. But one thing Mr. Nixon never did was to take the step Mr. Trump has and go beyond turning critics into opponents and opponents into enemies and regarding them not merely as personal enemies, but as enemies of the people.

That is the language of totalitarianism. It's the way Joe Stalin talked. It's the way authoritarian regimes roll. It is not the way democratic leaders deal with those with whom they disagree. But it is the way people who are unsure of themselves react to criticism. It's people who are afraid of their weaknesses who regard the prospect of being wrong as a mortal threat, and those who suggest that they might be as enemies.

It's not just an attitude which ill-suits a man to be the leader of a democracy. It's also a dangerous place from which to make decisions which affect the welfare not only of the American people but of the human race. Those who are constantly nursing a fragile ego are not the best judges of the most momentous issues of our time. The President of the United States needs to be someone whose decisions are based on an intelligent and considered study of events and issues in light of the interests of the American people. It must not be someone whose first consideration is the defense of his own, fragile ego.

This opinion piece at the CNN website seems to me to hit the nail on the head. It simply isn't possible to think rationally about Donald Trump without taking into account the fact that he's a man with a very fragile ego.

Dangerously fragile, in fact.

Donald Trump is not the "lion" his supporters often portray him as being. He is an ugly, ill-tempered mouse. He's a frightened little boy who is in way, way over his head, and his deepest fear is that the rest of us will figure that out.

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