Politico has published a nice, clear window into the underdeveloped psyche of Donald Trump, who shocked many yesterday when he insisted that “both sides” were responsible for the violent clash that resulted in the murder of 32-year-old Heather Heyer in Charlottesville over the weekend.
Though the piece doesn’t reveal anything hugely novel—Breaking: President Trump Is a Giant, Angry Baby—I will never tire of reading descriptions from those who inexplicably endure his antics day after day.
The story behind Trump’s batshit, off-the-rails news conference is, in short, that Trump doesn’t like being told what to do, and that any attempt to wrangle him results in the sort of chaotic outbursts customary to anyone who’s observed him for the past eight months. Anger for Trump is as familiar and comfortable as an old sweatshirt—he uses it to “manage staff, express his displeasure or simply as an outlet that soothes him.” In a sure sign that he’s a psychopath, Trump will often unload that anger on an unsuspecting victim, “then three hours later act as if nothing ever occurred.”
What sorts of things make Trump angry? Only the sorts of things that, as president, he unfailingly faces daily:
White House officials and informal advisers say the triggers for his temper are if he thinks someone is lying to him, if he’s caught by surprise, if someone criticizes him, or if someone stops him from trying to do something or seeks to control him.
Trump’s pre-prepared, comparatively measured speech on Monday was the product of pressure from other Republicans and his aides to disaffiliate himself with the actions of hate groups. But those weren’t Trump’s words, and they didn’t reflect how he actually felt. On Tuesday, we watched in horror as his feeble emotional dam burst: He simply couldn’t help himself.
“In some ways, Trump would rather have people calling him racist than say he backed down the minute he was wrong,” one adviser told Politico. “This may turn into the biggest mess of his presidency because he is stubborn and doesn’t realize how bad this is getting.”
For Trump, though, anger often translates directly into policy, like in the case of his decision to ban transgender people from the military:
While multiple factors were in play with the transgender ban, Trump has grown increasingly frustrated by the lawyers’ calls for further study and caution, so he took it upon himself to tweet out the news of the ban, partly as a reminder to the lawyers who’s in charge, the adviser said.
This calls to mind the impotent rage Trump exhibited when it became clear he didn’t have the power to order a unilateral travel ban, and the hysterical string of tweets that followed.
As one adviser said: “For Trump, there came a moment where he wanted to re-establish that he was going to do what he was going to do.”
Trump, as reminder, doesn’t want to be president. He wants to be a dictator. A Baby Dictator, who poops his diaper and then assassinates his staff for not cleaning it up fast enough.