Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Trump: The Diva Unleashed

It has become increasingly obvious that Donald Trump sees the Presidency as being no different from his reality tv days. When you think of his time on the campaign and in office, it's pretty clear that he doesn't think of himself as a politician, he thinks of himself as a superstar. And not just any superstar: Trump is a Hollywood Diva. And like any true diva, he can't abide being told what he can and cannot do by anyone...and this includes his newest babysitter, General John Kelly.

When you look at Trump's candidacy and presidency through the lens of a B-level boob tube star, a lot of what he does suddenly makes sense. Trump's Divahood is why he:

*Refers to his military staff as being from "central casting"
*Is obsessed with ratings and crowd sizes
*Is fond of frequently and wholeheartedly ranting to his "fans" on social media
*Focuses entirely on himself, no matter what, in order to protect/promote his brand
*Is fond of fan merchandise, even wearing it frequently himself
*Spins negatives into positives, and if that isn't possible, labels it as tabloid-like "fake news"
*Feels the need to keep holding rallies about the election nearly a year after the election
*Cannot accept blame for any failed projects
*Uses his platform of leader of the free world to promote his and his family's business ventures
*Treats staff & Secret Service officers as his personal gophers and errand-boys
*Thinks nothing of having White House aides carry his wife's designer luggage en route to an area ravaged by a hurricane and horrific flooding
*Thought a photo opp and looking at a map in Houston counted as "firsthand outreach" during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey
*Considered negative press, personal grudges, and tv personalities he dislikes as being more Tweet-Worthy than cop shootings, Charlottsville, and Hurricane Harvey
*Doesn't want to risk alienating any segment of his fanbase, regardless of how repulsive their words and actions turn out to be
*Is obsessed with stopping leaks to reporters, despite a long history of cultivating gossip news coverage himself under pseudonyms
*Frequently 86's publicists when his popularity wavers, as it couldn't possibly be his fault
*Hates any form of media that criticizes him
*Considers himself to be too busy to read more than one page of daily itinerary per day made up of short, Twitter-like sentences, plus plenty of photos and graphs
*Blames staff and/or "fake news media" for any and all mishaps
*Never hesitates to say/tweet nasty things re: people who don't fawn over him
*Refused to host the White House Correspondence event that he attended as a guest in the past
*Believes his fame entitles him to treat women like objects
*Feels entitled to expensive perks that he doesn't pay for
*Has a wife who considers the role of FLOTUS to be a unique marketing opportunity despite refusing to live in the White House and instead staying at Trump Tower at the taxpayer's expense and the family's gain
*Has no understanding of what it is like to be poor or middle-class in America
*Isn't at all concerned that his nearly weekly trips to his golf resorts have left the Secret Service without funds to pay the highly-skilled agents whose job it is to take a bullet meant for him
*Hasn't bothered with the many job positions he's required to fill, as he's apparently run out of friends, family members, and people he wants to impress or do business with to hire
*Prefers to surround himself with cronies and family members, even hiring them for jobs they aren't even remotely qualified to do
*Has nearly Gwyneth Paltrow-level batshit health claims (such as believing exercise is unhealthy because it depletes your body's "batteries")
*Was obsessed with his old tv show and repeatedly denounced its new host and ratings, because he apparently has nothing better to do
*Enjoys writing sweeping memos and executive orders as a way to reap benefits for his donors and his own projects
*Is an afficianado of weird conspiracy theories such as his home being wiretapped on Obama's orders and climate change being a Chinese hoax
*Isn't concerned with issues that don't affect his brand and/or the all-important ratings
*Doesn't seem to have noticed the difference between "tv ratings" and "job approval"
*Viciously mocks those who question or oppose him, or might be seen as more popular than himself
*Puts a weird amount of emphasis on catchphrases and sound bites
*Doesn't consider Camp David to be good enough for his precious and frequent vacation time, having declared it being "boring" and only using it after public complaints (perhaps because trips there won't benefit his businesses and brand)
*Is enraged when his "tremendous" ideas are shot down by Congress or the Supreme Court to the extent that he actually questions why the checks and balances system that is one of the essential linchpins of our democracy even exist
*Blocks and bans his critics or citizens who ask questions he doesn't like on social media
*Uses aggressive handshakes in an attempt to prove he's the biggest star in the room
*Brags constantly about his achievements and popularity
*Refuses to take security briefings in favor of watching five hours of television daily
*Photo ops and cable news mentions are crucial to him (this is a guy who once showed up at a charity fundraiser uninvited, stole an actual guest's chair at the head table, had tons of publicity photos taken, and then left abruptly without giving the charity a single dime)
*Makes sweeping declarations and promises he has no intention of keeping, because the promises will be page one and the lack of follow-up will be page 5
*Views the media as the enemy, complete with memes that seem to be promoting violence on reporters and sweeping statements hostile to the American ideal of freedom of the press
*Uses speeches to complain about his perceived mistreatment by the press, even at ocassions where that is inappropriate (ie the Boy Scout Jamboree and the Phoenix rally after Charlottsville)
*Feels he deserves frequent holidays and breaks to luxury resorts he owns, complete with Secret Service and White House staff on hand to tend to his needs on the taxpayer's dime
*The scripts written for him are good, but his ad-libbing is a mess
*Had fake Time Magazine covers hanging up in his resorts
*Still focuses so much on winning the election, as if it were a Primetime Emmy Award
*Pretends to be a philanthropist in speeches and interviews for publicity, despite not even donating to his own foundation in more than five years and charging his own son's charity to use his facilities for fundraisers for children's cancer hospitals
*Surrounds himself by staff--and family on staff payroll--that will applaud his every decision, no matter how disastrous or self-serving, and fires anyone who won't follow suit
*Throws tantrums when he doesn't get his way of the sort you'd expect from seriously-out-of-touch Hollywood Diva or an over-exerted toddler up three hours past bedtime
*Is reportedly about to lose a member of staff whose star he created, Omarosa, because senior staff is concerned about her frequent attempts to "rile him up" by bringing him negative press coverage (AKA "covfefe"), that without fail triggers a temper tantrum in the Oval Office and on Twitter
*Likes best those who will publicaly and enthusiastically support him, and never cease to tell him how beloved and great His Divaness is.

Trump's presidency to date is best described as The Larry Sanders Show character Hank Kingsley with worse hair. They both spent years isolating themselves from the real world, dedicated only to furthering their brand and padding their wallets. It's been going on for so long, Trump/Hank doesn't know how to function without the "star treatment."

And just like Hank, Trump has a long history of stamping his name on any piece of shit product that comes his way (Trump University, Trump Steaks, Trump Vodka, etc.) Also like Hank, Trump reportedly has staff screen his mail and give him only the truly fawning, hero-worship examples. And just this past week we learned that Trump had hired a man whose sole (and very well-paying) job was to research, print out, and screenshot positive reports and mentions of the Orange Diva Supreme in the media (or lacking that, photos of himself "looking powerful"), to be delievered to him twice per day. We only know about this job because this employee is the latest in what is perhaps the most recognizable and consistent bit of Trump's now-legendary Divahood: when under fire, fire under you.

That truly is the single biggest proof that Donald Trump doesn't see himself as a leader, but as a star: his now-infamous and shockingly frequent firing of staff when his "ratings" get low or they try to reign in his lunacy. After all, firing people made him the huge star he has convinced himself he is. It worked wonders with his popularity on his last job, so he thinks it surely it will work similar wonders now in his new one. We're talking about a guy who tried to trademark his catchphrase, "You're Fired!" (and bitterly complained when his application was denied). The fact that all the "tremendous" shit-canning of staff in the White House isn't garnering the same adoration as it did on "The Apprentice" is clearly mystifying to him...much like the job of POTUS itself.

Donald Trump really seemed to think playing President was just another role that would result in huge ratings and brand enhancement. He's already admitted to not realizing how much work is involved in being the leader of the free world, and how "complicated" it all is. As time goes on, his complaints about the work involved as POTUS grow more and more frequent. It surely doesn't help that as of yet, he's not made much of a political impact. His campaign promises have gone ignored or are torpedoed outright. His executive orders (which he thought gave him some sort of untouchable and unilateral power, similar to the dispatches of a CEO) are routinely overridden by Congress or the courts, much to his chagrin. This is the man who insisted and continues to insist that he is the only man who can make America great again. But the only thing he's done thus far is prove someone else should have been casted for this role.