Trump Wants This

David Roth, writing for The Concourse, is just killing it these days. His diatribes against President Trump have been nothing, but glorious take-downs. His latest regarding the recent UK state visit sheds a white hot spotlight into the psyche of Trump.

It’s unquestionably true that Trump wants things. He wants to be noticed, on television if possible, and he wants to appear impressive when he is noticed. He does not want anyone to seem to have more money than he does. He wants a big beautiful piece of the most amazing chocolate cake you ever saw. All of these things he wants very much. But he is accustomed to demanding these things and then either receiving them (the biggest slice of cake, the television appearances) or believing that he has (the respect of other people). All of this goonish entitlement would be kind of darkly funny if Trump were not also president, but that is not the world we live in. It is not clear even today how much Trump wanted to be president, although he also clearly did not want to lose the election he somehow wound up in. It’s always seemed more accurate to say that he’d prefer to be a king, or some other less readily beheadable royal.

This paragraph is delicious.

This is true when he’s in the United States, too; he is happy, if he’s ever happy, when there are other rich people around to give him compliments and tell him how rich he looks and how well he’s doing. This is his class, but they are not really his people. Even with the servile dermatologists and thrice-divorced yacht ghouls and buttery finance lordlings that crowd his social orbit and pay to belong to Trump’s clubs, there are still some latent traces of dirt under their fingernails—these people have to work to make the money to pay those dues, even if that work amounts to a few moments of strained patter during a Botox injection or taking long lunch meetings while underlings hide other rich people’s money from taxation. They’re rich, in many cases entirely richer than any ethical society would permit, but they’re not where Trump imagines himself to be. They’re not where he sees the Next Generation of his legacy.

Thrice-divorced yacht ghouls” is amazing.

June 7, 2019


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