Suppose you took an average toddler and let him finger paint on a canvas, then hung his painting in a contemporary art museum and asked critics to weigh in on it without disclosing who the artist was. I imagine a few art critics saying things like “Yes, look at how the strokes are predominantly vertical and the colors appear random and chaotic which suggests chaos in life as one ascends blah blah blah…” Asked to evaluate this unknown artist’s work they might suggest that it fits a certain style or breaks new ground, perhaps even hints at genius on some level. Why? Because it’s hanging in a museum. They will assume the artist must possess some gravitas if his work is worthy of display at such a level.
This is exactly how the media sounds to me when talking about Donald Trump. They speculate about what each utterance, tweet, flip-flop and bluster filled tirade might signal. They coo about his political savvy and wonder out loud about his “doctrines” or his “positions”. Donald Trump has no coherent doctrine. He has no cogent ideology or consistent positions. He drifts with the wind on any number of issues because there is exactly NOTHING behind those positions. He is a toddler slapping paint randomly onto a canvas. There is no plan. There is no vision. There is no ideological underpinning. He is a fucking toddler who has no idea what he is doing.
What’s worse is he doesn’t care. He wants to be admired, period. He doesn’t give a shit about health care reform. He’ll work with Ryan or he’ll work with Democrats if by working with them you mean avoiding any and all detail and taking credit for any bill that polls well. He doesn’t care for governance at all. He likes the title, the pomp and circumstance, the privilege, and the fame that come with the office. He cares about crowd size and the perceived size of his hands. He cares about television ratings. He doesn’t care about the hypocrisy of his positions on Syria, or healthcare, or even presidential golf outings given his criticisms of Obama. He cares more about chocolate cake than remembering which country he just bombed.
Trump saw how President Obama was admired and he wanted that. After Obama had some laughs at Trump’s expense at the White House Press Correspondents Dinner, Trump wanted it even more. Trump believed that Obama was seen as smart because he was President. Trump thought Obama was seen as a leader because he was President. Trump thought Obama was seen as articulate because he was the President. Trump erroneously believed that those are things that just come along with the office like being saluted by the military and addressed as Mr. President. They don’t. He thought that if he were president, people would automatically consider him smart, articulate and a great leader. He’s not. He’s a fucking toddler slapping paint randomly onto a canvas.
The media should stop pretending he knows what he is doing. Stop pretending there is a plan. Stop playing along with ideas like Trump has a plan for defeating ISIS, or Trump has any cogent, codified foreign policy whatsoever. Stop playing along with the idea that he has reversed positions on things. The truth is he never held any position in the first place. Stop playing along with the notion that his expensive education makes him smart. It doesn’t, any more than having your Hyundai serviced at the Ferrari dealer makes your Hyundai a Ferrari. Stop pretending there is a Picasso in front of you just because of where it has been placed. There is only the unguided, meandering work of a toddler which doesn’t deserve the position it’s been given. There is no “there” there.