Photo courtesy Literary Hub

The corrosive anger of President Donald Trump

Text Gary Chun

On Thursday, President Donald Trump announced that he will pull out the United States from the Paris climate agreement.

As reported by the Washington Post, "Trump’s decision alarmed leaders around the world, drawing swift condemnation from foreign officials as well as top U.S. environmentalists and corporate titans, who decried the U.S. exit from the Paris accord as an irresponsible abdication of American leadership. But Trump cast his decision as a 'reassertion of America’s sovereignty,' arguing that the climate pact as negotiated under President Obama was grossly unfair to the U.S. workers and companies."

President Trump went on to say “At what point does America get demeaned? At what point do they start laughing at us as a country? We want fair treatment for its citizens and we want fair treatment for its taxpayers. We don’t want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore — and they won’t be.”

Knowing the extent of the man's fragile ego, it's no stretch that Trump equates the slight, the "laughing at us," of the country equally, if not more, with himself. It's a blustery "we'll show them" attitude that is part and parcel with his bullying personality.

And reporters, writers and commentators are constantly calling him on it, none more so with recent effect than Rebecca Solnit. She is a contributing editor at Harper's Magazine where, bi-monthly, she writes the magazine's long-standing "Easy Chair" essay.

Her most recent was titled "Facing the Furies," on the issues of rage and anger in today's world, and she addresses in part the problem with the Trump presidency:

Is anyone more possessed by this obliterating anger than Donald Trump? Our nation is currently led by a petty, vindictive, histrionic man whose exceptional privilege has robbed him of even the most rudimentary training in dealing with setbacks and slights. He was elected by people who were drawn to him because he homed in on their anger, made them even angrier, and promised vengeance on the usual targets, domestic and foreign, successfully clouding their judgment as to what electing him would mean for their health care, safety, environment, education, economy.

She took a more eloquent, but equally biting take on Trump in her essay for Literary Hub titled "The Loneliness of Donald Trump," subtitle "On the Corrosive Privilege of the Most Mocked Man in the World." It's a read I can't recommend highly enough.

In an essay filled with memorable passages -- and the last graph is an absolute killer -- here's one paragraph that I hope will spur you on to read Solnit's entire essay:

A man who wished to become the most powerful man in the world, and by happenstance and intervention and a series of disasters was granted his wish. Surely he must have imagined that more power meant more flattery, a grander image, a greater hall of mirrors reflecting back his magnificence. But he misunderstood power and prominence. This man had bullied friends and acquaintances, wives and servants, and he bullied facts and truths, insistent that he was more than they were, than it is, that it too must yield to his will. It did not, but the people he bullied pretended that it did. Or perhaps it was that he was a salesman, throwing out one pitch after another, abandoning each one as soon as it left his mouth. A hungry ghost always wants the next thing, not the last thing.

Rebecca Solnit (Courtesy Literary Hub)


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