Tuesday, January 03, 2017

January 3, 2017--The Two Faces of Donald Trump

With just two and a half weeks until the inauguration, liberal friends who had calmed down a bit about Donald Trump's election are now again full of anxiety.

And so am I.

I don't think it's contact-anxiety, but the real thing.

I have been urging that we wait and see what kind of president Trump turns out to be. The former liberal Democrat who has been obscuring his core beliefs so as to appeal to a very conservative base. Is he a true representative of angry-white-men or has he become their voice because they have the capacity to elect a president--and just helped to do. Is Trump someone who has more moderate views and for cynical political purposes has been pandering to true believers.

Are his cabinet appointments another appeal to this constituency or will he, once president, tell them what to do and fire them if they don't moderate their previous views.

Trump's ubiquitous tweets may be both a window to his soul or a vehicle to sow confusion about who he really is and what he is likely to do. Being contradictory and unpredictable is one way to exert power.

Take his two New Years. tweets as examples--

The first, a snarky one was posted December 31st at 5:17AM--
Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don't know what to do. Love!
The second was posted later that night, right at midnight--
TO ALL AMERICANS--Happy New Year & many blessings to you all! Looking forward to a wonderful & prosperous 2017 as we work together to MAGA [MAKE AMERICAN GREAT AGAIN]
Which is the true Trump?

I suspect both. Which doesn't make things any easier or help get anxiety about him under control.

Do we have a version of a schizophrenic about to enter the White House and have the nuclear codes by his side 24/7? I think not.

But I suspect we have someone of two minds. The first Trump is pure id. The Id-Trump composed the first tweet. It is him at his most puerile, his most narcissistic. He won the election so why is he still obsessing about those who opposed him, those he truly believes are his "enemies"?

To quote a favorite expression from his tweeting--HOW SAD!

The midnight tweet was either written for him by daughter Ivanka or son-in-law Jared Kushner. Or, more hopefully, comes from Trump himself.

In Freudian terms this Trump might be thought of as the Ego-Trump. The Trump who spends at least a little time thinking what to say before lashing out, the Trump still with huge ego-needs but a Trump in control of his emotions who, actually, has the capacity to look beyond himself and reveal a touch of empathy.

Superego? Not ever in evidence.

At best I'm reconciling myself to the idea that he is not as bad as my friends think but minimally, has these dual faces. Both real. And, as these back-to-back tweets suggest, there is a war within him between them, his better angels versus his demons.

Among other things, as someone who also doesn't sleep much, he needs to get seam rest.

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