There is almost no dimension of politics in which Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, acts in a consistent fashion. The one exception is that Trump, the politician, apparently only feels like a real man if he gets to beat up on a woman.
The latest example is former White House advisor Omarosa Manigault Newman, who Trump called “crazed,” a “lowlife,” and a “dog” on Twitter.
There is also the example of Margrethe Vestager, the Danish woman who is the EU Commissioner in charge of the antitrust portfolio. “Your tax lady, she really hates the United States,” was how Trump sought to dismiss the EU penalty announced by Vestager in response to Google’s anti-competitive behavior.
To Trump, being a woman in politics is evidently an automatic disqualifier. It is hard to imagine a more telling and more grotesque form of a weak ego than resorting to gender as a basis for dismissiveness in politics.
Theresa May fared even worse than Vestager. The British Prime Minister, beleaguered by the wannabe machos in her own Conservative Party, had laid on a festive dinner spectacle to welcome Donald Trump to Britain.
The location at Blenheim Palace, as well as the accompanying pomp and circumstance, had been carefully chosen to impress and to please Trump.
May’s hope must have been that she would succeed to charm him in a manner that would bring Trump to laud her, much like Reagan did with Thatcher, and provide her with political cover at home in her efforts to come up with a workable solution on Brexit.
Theresa May had no idea just how much her guest of honor would double-cross her. Trump repaid the gracious dinner reception with a vicious attack via an interview with The Sun newspaper that was released just as soon as the dinner was over. In the interview, Trump essentially argued that May was in over her head.
His main proof was that she had not followed Trump’s own sage advice on Brexit. That advice, he later specified, was to “sue the EU.” As if that were even remotely possible.
But that’s not Trump’s concern. All he cares about is blind admiration, which is all the more grating when this concerns acts of complete buffoonery on his part.
Press statements as fake news
The next day, during the joint press conference with May, Trump’s staff had scripted a statement that he read out in halting English. The hope was to walk back his statements in the tabloid paper.
But the damage was done. The real Trump had spoken his mind, the fabricated Trump read out a statement with the same conviction a 14-year old displays accepting his punishment when caught in a lie.
Desperately looking for Hillary
The political record shows pretty conclusively that Trump needs a woman to beat up on. He generates his inner mojo that way. His candidacy for the office of President of the United States was fueled by denigrating Hillary Clinton.
That proved to be a magic elixir in attracting the votes of a lot of white bubbas, i.e., insecure and/or undereducated middle-aged white men.
With Hillary in the shadows now, Trump’s new pinata on the domestic front is Senator Elizabeth Warren, a presumable Democratic Presidential candidate.
Internationally, Trump’s anti-person is Germany’s Angela Merkel. To be sure, Merkel is not beyond criticism. What is unwarranted, though, is for Trump to ceaselessly attack Merkel as he had done with Hillary Clinton before.
That attests to nothing else but the deeply held misogynistic attitude of the current President of the United States. He does not even seem to realize that, by engaging in such pointless gender baiting, he is only attesting to his own immense sense of insecurity.
Stephan Richter is the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Globalist, the daily online magazine, and a columnist in newspapers around the world. He is also the presenter of the Marketplace Globalist Quiz, which is aired on public radio stations all across the United States. In addition, Mr. Richter is a keynote speaker at international conferences -- and the author of the 1992 book, “Clinton: What Europe and the United States Can Expect.” Follow him on Twitter @theglobalist.