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Trump is ‘a bottomless pit of emotional need’ with a ‘desperate’ desire for friends: NYT’s Charles Blow

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New York Times columnist Charles Blow (Photo: Screen capture)

New York Times editorial writer Charles Blow called out the president in his Sunday editorial for always associating the country with himself.

The byproduct of narcissism is that everything surrounds the narcissist. Such is the case with President Donald Trump’s latest series of tweets talking about “My Stock Market” and quoting a fan referring to him as the second coming of Christ.

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“For Donald Trump, all is personal,” wrote Blow. “And in his view, he is not the executive of the company. He is the embodiment of the country. He runs the country the way he ran his business, as the curating and promotion of his personal brand.”

He noted that to Trump, voters are like customers, and policies are nothing more than marketing ploys.

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“For Trump, everything is image-based and rooted in the appearance of personal relationships. When the Danish prime minister rebuffed his overture about buying Greenland, calling the idea ‘absurd,’ Trump threw a tantrum and canceled his visit to Denmark,” Blow recalled of the week’s news.

During a press availability, Trump called the prime minister “nasty” and said that she “can’t treat the United States of America the way they treated us under President Obama.”

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“She’s not talking to me. She’s talking to the United States of America,” Trump told the press. “You don’t talk to the United States that way, at least under me.”

The prime minister was actually talking about him, whether the president wants to believe it or not.

“America was not being dismissed or disrespected. This proposal, which sounded like a joke, was being laughed at. And this president hates being laughed at,” Blow wrote. “Everything in Trump’s view is about whether someone is nice or nasty to him. It’s not about the country at all. It’s not about historical precedent or value of continuity.”

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Blow noted that even Trump’s hatred for his predecessors is beneath the presidency, “much like Trump himself.”

He explained that Trump’s trade war with China is every bit about Trump’s personal beef with the Chinese president as much as it’s about trade. Trump also takes it personally that Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell won’t manipulate the interest rate based on Trump’s demands. The president considers it a disloyal act.

“Trump hated North Korea’s Kim Jong-un before he loved him,” Blow recalled. “Kim has played Trump like a fiddle. Kim has baited Trump into two summits, where Trump got nothing and Kim got a priceless public relations moment. Kim can just send Trump love letters and do what he wants and surrender nothing. In Trump’s paradigm of the personal, Kim likes him and is his friend.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin is just as bad, “exploiting Trump’s personal need to be liked,” while walking all over the United States.

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“Everyone around Trump knows his weakness: He is a bottomless pit of emotional need, someone who desperately wants friends but doesn’t have the emotional quotient to know how to make and keep them. So, they flatter him and inflate him,” Blow wrote.

Anyone willing to pretend to be Trump’s friend can manipulate him and the White House along with it. Blow explained it’s a bad deal for the U.S. which should never be owned or for sale.

“The presidency is not owned; it is occupied. It is bigger than any man or woman. Men have grown into it, but they have never subsumed it,” Blow wrote. “The presidency must have one eye on the past and one on the future. It must place national interest over personal interest. It has absolutely nothing to do with any one person’s feelings.”

Quoting George Washington’s farewell address, Blow added that Trump is what Washington warned against. He has become “a slave to his emotions” and thus, a weak leader.

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“I’m not sure that damage is irreparable,” Blow lamented. “Our democracy, though fragile in many ways, has proved remarkably durable in others. But there is no doubt that the damage Trump is doing is deep and will take time and effort to undo. Trump’s personal problems will leave a national scar.”

Check out Blow’s must-read column in The New York Times.


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