Trump's 'accidental culture war' over wearing masks shows he's a 'slave to his own character flaws': op-ed
President Donald J. Trump listens to Vice President Mike Pence addresses his remarks Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in the James S. Brady White House Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Writing in the Washington Post this Wednesday, columnist Paul Waldman contends that while many of President Trump's public statements are calculated to help his agenda, there are countless times where his words actually work against him, one example being the "accidental" culture war he started over wearing masks in public during the coronavirus outbreak.


"This is partly a story about Trump’s failing ability to convince the public to share his views, but it’s also about his own internal conflict," Waldman writes. "Trump is not waging an anti-mask war. He’s vacillating back and forth, one day announcing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and another day refusing to wear a mask at a photo op, one day mocking a reporter for wearing a mask and another day wearing one (briefly) at a factory tour."

According to Waldman, it's almost as if Trump got trapped in a culture war he knows he’s losing but can't quite end because he's a "slave to his own character flaws." The concept of responsibility and respect that goes along with wearing a mask is "completely alien to Trump," Waldman writes, adding that the "very idea of chipping in" is repellent to him.

"His entire life is a story about stepping on other people in pursuit of his own interests," he writes. "This is the man who said not paying his taxes “makes me smart,” as though anyone who contributes to their country is a sucker."

Read the full op-ed over at The Washington Post.