Writing in the New York Times this Tuesday, columnist Jamelle Bouie says that if there's anything to be learned from Donald Trump's presidency in the last five years, it's that he can't survive without a constant stream of attention, adulation and affirmation.
"It’s why he’s obsessed with cable news and Fox in particular; why his cabinet meetings begin with almost worshipful praise from each of his appointees; and why he’s constantly touting his sky-high support from other Republicans," Bouie writes.
Bouie contends that there's plenty of evidence that Trump shields himself from anything that could disrupt "the illusion of popularity and success he’s constructed around himself."
According to Bouie the obvious problem with "building a cocoon of praise" around oneself is that it hinders one’s ability to respond to conditions on the ground -- "whether that’s a pandemic or a presidential race. You can’t change course if you refuse to see what’s happening in front of you."
Trump continuance to do the things that have placed him in a "historically weak position for an incumbent president" seeking re-election is directly due to this cocoon of praise, since he has the inability to see how his own policies are negatively affecting him.
"If Trump were less cloistered, he might know that to improve his prospects he has to speak to voters on the fence between him and Biden," he writes. "He has to address their fears and make a positive case for his administration. But because he lives within the confines of a gated MAGA community, Trump has no sense of what the skeptical public wants to hear."
Read the full op-ed over at The New York Times.