According to reports, President Trump's advisers had been urging him to abandon the politics of grievance and shift his focus to uniting the country. But in the end, as always, "Trump’s gut won out," Sam Stein and Asawin Suebsaeng
wrote in The Daily Beast this Tuesday.
"Through it all, Trump was resistant. Barricaded in the halls of the White House, he fumed at the job being done by others, tweeted his rage, and then, finally, dabbled in a bit of strongman showmanship that would have come off as even more dictatorial if it hadn’t been so poorly rehearsed," write Stein and Suebsaeng, referring to Trump's photo op in front of a vandalized D.C. church.
"Trump never stepped foot in the church, which had been damaged by protesters the night before," they continue. "Nor did he read from the Bible he held. Instead, he showcased it like an item on the Home Shopping Network, raised it to the right of his head, uttered a few more words to the press, and headed right back to the confines of the White House."
Trump's attempts at public reconciliation only made matters worse -- a direct contrast to Joe Biden's public appearances, who "talked with protesters, sat in at a church meeting, and tele-convened with mayors."
"For those who know Trump, his inability to broaden or modify his approach has been hardly surprising," the pair write. "Though he came of age in a New York City torn apart by its own racial animus, Tony Schwartz, Trump’s former ghostwriter, said that it was an insatiable desire to be admired and praised—not his surroundings—that molded Trump. Grievance, said Schwartz, is not some political calculation; it’s his genetic makeup."
A global pandemic, a resulting failing economy, racial unrest -- all things that are leaving Trump "literally and figuratively isolated."
"...by Monday morning, the White House itself had come to resemble a fortress—one holding back the tides of chaos, energy, and destruction surrounding it."
Read the full op-ed over at The Daily Beast.