Our choices tell us who we are and the pattern of our choices….how one choice compares to another….tells us what we really care about. It shows us our soul.
The last couple of weeks in particular have shown us a lot about how Trump makes decisions and has told much about who he is.
His choices leave us with jaws dropped wondering where is the sense. Without even, for the moment, talking about health insurance I find myself asking more than anything else, “Why?”
What is gained or achieved by eliminating the “meals on wheels” program? What national interest is served? What can be done now that could not be done if we continue delivering meals and providing a little bit of human contacts to seniors who may not have either during the course of their day?
What is gained or achieved by eliminating a program that allows poor people to keep their house warm in the winter? What more important thing can be done when we stop doing this?
What is gained or achieved by eliminating programs that help as many as 12 million people find housing? The gain is what? What problem or deficit does this fix?
I have a two year old grandson who adores Sesame Street. Trump is going to kill Elmo. Under what rationale, under what reason is a decision like this made? The array of proposed cuts is dizzying. For lack of a better description it is like the Grinch on steroids.
We need to understand a little about context to truly grasp what all this means. The money saved by slashing anyone of these programs is in the context of the overall budget inconsequential. They don’t really make our financial picture worse and the human good they give to countless Americans is beyond numbers. It is about bombs and bullets.
There are many things that Trump does not believe is the proper business of our government but he certainly believes bombs and bullets are. He proposes the biggest increase in defense spending during peacetime in our history I believe. He is going to give the military more than it wants or has requested. It is as if he believes military might is the most real index of his might as a leader and he means to be a leader like the world has never seen. He likes stuff. Big stuff. Tremendous stuff. Stuff that testifies about his stature and power.
Even his health insurance program is phrased in terms of conquest. It is the defeat of the enemy of Obamacare. It is he who going to rescue people from their oppressor. After a 7 year war that basically went no where he is going to provide victory. Trumpcare is a testimony to the ego of Donald Trump. It is him doing what no one else has been able to do.
If you listen to him so much is in one form or another about conquest. It is about being bigger, more powerful, tougher, smarter than someone or something else. It is about victory or defeat and having enough power to always insure victory.
It is not just being big, being tough, being on top but the image of all these things being true even when reality suggests otherwise. It is about never being questioned about inconvenient facts. And it is about anything that brings the image into question as being one more thing that must be attacked or defeated.
Trump is a vertical person. It is about power and who he is over and what he can do. The ultimate measure of most things is how they affect his image. His aides talk about the best way to get him to do anything is convince him it is his idea. The fundamental goal of his presidency is, I believe, for him to win. For him the presidency is not the confirmation of America. It is the confirmation of Donald Trump.
He is not a horizontal person. It is not about connection or compassion. It is not about some involvement or belief in principles about how other people, particularly people who are not also rich and powerful should be treated. Personally I think he believes that poverty is a fundamentally personal failing. He matters not just because he is rich but because he is, in his eyes, incredibly, wonderfully, successfully awesomely rich.
The soul of Donald Trump is in conquest and victory. The soul of Donald Trump is in having the best stuff, the biggest stuff and always winning. He has no moral vision for America. I think it is purely about what he thinks makes him look the best.
In many ways he is like a carnival barker. He wants you to buy a chance on all the wonderful prizes he has to offer. He hopes that he is loud enough and flashy enough like the barker that you wont notice that what he is selling is slipshod, worn out nonsense with no real quality until it is too late for you to do anything about it.