From The Washington Monthly — Written by Nancy LeTourneau — Image courtesy of Rex/Shutterstock
Tony Schwartz, ghostwriter for The Art of the Deal, wrote this about Donald Trump a couple of weeks ago.
To survive, I concluded from our conversations, Trump felt compelled to go to war with the world. It was a binary, zero-sum choice for him: You either dominated or you submitted. You either created and exploited fear, or you succumbed to it…
He derives his sense of significance from conquests and accomplishments…Any addiction has a predictable pattern: The addict keeps chasing the high by upping the ante in an increasingly futile attempt to re-create the desired state. On the face of it, Trump has more opportunities now to feel significant and accomplished than almost any other human being on the planet. But that’s like saying a heroin addict has his problem licked once he has free and continuous access to the drug. Trump also now has a far bigger and more public stage on which to fail and to feel unworthy.
I thought of that as we watched Trump interact on the biggest public stage of all during his trip abroad. The Saudi’s were deferential and played to the president’s ego. That gave Trump the “fix” for his addiction to conquest and dominance.
But in his dealings with NATO and the G7, he came in with an attitude of belligerence, which triggered a negative reaction from our allies and further confirmed that, when it comes to the world’s liberal democracies, Trump is a threat and Germany’s Angela Merkel (a woman!) is the leader they will turn to. In other words, in the president’s world view, she challenged his dominance.