Donald Trump, the man who defied every political rule and prevailed to win his party's nomination, last week took on perhaps the most sacred political rule of all: Never attack a Gold Star family. Not just because it alienates a vital constituency but because it reveals a shocking absence of elementary decency and of natural empathy for the most profound of human sorrows -- parental grief.
Why did Trump do it? It wasn't a mistake. It was a revelation. It's that he can't help himself. His governing rule in life is to strike back when attacked, disrespected or even slighted. To understand Trump, you have to grasp the General Theory: He judges every action, every pronouncement, every person by a single criterion -- whether or not it/he is "nice" to Trump.
Vladimir Putin called him brilliant (in fact, he didn't, but that's another matter) and a bromance is born. A "Mexican" judge rules against Trump, which makes him a bad person governed by prejudiced racial instincts.
House Speaker Paul Ryan criticizes Trump's attack on the Gold Star mother -- so Trump mocks Ryan and praises his primary opponent. On what grounds? That the opponent is an experienced legislator? Is a tested leader?
Not at all. He's "a big fan of what I'm saying, big fan," attests Trump.
You're a fan of his, he's a fan of yours. And vice versa. Treat him "unfairly" and you will pay. House speaker, Gold Star mother, it matters not.
Of course we all try to protect our own dignity and command respect. But Trump's hypersensitivity and unedited, untempered Pavlovian responses are, shall we say, unusual in both ferocity and predictability.
This is beyond narcissism. I used to think Trump was an 11-year-old, an undeveloped schoolyard bully. I was off by about 10 years. His needs are more primitive, an infantile hunger for approval and praise, a craving that can never be satisfied. He lives in a cocoon of solipsism where the world outside himself has value -- indeed exists -- only insofar as it sustains and inflates him.Read the rest of Krauthammer's op-ed HERE.
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