- My friend Michael writes:
I can’t believe this fool is our president.
Just read this tweet thread and revel in all that is Trump. He personalizes EVERYTHING. He takes credit for the concept of burden sharing, which is not how NATO works. He answers a question about Crimea by referencing his potential friendship with Putin. He answers a question about China by talking about his “magical” time there. He talks about how the people of the UK like him. (PS – his approval rating there is 11%.) And ultimately, he’s incoherent. He wants to pull back on the US’s defense commitments in Europe, but he wants to increase military spending. He wants European countries to spend more in defense, but he’ll never be satisfied by the levels and it’s totally unclear as to why he wants them to spend more.
My friend Steve replies:
We usually analyze presidential psyches relative to other professional adults.
W was incurious and fumblemouthed compared with most other bigtime politicos. He wasn’t stupid compared to most people. Carter was an ineffective executive relative to effective executives. Bill Clinton was even more extraverted than a political class that selects for extreme extraversion.
All that fails with Trump. He’s a narcissist relative to everybody. Even most narcissists manage to make everything about themselves without actually being explicit about it. He can’t go five minutes without talking about how much people love him, how well he was treated on his latest visit to an autocrat.
No normal analytical framework works. It’s like using finely tuned sabermetric tools to analyze the range of a shortstop who’s actually a rhinoceros. He’s weak on balls to his right, and also he tramples the spectators to death. So negative WAR for that.