He is the little man writ large. The paradox of the egotist who destroys his own image. The irony of the down and out man for whom life was defined by almost absurd good luck.
At every opportunity life said Yes! to Donald Trump and at every opportunity Donald Trump said No! His perpetually-famished ego drove him to destroy everything life handed him. Life handed him so much, in fact, it took him 74 years to destroy it all, to burn it all to the ground.
He was born insanely, absurdly, obscenely rich, a tall, upright, attractive young man with stubborn good health. Hardly ever sick a day in his life he determined to destroy the health nature handed him with relentless, self-loathing zeal. He ate junk food in massive quantities three times a day and popped a polypharmacy of pills. Preferring makeup and artificial shortcuts to exercise and a sound diet he transformed himself into a mountain of precarious flesh on the perpetual verge of collapse.
His empire was built on an ocean of lies, a Ponzi scheme many people wanted to believe. He could have been a great student, instead he cheated and bought his way into the Ivy League. He could have been a great businessman, instead he cheated and destroyed everyone, from partners to small family businesses, laundered money and committed tax fraud to stay ahead of the game.
He had friends, loyal to the point of public self-immolation, willing before the world to murder their own reputations in order to protect him. Sooner or later he betrayed them all. And yet they kept coming, willing fools with a death wish and a desperate belief that they alone would finally receive the love of that remotest of father figures. He used them until their devotion was gone, or became slightly imperfect by his standards, then insouciantly cast them aside.
Then there was his ego, relentless, implacable, impossible to satisfy. Not even being elected president of the United States was enough, because nothing ever was. Despite this there was the pathological need for endless self-praise. Nobody has ever seen such a braggart, such a show off, such a shameless self promoting self patter on the back.
He became the poor man’s rich man, the stupid man’s smart man, the small man’s great man. He spoke the language of the bigot, the idiot at the end of the bar who knows all the answers to all the world’s problems — if only someone would give him the power. So they gave him the power. And he screwed everything up, right on schedule.
Donald Trump isn’t the worst president in recent memory, he isn’t the worst in our lifetime, he isn’t one of the five worst. No, Donald Trump’s bad is without a rival. He is the worst of all time, bar none. Trump is the only president to be impeached twice, to lose the popular vote twice, to alienate America’s allies and gratify her enemies, to be handed an almost indestructible economy and destroy it.
He was given opportunity after opportunity to easily prove he could do the job. He could have stood up to Russia, instead he gave in, with baffling ease and a willingness to carry water for Vladimir Putin. He gave money to the rich and kept it out of the hands of the poor, education to the privileged at the expense of the needy.
He could have presided over America’s portion of a worldwide pandemic like a hero merely by following the advice of experts. Ironically, as a man whose dwindling fortune was bound up in the hospitality industry, by neglecting coronavirus he managed to destroy the only business that might have kept what was left of that fortune alive. And to top it off he ensured that the only thing that might keep people coming to his hotels and resorts — his image — went down in flames with it.
He is the only president to potentially face conviction from the senate after leaving office, to face a lifetime ban from holding office, to face state and federal civil and criminal charges, bankruptcy, ruin and life in prison. He faces money laundering and tax fraud charges from the state of New York alone, charges that could very well put him in jail for the rest of his life.
He faces civil suits from every angle, including a rape suit from a woman who has his DNA as evidence, evidence that he could easily refute if he were innocent. He potentially faces lawsuits from every family in the country who lost a loved one to COVID-19, and criminal negligence charges from every district attorney of every district in the country that lost one or more constituents to the same disease.
Donald Trump has been such a spectacularly bad president, the word “worst” is inadequate. He is preposterously bad. He is staggeringly, breathtakingly, ridiculously bad. There is nothing to compare him with. He is number zero — with a bullet.
And yet Donald Trump was not finished. With only a scant two weeks to go, this spectacularly bad man, this one-term loser, this man who couldn’t even manage a presidential honeymoon, attacked his own country. Even some of his staunchest defenders were shocked. He scored the ultimate own-goal. Donald Trump committed treason, and he did it — as he did every crime he ever committed — right out in the open for all to see.
As of noon today, January 20, 2021, the last of Donald Trump’s good luck will die, never to be revived. Donald John Trump: You’re fired! And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.