Donald J. Trump is not a Bully!
"I approach Donald Trump as..and it's not just about being a rich kid or a thing like that. I approach Donald Trump as what you kind of see in him when you really watch him....There's a pretense. There's something creative about him in a sense of bullydom, but what he is, I believe...is a brat.
I want the Taj Mahal. I want the Taj Mahal. I want the Taj Mahal...Brat."
- Johnny Depp (1)
If you haven't checked out Johnny Depp's portrayal of Donald Trump on Funny or Die, do yourself a favor and give it a looksy. It's spot-on and hilarious. The quote above is from a Q&A at Arizona State University where Depp explains his approach to playing Trump.
Depp's take on Trump's true nature kind of blew my mind. My perception of Trump changed instantly. Yes, of course. Trump is not really a bully. Donald aspires to be a bully, but he's just a spoiled brat.
Spoiled Brats Throw Tantrums
"I want a party with roomfuls of laughter
Ten thousand ton of ice cream
And if I don't get the things I am after
I'm going to SCREAM!!!!"
- Veruca Salt/Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
How does Trump "attack" someone? He gives them a dumb nickname. He lashes out on Twitter. He calls them a "sleaze" or "crooked" at a press conference. He makes senseless comments about the ethnicity or gender or intellect of those who don't see things his way. He threatens to sue them.
When spoiled brats don't get what they want, they scream, they pout, they threaten to hold their breath until they turn orange. Trump wants unquestioning adoration and loyalty, which he feels he has coming. If anyone says "Hey Baby Donald, maybe you should eat those gummy worms after dinner so you don't ruin your appetite?" Time for a Twitter Tantrum! #gummihater #snackblockingloser #MakeAmericaDeliciousAgain
Spoiled Brats Are Really Really Really Selfish
"I want the works
I want the whole works
Presents and prizes and sweets and surprises
Of all shapes and sizes, And now...
Don't care how, I want it NOW!
Don't care how, I want it NOW!"
- Veruca Salt/Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
When a spoiled brat wants that cool new remote control Star Wars BB-8 Droid they just saw on YouTube, ya better get it for them and get it quick. They don't care if Toys 'R Us and Amazon are out of stock. They don't care how much it costs. They don't care how long and hard you have to work to get the money to pay for the gadget. Like Veruca said, "Don't care how, I want it NOW!" Their worldview extends only as far as their personal desires at that precise moment.
They have no empathy for others. And why should they? They face no consequences for bad behavior. The rod has been spared, the child has been spoiled.
Perhaps, lack of empathy is what I find most dangerous and disturbing about spoiled brats generally and Donald Trump specifically. When your only concern is what you want at a given moment, you grant yourself license to do or say anything to anyone without any regard for their wellbeing as long as it helps you get what you desire. The clinical term for this is sociopathy. It's an affliction of dictators and serial killers.
Trump University is a stark example. Donald Trump wanted money. If the mechanism for getting money was to take advantage of vulnerable people who were desperate to make their lives better, vulnerable people who looked up to you, who believed in you, well....screw 'em. They're sheep. They are objects. They are fish to be hooked. And as the great Kurt Cobain sang: "It's ok to eat fish. 'Cause they don't have any feelings."
For me a defining moment of how I view Donald Trump is last fall when he ridiculed a New York Times reporter named Serge Kovaleski. Mr. Kovaleski has a condition called Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita. It's congenital and characterized by severe joint contractures and muscle weakness. You have a limited range of motion in your arms and legs because an abnormal fibrosis causes your muscles to shorten. Your arms curve inward at the elbow.
But, Serge persevered beyond his disability. He migrated from South Africa to the US. Graduated from William and Mary's with a degree in Philosophy. Hell, he even helped The New York Times win a Pulitzer Prize with his reporting on Eliot Spitzer.
Donald disagreed with Serge's interpretation of a story Serge himself wrote for the Washington Post about 9/11. So how did the Mighty Trump go after the Pulitzer Prize winning Serge?
He mocked his disability.
" 'Now the poor guy, you ought to see this guy', Mr. Trump said, before jerking his arms around and holding his right hand at an angle."
- Donald Trump (Campaign Rally, Myrtle Beach, S.C.) (2)
Wow. What the hell is wrong with this man? How can one have so little empathy or respect for another human being? It's beyond despicable. It's shameful. It's sad.
But, that's the nature of a spoiled brat I suppose. Other people aren't actually people, they are just objects that bring you toys when your little hands want to play and candy when your fat belly growls. And, if they don't bring you what you want? Tantrum Time! Attack their disability. Attack their appearance. Attack their ethnicity. Nothing is off limits.
All apologies if I'm getting too heavy. And, I do want to clarify, that although I have been fairly harsh towards Donald Trump as a brat, I have nothing against the Bratz line of children's dolls. I think the Bratz toys and animated films are both elegant and sassy.
America: Land of the Free, Home of the Brats?
"I'm the most successful person ever to run for the presidency, by far. Nobody's ever been more successful than me. I'm the most successful person ever to run."
- Donald Trump (3)
Yes, of course you are Boo Boo. You are number one. What did that Thomas Jefferson nerd ever do anyway? Want a cookie?
America is too important, too powerful, too magnificent to be governed by a brat. George Washington was not a brat. He froze his butt off, crossing the Delaware on a frigid Christmas night in 1776 to launch a spectacular surprise attack against the Red Coats. Abraham Lincoln was not a brat. With almost super-human grace he endured scathing criticism and endless personal assault as he kept our country from breaking in two. FDR was not a brat. He transcended the potentially debilitating Polio he contracted at age 39. Although he could not stand without crude metal braces bound to his legs, he helped us stand against the infinite despondency of the great depression and the infinite barbarism of Hitler.
No, Donald J. Trump will not be The President of The United States of America. In a democracy you get the government you deserve. America deserves better than a spoiled brat.
1 - Rolling Stone, "Johnny Depp: Donald Trump is a Brat" 3-14-16
2 - New York Times, "Donald Trump Says His Mocking of New York Times Reporter Was Misread" 11-27-15
3 - USA Today, Nation Now Interview 6-2-15