How quickly was the great hard man reduced to sterile indignation. Last night, on Fox News, Rich Lowry proposed caustically that Carly Fiorina had, let’s say, “neutered” Donald Trump during the most recent primary debate, and that she had done so with all the precision of a surgeon. In an instant, the whining began. “Incompetent @RichLowry lost it tonight on @FoxNews,” Trump griped on Twitter. “He should not be allowed on TV and the FCC should fine him!” A few moments later, the lip wobbled out of control and the tears began to flow. “@FoxNews owes me an apology for allowing clueless pundit @RichLowry to use such foul language on TV,” Trump mewled. “Unheard of!”
The diehard among Trump’s fans like to claim that they are in search of a straight-talking Teddy Roosevelt type who will be capable of repelling Washington’s corrupting slings and arrows with his Great American Hide of Steel. In the wake of such an embarrassing display of frailty, one has to wonder how these people are feeling today.
In the last month alone, Trump has threatened to sue a small-time T-shirt maker whose products bear critical slogans (“Donald Is Dumb,” “Stop Trump,” and “America Is Already Great”); he has attempted to begin legal proceedings against the Club for Growth on the grounds that it has had the temerity to oppose him and his policies (this, Trump says, is “defamation” — a stunted and preposterous piece of legal analysis that lends some credibility to the messages on the aforementioned t-shirts); and he has expressed a desire to use the federal government to censor unpliable journalists for the high crime of being amusing on television. That neither lawsuit has a shot in hell — and, indeed, that the FCC doesn’t actually have any jurisdiction over cable news — does not seem to matter much. What matters is that Donald Trump feels hurt, and that he doesn’t like it one bit.
Send in the bayonets, kids, we have some classy, classy tears to forestall.
#share#That it might be unwise to give nuclear weapons to a man who routinely seeks revenge against even the most modest of quibblers seems not to have occurred to the 25 percent or so of the Republican primary voters who are at present sitting on Trump’s bandwagon. For the rest of us, though, I shall make the point clear: This is not a person who should be given access to a military — or even, for that matter, to a modest bully pulpit. Among the media figures that Trump has thus far called upon to be fired are Lowry (for suggesting that Carly cut him down to size in the testicles department), Jonah Goldberg (for proposing that he “behaves like a “14-year-old girl”), Stephen Hayes (for noting correctly that he is not a conservative), George Will (for arguing that he is a fraud), Charles Krauthammer (for discussing his unpopularity), Chuck Todd (for implying that he isn’t a serious person), Megyn Kelly (for . . . asking questions), and Hugh Hewitt (for the same offense). When maligned, Abraham Lincoln picked up his pen or arranged a debate. Donald Trump takes immediately to Twitter and shouts, “take him off the air!”
Why does Trump behave this way? Because he’s a preposterous little trust-fund wuss, that’s why.
Why does Trump behave this way? Because he’s a preposterous little trust-fund wuss, that’s why. As was illustrated once again last night, the man is not really a “fighter” or an “alpha male” or an iron-cored “enemy of political correctness.” He’s a thin-skinned performance artist whose peculiar shtick falls to pieces the moment someone useful elects to return a punch. Look through Trump’s recent Twitter contributions and you will see a wounded man who is always a few harsh phrases and a modicum of bad publicity away from curling up in an oversized sweater and listening to “Everybody Hurts” on repeat.
#related#By modern custom, American presidents are supposed to be beacons of hope — steely figures in a dangerous world. They aren’t supposed to have a “hard time” watching Fox News because a quick-witted guest happens to dislike them. They aren’t supposed to reach for the ice cream and stomp their Lilliputian feet if they consider that the press is treating them “unfairly.” And, in a free country such as America, they certainly aren’t supposed to react to each and every disparagement by asking which laws they might use to silence their detractors.
It is one thing for a rebellious 3-year old to soil himself at the sign of trouble, and then to shout “Daddyyyyyyyyyyaaa” at the radiator; it is quite another for the prospective leader of the free world to do so. If Trump wishes to police the country’s sharper purveyors of political animadversion — and to carp impotently about “injustice” and “unfairness” — he really shouldn’t be seeking the White House. He should be using his considerable inherited wealth to better fund the anti-Mean Words department at Oberlin.
Make America Pathetic Again? Let’s not go there.