The Corner

White House

Trump’s Tweets: Are We Sure This Is What ‘Fighting’ Looks Like?

(Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

I’m trying to think of the most charitable, reasonable explanation for Trump’s recent string of bizarre tweets. Why would the leader of the free world tweet approvingly a deranged compliment declaring that Israelis love him like he’s the “second coming of God”?

Why would he believe he could “order” American companies to change their business practices? Does he believe he can?

And what’s the justification for this?

Trump’s defenders constantly tell me that Trump’s outbursts — for all the political damage they cause — at least demonstrate that he “fights.” They at least demonstrate that he will resist the media and that he stands for the people who have no voice.

But in his recent outbursts, he looks less like a man who “fights” than a man who panics. He’s desperate for approval and prone to public temper tantrums in times of stress. He makes statements that are totally divorced from reality or from the actual powers and duties of his office. If you had a boss who acted like this in trying times, you wouldn’t cheer him for fighting. You’d be worried. You’d be trying desperately to get him to calm down.

In fact, we’ve all likely seen this behavior in the real world, and it’s disturbing and disconcerting when it’s the manager of a McDonald’s. It’s alarming when it’s a partner in a law firm. Can everyone but the rally Trumpists finally say that this behavior raises questions about his fitness for office?

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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