I’ve been covering President Donald Trump a lot. There are actually a couple of reasons for this: First, let’s face it, he’s comedy gold. Second, and most importantly, Trump campaigned on an anti-establishment message, promising the Republican far-right electorate stuff what the Tea Party was unable to do during the Obama-years. Therefore, from the start, from a policy-perspective, I’ve been taking Trump seriously. Because, to his supporters — many of whom have been waiting for a politician like him to come to power — his campaign promises were not a joke. He listened to the narrative that was fed by right-wing talk radio and he made it his own. He energized the Republican electorate in the same way that Bernie Sanders fired up a group of the Democratic electorate, both responding to the issues that they — respectively, and apart from another — believed to be most urgent.
Because the reality-star gone politician was a daily news item for 18 months due to his outlandish statements and campaign rhetoric, some opinion makers — in fact, his critics, I believe them to be mostly — didn’t take Trump seriously. When he was talking about having a “very good brain,” a lot of people thought he might just be making stuff up for viewership ratings; when, in fact, Trump has a profound personality disorder and, let’s be honest here, has a real chance of suffering from dementia.
After covering Trump for almost two years, listening to his speeches and interviews, I have concluded that he believes his campaign rhetoric is actual reality. His worldview is a zero-sum game; winner takes all. He doesn’t believe in friendly nations or coalitions. In fact, the liberal worldview — that by working together, both sides gain more than by competition — that previously made the United States the biggest economy in the world, conflicts starkly with his ego-centrism.
Although Trump’s policy proposals and executive orders are enough reason to be alarmed, it is mostly Trump’s outlandish personality that troubles me. It defines his political worldview to the point that I’ve come to understand this week that Trump will NOT, in any way, moderate himself. It is because of his lack of affection to the people around him and how he perceives the world to be that there is reason for everyone reading this to be thoughtful and informed about what is going to happen next. I do not exaggerate when I state that the presidency of Trump is the worst global event that has happened in our lifetimes. Everyone should be aware of his actions and what implications these might have on our livelihoods.
Where former-President Barack Obama’s loving gestures to his wife and kids are clear reminders of how a human being is supposed to behave, even as he’s holding public office, Trump will impose his rule on the United States and the world for the sake of imposing his view on reality and what actual “facts” are. Yet, and let me try to emphasize this in the best to my abilities: there is no need to worry (yet). Yes, you should be alarmed about what a democratic state has elected for public office, but there are checks and balances in US democracy. To what extent Trump defines “ruling a country” by executive orders without budgets from Congress, thus working only as a marketing campaign, remains to be seen. For now, let me leave you with this: As long as people of all standings use the power of their voice, popular outcries like The Women’s March and even late night comedy shows can help everyone remember what life feels like in an open society. I’m not specifically talking about the right to freedom of speech; I’m talking about what caring individuals can mean to one another. I’m also talking about what joy we can experience when exercising our right to vote a hate-monger out of office (I’m looking at you, Geert Wilders). I’m talking about the sentimentalities that we share about President Barack Obama and that as the greatest liberal leader of our lifetimes, — whatever may happen in the following months and years to come — his take on an inclusive world should be our reference point moving forward.