The President of the United States is petty. We knew it, but he just confirmed it. When we all woke up this morning, the flag at the White House was at full staff. And full disclosure, the details are revealing, and in the big scheme of things not that important. This is protocol, and it only matters because it reveals the man in the White House who believes himself to be better than anybody in the world, and above the law.
Trump is trying to make the matter about himself, And to a point he has succeeded. The talking heads are talking about how this is an insult to veterans, John McCain, his family…instead of major complicated matters of policy. And for the record, it is a major insult, But that is what this president wants us to talk about, not any other news he may prefer we do not learn off.
Then there is this. Senator McCain did all the preparations for his own funeral. And I cannot blame him for not wanting the President of the United States present at it. After all, Trump insulted him, and called him a coward, for becoming a prisoner of war. Reportedly McCain also wanted Barack Obama and George W Bush to give the eulogies. Again, none can blame the Senator for that. However, this president cannot stand to be left out of another place he can make it all about himself.
So lets ignore for the moment the characters in this particular chapter of this particular nasty play. Trump is very petty. He has shown this repeatedly.
You need examples? By tradition presidents are the commander in chief of the armed forces. They are expected to call the bereaved family members of the fallen. Rememberer when he called Myeshia Johnson? She is the widow of Sgt La David Johnson, who was killed in Africa early in Trump’s term. To say that the call did not go well, and Trump tried to make it about himself is part of this pattern.
Then there are the names he called Jeb Bush, that were all but polite and broke all kinds of protocol. This was early in the 2015 campaign. So Trump did not attend the funeral of Barbara Bush, at the family’s request. He sent his wife, and that weekend, he did not have the god given sense to lay low either.
He breached protocol when he visited Queen Elizabeth II. And while we may chafe at the role of the royal family, there is still how things are properly done.
This president has embraced conspiracy theories, and attacked his predecessor like all the time. He has also asked, even demanded, the jailing of his political enemies. This is not just red meat for an activated base that would accept a dictator. It is about Trump, and his personal needs.
In this case, he had to be reminded by the Foreign Legion of what was required from him. Of course, he has partially made it about himself. This is what bullies do. So the best we can do as a nation, is to accept we have a five year old in the White House, who has the extreme need to make all about himself. If there is something narcissists do not do well with, is precisely when you point at them, and laugh. It is past time.
And indeed, the Emperor has no clothes…
So remember, don’t get angry. In fact, just ignore him. That is the best thing you can do for yourself, but perhaps the nation too, These outbursts are frequent, they cannot be normalized, for they are hardly normal, but we need to avoid making a big deal out of them. That is what Trump wants.
As to the Senator. I am sure he would understand if we simply ignored the flag on top of the White House. It is not about the flag, it is about the child that currently lives in the White House and is trying to push our collective buttons and make us very angry. Trust me, I knew bullies in my time. I recognize one, and Trump is one of the worst types.