President Donald Trump's own worst enemy is himself, a fact CNN News anchor Anderson Cooper made clear during a segment on his show "Anderson Cooper 360."
“‘The president of the United States is the most powerful person in the world. The president is the spokesman for democracy and liberty," Cooper read from a book. "'Isn’t it time we brought back the pomp and circumstance and the sense of awe for that office that we all held?’”
"The writer went on to say, ‘That means everyone in the administration should look and act professionally, especially the president,’” he continued. “The writer concludes, ‘Impressions matter.’”
Cooper was quoting from "Crippled America: How To Make America Great Again." Ironically, it's the book "written" by Trump in an attempt to give his 2016 run for the presidency a soul. However, it's turned out to be vapid lip-service like the rest of his campaign.
Perhaps the most disturbing thing about Trump's presidency is how, as time goes on, the preposterous becomes normal. When he attacks journalists in unhinged Twitter rants and repeatedly goes after America's free press, it becomes increasingly easier to disregard it as "just something Trump does." Yet Trump is not the troubled man shuffling by us in the street shouting obscenities. Trump has power. Trump is the president of the United States.
“It’s not normal,” Cooper said in the segment. ”This is the most powerful man on the face of the entire planet. A man struggling to fulfill promises he’s made on health care reform and a whole host of other issues lashing out personally at a cable news anchor, making snide comments and allegations about her appearance.”
In the world of functional adults, a good person would apologize if they'd said the things Trump has said. Cooper points out that Trump's thin-skinned strategy is to send out his spokespeople to "do just the opposite."
After the world erupted over the president's Twitter attacks on "Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, Trump made no public appearance nor amends. Instead, deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did as she was told and made excuses for him on television, insisting that the he is a "tough" man who "fights fire with fire."
“Donald Trump is many things, but tough is not one of them,” Cooper disagreed. "Tough is fighting for the health care reforms he actually campaigned on. Tough is rising above insults and actually leading. What our president does is not a display of toughness. It's a display of weakness of character, of thinness of skin."
We live in a nation, not a mafia, and Trump is no Don Corleone. When someone strikes at him, there is no striking back because the leader of the United States must always take the higher road, the wiser road, the road more considered. Even when the temptation to succumb to weakness is strong, the desire to be a symbol of humanity's better angels must always be stronger. That's what a true leader does.
So what is Trump?
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters