Friends of Padre Steve’s World,
It seems like nearly every day we are treated to a new round of manic midnight tweeting by our President, usually because he has been criticized by someone or has went into a rage over after watching the conspiracy theorists and propagandists who support him.
He lashes out like a trapped animal the rage barely concealed by the power of his office. Even his official photograph looks like he is about to scream and rip someone’s head off. I have seen the official photos or portraits of every American President and while some show some sense of serious strength, none exude the anger that drips from the pixels of his photo.
In the past thirteen months I have observed that it is criticism of any kind that gets the President most worked up, it is as if his skin is so thin that any criticism will make him bleed. He shows all the signs of being a narcissistic personality, and seems to revel in his role as the enfant terribles of the Western World.
His response to criticism is that of the quintessential bully, or the abusive husband or father who cannot be criticized without fear of punishment. Now his temper is moved beyond attacking perceived enemies at home to threatening nuclear war in Korea, launching a trade war with our closest allies under the guise of national security, and protecting Vladimir Putin and Russia, foreign power that not only has set out to divide us, interfere with our elections, but which threatens us with new nuclear weapons.
He doesn’t fear power or institutions, he has done his best to undermine all three branches of government and has no respect for the Constitution. He attacks and Yet at the same time he demonstrates a profound fear of words and ideas that he cannot control, thus his constant attempts to shut down debate, discredit democratic institutions, the institutions of government, the press, and even private citizens. Of course there is his unusual penchant for going after very same critics who have no power other than their ideas and the words that they speak.
I am reminded of Winston Churchill’s who wrote:
“You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police … yet in their hearts there is unspoken fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts: words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home — all the more powerful because forbidden — terrify them. A little mouse of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic.”
That is what I believe we are seeing from our President and those closest to him. They have power, real power that with the exception of the courts, neither the Congress nor much of bureaucracy has not seen fit to check. Even so one after another they have resigned, been fired, or come under investigation. Reputations have been ruined by mere association with the President and others are imploding. Former associates are speaking with Special Prosecutor Muller, and he still lashed out berating and humiliating those
These are not the actions of a leader committed to the democratic ideals of our Republic nor the constraints of the Constitution, law, precedent, and tradition.
This is frightening to watch as the President more isolated than ever flails against enemies real and imagined while bringing the nation and world closer to a Götterdämmerung of the President and his party’s making, provided words do not fell him before he can.