A book that was released last Tuesday contains a sensational anecdote. The book, “Devil’s Bargain” by Bloomberg’s Joshua Green, claims that Donald Trump fired former campaign manager Paul Manafort for treating him “like a baby.” Read that as: Treating him like he is.
A New York Times article came out last August that claimed Manafort would go on television to get Trump’s attention, which is akin to picking up a toy to distract a child. Trump was outraged when he heard this, and he said the following:
“You think you’ve gotta go on TV to talk to me? You treat me like a baby!” Trump said.
“Am I like a baby to you? I sit there like a little baby and watch TV and you talk to me? Am I a fucking baby, Paul?”
I can understand why Trump would feel like he was being treated like a baby, but what he clearly failed to realize is that he is one. There is a mountain of evidence to support this assertion. In order to establish how the average baby behaves, I decided to look at some articles aimed at teaching parents what to expect from their new child.
In terms of emotional development, a PBS article states that the average baby “shows pleasure when familiar adults are nearby.” Babies like familiar and friendly faces. It’s not hard to see how Trump exhibits this. Trump almost exclusively watches Fox News, because it reinforces his ideals, and Fox anchors are aware of this and tends to be overly complimentary of him on air. CNN’s Brian Stelter has called it Trump’s “safe space.” What a snowflake, huh?
Outside of his news consumption, Trump has created his own little safe space in his administration. It’s well known that Trump essentially only appoints or nominates people he believes are “loyal” to him (read: sycophants), which would appear to demonstrate that he can’t handle even the slightest challenges to his decisions or his leadership. In an effort to find people who are deranged enough to be loyal to someone like him, he often hires people who have worked for him previously to fill positions they have no experience in, like when he appointed his son’s wedding planner to help run the office that oversees federal housing programs in New York.
Another characteristic of a baby that the aforementioned PBS article lists is that a baby knows its own name and “uses ‘my’ and ‘me’ often, and with pride.” I’m not sure if I even need to unpack that for you, but I’ll do it anyway. Everyone knows Trump loves to talk about himself. He constantly uses the phrase “believe me,” he said, “I alone can fix it” about the government during the presidential campaign, and he is certainly overflowing with undeserved pride. Furthermore, here’s what he said when he was asked if he has any heroes:
Like a child, Trump is obsessed with himself, and he thinks he's the only person who matters. The man has an ego the size of Antarctica, but unlike Antarctica, it shows no signs of shrinking.
The PBS article also states a baby “tends to express and act on impulses; has tantrums when tired or frustrated.” I think this aspect of being a child is best illustrated by Trump's incessant tweeting. Though many in Trump's administration and beyond have tried to get Trump to stop going on Twitter rampages, he continues. He simply cannot help himself, and he doesn't care what anyone else thinks about it. It would be one thing if Trump went on rants about policies and political skirmishes, but he can't even stop himself from lashing out at celebrities and reporters who have been critical of him. I'm sure we're all aware of his recent Twitter tantrum over “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski. We don't even have to touch the fact he regularly tweets that someone or something is “Very unfair!” Can you think of a more childish outcry?
All of this is to say: Yes, Donald Trump, you are a child. Your tantrums, your self-obsession and your inability to handle criticism are all very child-like. Unfortunately for us, that means a child is in charge of our nuclear arsenal and that a child will decide if climate change will doom the entire population. That, I think, is very unfair.