There are a lot of qualifications one should have if they want to run for President, but “actually wanting the damn job” should be chief among them.
Papaya Pol Pot never wanted to be President. What Donald Trump wanted was, essentially, to enter the race, give himself some nice, free publicity, and then to go back to The Apprentice, where he could berate people with actual college degrees that weren’t paid for by their father and oogle his daughter until he died. What Trump didn’t count on was his ability to con millions of disenfranchised white Americans to join his cause. Trump never expected to win. He was thinking about starting his own network, which, spoiler-warning, would’ve failed like everything else he’s done.
But then he did win. And he’s been struggling against the current of that win ever since. All this old man wanted to do was sit back and count his alleged billions, and instead he got the one thing no wealthy white man wants.
An actual job.
Never has Donald Trump’s lack of desire to actually be the ruler of the free world been more evident that now, in the middle of a pandemic, where he is actively claiming that his role during a global health crisis is to be a “back-up” to the states. We’ve spent a long time calling Trump a would-be dictator, or an authoritarian. But while actual dictators and authoritarians are trying to capitalize on this crisis to gain power, Trump has repeatedly passed the buck, straight up refusing to take even the slightest amount of responsibility for his actions, or moreover, his absolute lack of action.
Trump doesn’t want to do shit but stay rich and die, and this crisis has ruined his ability to do so.
I’ve often said that any person who decides to run for the President has to be crazy. It takes a certified crazy person to look at this mess of a country, know that at least half of it will hate you regardless of if you improve their station or not, and know that youand you alone hold the fate not just of the country, but at times the fate of the entire damn Earth in your hands. Being President is fucking stressful, daunting, perilous work. And in a just country, only a handful of qualified nutjobs would ever attempt to do such a task.
Trump is on the opposite side of the spectrum. He never had a vision for the country beyond “maybe make it as good as it was in the 50s”. He never seemed ready or willing to take on the burden of leadership. Trump’s only real success came when people took the power to fuck shit up out of his hands and just let him work on relatively inexpensive goofs like Trump Steaks and Trump Water. His successful ventures like his line of overpriced hotels and crappy ties only became successful after his quasi-competent children were able to wrestle enough day-to-day control away from their lazy, belligerent father to get his stink off them.
Trump has never wanted to be a leader; he’s always wanted to be famous. At the end of the day, leaders have to take responsibilities for failures. Even the most pompous, asshole CEOs inherently understand that, even if “accepting responsibility for failure” mostly results in golden parachutes after “voluntarily stepping down” from positions of power. The most famous person on the planet is typically the President.
Fame is the only value Trump sees in the presidency, and it is part of why his response to the crisis has been so horrid. Whenever anyone warns that “Mike Pence would be a worse President because he knows how government works”, they ignore the fact that Pence, for all his moral failings, has some respect from the office. Or if nothing else, would want people to see him as respectable. Pence can’t be a worse President, because he fundamentally understands what the fuck Presidents do.
Trump doesn’t want to be President. He wants to be King. He wants to be what he was as a businessman; a largely ceremonial figurehead who fucks about doing mostly harmless bullshittery while actual human beings with intellect and brains do the hard work, while still talking about how great and smart he is. Trump wants a boardroom full of yes men fellating him over what a great idea a mortgage company is in the midst of a housing crisis, not generals and doctors and judges and, ya know, people with baseline context for how all this shit works going around telling him that he’s not doing a good job. Even a dictator has to kinda know how to govern. Trump can’t be arsed to even rise to the occasion of being evil in a way that resembles governance.
And we see what electing the fucking Hobgoblin to public office has done. Trump is doing what he’s always done; deflecting blame, refusing to take control and acting like a coward. There’s nothing new about the Donald Trump story. The only thing new is how now, there’s a death toll, and orders for body bags, and people actually looking to him for guidance, and balking when his ideas are literal, actual shit.
You have to be a supremely confident cloud cuckookoolander to want to be President. Trump is deeply insecure. He has no fucking idea what he’s doing and he fucking knows it. He keeps insisting everything is fine because the reality that shit is deeply not fine would give him an anxiety attack. His lack of empathy and inability has been honed through years of thinking he isn’t worth a shit. Confronting the reality that he’s not would only hurt him more.
Trump had another press conference in which he dodged, deflected, and laid blame at the hands of desperate governors who are being left to compete against each other for resources because he will not act. He sent millions of dollars in aid to China (his sworn enemy), but thus far, has only seemed to actively help out Ron DeSantis, a Trump loyalist who won’t say anything bad about him. This time he talked far less than he normally does, but he still managed to say dumb, misinformed shit, like “scarves are thicker than masks” and repeated lies about how many ventilators he’s shopped. He’s repeated assertions that he’s “doing more than anyone else could do” are…well, they’re just straight up lies.
And let’s not get started on the Democrats looking to elect another sunsetting old man who didn’t seem to want to run for President, but who nevertheless seems well on his way to becoming President by hook or by crook anyway. At least “our guy” (in the biggest imaginable air quotes) who doesn’t want to be President will hire human beings who actually know what their jobs are and how to execute them properly. Probably. Hopefully.
We live in a culture that has spent decade upon decade telling us that our votes don’t matter, that any jabroni with a pulse can be President because the President can’t actually do anything, and that Presidential ambition (especially from women) is a trait to be mocked and annoyed by. Now, we’re haunted by these lies, and fucking Jack-O-Lattern occupies the White House, and he’s proving on a day by day basis on how to completely fuck up in a crisis. People are dying. The President could’ve prevented deaths early this year, before the crisis, and he did nothing. He could’ve ramped up federal efforts to make ventilators and stockpile supplies when the first cases were reported. He did nothing. 5,000 Americans have died, and the “rosey” analysis that proves Trump is doing a good job is “only 200,000 Americans” dying, and he still refuses to do anything. He has retreated into the shadows like Homer into a shrub. He has shown his incompetence is fucking spades and thousands, if not millions of Americans will fill the wrath of it.
By the way; half the country still think Trump is doing a good job handling the crisis.
For fuck’s sake.