Obama & Trump — More Alike Than We’d Like to Think

I’ve been trying to put together a jumbo Trump analysis but it refuses to come together so I’m simply going to post a series of random thoughts on The Donald. Good and bad.

Trump is very much like Obama. Both are extremely egotistical; arrogant; narcissistic; thin-skinned; rude; condescending; unforgiving and hold grudges; uncompromising; imperial; bombastic & bloviating; love the sound of their own voice; hyperconfident in their own judgment; hyperconfident in their knowledge (even on things they know nothing about and never previously thought about); feel they are infallible; neither will admit mistakes; eagerly make things up; brook no disagreement; seek to humiliate enemies (real or perceived); take no prisoners; are completely lacking in humility; refuse to take responsibility for failures and love to blame others; encourage cult of personality behavior; do not believe in teamwork; seem to have few real or long-time friends or political allies; neither is a team player; both demand and expect to be the center of attention (all the time), if they are not the center of attention they will leave… both are a mile wide and an inch deep.

Neither is what you’d call a details person. Both lose interest in projects after the big press conference announcement.

Trump won’t admit he’s not a deep thinker but it’s obvious he isn’t and he doesn’t pretend to be one. On the other hand, Obama has a media-generated reputation as a deep thinker and tries to act like one but it’s clear he isn’t one either.

Neither is physically gifted, talented or blue collar though Obama likes to pretend he’s a decent basketball player (he’s not). Trump can hobnob decently with blue collar workers (at least while the cameras are rolling) while Obama clearly has a disdain for them (beyond what he can use them politically for).

Both like stirring up mobs and surfing them. Both are good at it, too. Both are for big government.

I’ll note one significant difference — Obama is more ideological than Trump. He is a committed leftist of the moderate socialist variety (though trending towards harder socialism). Trump will be whatever he needs to be to get his way or what he wants. That’s how he’s been able to move from Hillary Clinton fundraisers to Republican town halls. Whether he even holds his current signature issue, an anti-immigration stance, strongly, I have no idea.

Both are, frankly, wholly lacking in the traditional presidential disposition. Obama has admitted that he wants to radically transform the country. Clearly he wouldn’t mind tearing it apart since he views it as illegitimate. It dawned on me when Trump eagerly ditched the last pre-Iowa debate, that Trump would happily destroy the Republican party to get the nomination (because it’s all about The Donald). I have little doubt that he’d probably be at war with Congress and the courts the first time that they didn’t snap to when he demanded something or issued his own executive orders. That would likely continue for his whole term.

It’s odd that in a time when it has become clear that a certain disposition is not good for a president, that someone very similar is a possible successor.


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