Trump thinks he is so rich, famous and athletic that he can skip a real campaign, said his enemy Karl Rove.
Today, Rove might write that Trump thinks he is so rich, famous and athletic that he can skip the real work of presidency.
The campaign trail, the show, the stump speeches were something that Trump enjoyed.
Now, the knuckle hard work of delivering real change begins. Trump doesn’t seem to enjoy that as much. He seems happy to leave the core functions of running his administration to others preferring to court the spot light of impromptu press conferences that are a total waste of time.
Unfortunately, Trump’s enemies have been playing on his weakness, on his vanity, to wheedle themselves into his administration and sabotage it. Either Trump is monstrously vain or he is being blackmailed by the banks or someone else to destroy his own government.
His failure to make a correction to the team responsible for the catastrophic past two weeks cannot, however, be explained only by blackmail. A dangerous vanity came to the fore yesterday when he misused his office to make himself, and not his policies, the main topic of an impromptu press conference and also to deny the obvious chaos only them to suggest that this was his greatest press conference ever.
The siren song of Jared Kushner (allegedly enjoying a credit line from George Soros), Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus whispering to him that they know how to make America great again with the help of Goldman Sachs without him having to bother putting in the hard work himself must sound honeysweet to a man who would rather spend 77 minutes before the TV cameras ranting about fake media than making calls or talking to Robert Harward to recruit him to a key post as his administration falls into chaos.
The soothing tones of Rush Limbaugh telling him that his press conference was greatest ever must sound good to a man whose vain outburst had just helped repell a top vice admiral for the key job of national security council in a huge blow to Trump’s credibility.
It must be tempting to Trump to retreat further into a fantasy world, to listen to the Siren song of his heroic deeds and to ignore his flaws.
But there is only so long, Trump can listen to the Sirens before his ship hits the island and he is left there to linger and perish.
Trump may not have read Homer. But he might be wise now to read the episode about the Sirens or the Lotus Eaters. Then he might get some clue about what his fate may be if he continues to put his vanity before reality.
It’s possible to read the Sirens episode literally. But it is also possible to read it as a metaphor about the dangers of human beings nourishing illusions and fantasies about themselves while neglecting the real world, full of messiness, complications and challenges. that cost real effort to overcome
The song of the Sirens is honeysweet. It is about Odysseus. It celebrates his famous exploits in Troy. In short, the promise of the Sirens is to make Odysseus the centre of their beautiful songs and celebrate his past, heroic deeds for his entertainment, the ultimate temptation for any self obsessed vain egomaniac.
But the price of listening to their flattering songs, of drifting into the past, into a fantasy world, is death.
Circe warns Odysseus that anyone who succumbs to the temptation of listening to the Sirens will die.
“Whoever draws too close,
off guard, and catches the Sirens’ voices in the air —
no sailing home for him, no wife rising to meet him,
no happy children beaming up at their father’s face.
The high, thrilling song of the Sirens will transfix him.
lolling there in their meadow, round them heaps of corpses,
rotting away, rags of skin shriveling on their bones …,” says Circe
As Odysseus nears the island where the Sirens are, he lashes himself against a mast after plugging the ears of his sailors with beeswax following the advice of the goddess Circe, showing he respects her and recognizes his limitations. The sailors row towards the island of the Sirens. There is a sudden lull in the wind, increasing the power of their songs.
“the wind fell in an instant,
all glazed to a dead calm …
a mysterious power hushed the heaving swells.”
The Sirens recognize Odysseus, flatter him and offer to celebrate his deeds and also give him knowledge.
“Come closer, famous Odysseus — ^Achaea’s pride and glory —
moor your ship on our coast so you can hear our song!
Never has any sailor passed our shores in his black craft
until he has heard the honeyed voices pouring from our lips,
and once he hears to his heart’s content sails on, a wiser man.
We know all the pains that Achaeans and Trojans once endured
on the spreading plain of Troy when the gods willed it so —
all that comes to pass on the fertile earth, we know it all!’
Odysseus longs to take a break from his hard, dangerous voyage filled with pain and suffering, and listen to their sweet tones and guestures to the sailors to untie him. But they fasten him to the mast even tighter and get him through the adventure.
“So they sent their ravishing voices out across the air
and the heart inside me throbbed to listen longer.
1 signaled the crew with frowns to set me free —
they flung themselves at the oars and rowed on harder,
Perimedes and Eurylochus springing up at once
to bind me faster with rope on chafing rope.”
In my view, Trump now has to make a fundamental decision. It is the same one Odysseus had to. Does he want to listen to the Siren songs of his self serving White House staff? Retreat into a fantasy world as he did yesterday during the press conference, remain in denial of the problems of his White House and administration, acting, frankly, rather like a frustrated, spoiled brat?
If so, he is facing impeachment very soon.
Or is he willing to lash his vanity to the mast, and focus on the facts? Will he respect his Circes, experienced advisors like James Mattis, Rex Tillerson and Chris Christie? Will he follow their advice and endure the long journey ahead to make America great again, by putting in the hard work, pulling the oars, trimming the sails, watching the wind, staying in contact with the real world, phoning Robert Harward, sitting down with him, giving him what Harward wants and needs, and not what Trump thinks he wants and needs.
Trump needs to start showing other people respect they deserve. He needs to take other people seriously again, recognize his limits.
A man like Harward has proven that he has been able to lash his vanity and ego to the mast over and over again. He was the top of his class of the toughest American special ops unit, the Seals. He has been engaged in wars, where he had to produce plans, strategies and results or risk death and injury of his men as well as defeat.
That’s not a man to mess with by stating some vain, talking head like KT McFarlane comes before Harward’s preferences and chosen team. Harward is not a loser like Bannon, Mnuchin Priebus and Kushner who wants to get on board his presidency at all costs to milk the US tax payers. Harward doesn’t need Trump. Trump needs him to deliver on his election promises. Far from needing Trump, Harward has implicitly suggested that he fears an association with Trump will ruin his reputation.
If Trump reconnects with reality and other people, he could succeed in getting back to a Ithaca, in a truly heroic achievement, acknowledged as such by generations of objective people, and not just by himself and the Siren voices of flatterers.
We will get an early clue as to whether Trump is ready to face the harsh reality constant decision making, responsibility, focus on other people if he finally fires the Siren singers Steve Bannon, Pierbus and Kushner and their crew, lulling him into thinking he has done more than he has and that his success it’s all about his image in the press.
If Trump does not get a grip on his vanity soon, my bet is the deep state that put him into power, will consign him to the rubbish bin of history as fast as he consigned the transition plan of Chris Christie to the bin on one of his vain whims after listening to the Siren song of Kushner.
America can’t afford a vain fool at the helm at this dangerous time as General Raymond Thomas hinted. The elite US soldier said the “unbelievable turmoil” of Trump’s team is hampering the fight against ISIS.
And that was even before Trump’s rant yesterday about how his government is running like a finely tuned machine and how unfairly the fake press treat him to be followed up today by a self indulgent tweet about how nice it was of Rush Limbaugh to make flattering statements about his rant. Where was the tweet about his plan to get Harward back on board? Or about what a great guy Harward is? By a tweet of appreciation, Trump could signal he has understood he can not treat this high achieving, widely respected military officer and executive like a door mat.
Trump has even managed to alienate Mike Pompeio, his new CIA director, by suggesting the intelligence agency is hiding information from him in public.
Pompeio has now been forced to deny the accusation publicly. This new spat adds to the impression that Trump is just interested in picking a fight for the sake of it with everyone, rather than in finding a solution to the very real problem of Globalist moles and leakers in the US government bureaucracy.
Trump will have deserved his failure. He has had enough warnings. The rebuff of Robert Harward is the most serious signal yet that the ship his presidency is hitting the rocks after less than one month. All this due to his failure to get a grip on his dysfunctional team of fifth rate, self serving sycophants.
We all have to hope Trump grows up and lashes his out of control vanity to the mast and sails past the Soros Sirens he has surrounded himself with to get back on track.
He will have to eat humble pie and start treating men like Haward and Pompeio and Christie with respect and bring in a whole new team of professionals to run the White House, who do not flatter, soothe or pander to him 24 7 , but urge him to focus on America.
If not, he should do the decent thing and step down. If he steps down soon, he may still salvage something of his reputation and influence, and be able to manoeuvre his sons into the presidency and vice presidency with his daughter to follow later. All of them seem likeable, intelligent, solid, real world people who can put their job before their ego.