• 66°

Cal Thomas: For Trump, what might have been

“For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.’ ”

— John Greenleaf Whittier

By Cal Thomas

There are many things beyond human control, among them, when and where you were born and who your parents are. As President Trump leaves office, he will have time, but perhaps not much time given that his enemies seek to destroy his businesses and his chance for running again for any office, to contemplate what went wrong.

Before he announced for president, if a pollster had asked voters whether they would vote to grant a second term for a president who has accomplished what Trump has in foreign and domestic policy, I suspect the response would have been a resounding “yes.”

History is full of incidents where people have self-destructed by giving in to the furies of their lower nature.

In a speech last week that was too little, too late, President Trump spent a little more than five minutes addressing the nation from the Oval Office.

The president’s tone was, well, presidential. For a change he didn’t claim to have won the election; he didn’t blame “fake news.” Instead, he denounced violence and urged his supporters not to participate in it during Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Choose your analogy. This was a case of closing the barn door after the horse had escaped or calling the fire department after a building has been consumed by flames.

Trump’s problem has been diagnosed by amateurs and professionals as malignant narcissism. The Mayo Clinic defines it as: “People with narcissistic personality disorder may be generally unhappy and disappointed when they’re not given the special favors or admiration they believe they deserve. They may find their relationships unfulfilling, and others may not enjoy being around them.”

According to Mayo, narcissists have “…an exaggerated sense of self-importance; have a sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration; exaggerate achievements and talents; monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior; behave in an arrogant or haughty manner, coming across as conceited, boastful and pretentious.”

Don’t these symptoms perfectly fit Donald Trump?

Mayo says there is no known cause for this disorder.

The list of Trump’s accomplishments is long, but many will be undone by his successor and that is the biggest tragedy. Trump let his personality disorder become the issue and not his push-back against the Washington establishment, which will regain control.

Government will again dictate what is good for us. Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion spending plan for virus relief and vaccine distribution will swell the national debt and incentivize American dependency. Opening up businesses with caution and allowing people to earn a check, rather than getting a check from the government, which will addict more people to Washington and to Democrats, is the best cure for our economic ailment.

Trump may have won a second term, even as the coronavirus raged, had he not made everything about him.

Can he come back? After losing to John F, Kennedy for the presidency in 1960 and the California governor’s race to Pat Brown in 1962, Nixon attempted to re-cast himself as the “new Nixon” in the 1968 presidential race. He won and then won a second term in a landslide in 1972, but the old Nixon returned. The Watergate affair and the subterfuge that preceded it and followed it led to his political downfall.

If Trump is to come back, assuming Congress doesn’t bar him from future office, he needs the equivalent of a religious conversion and it must be seen as genuine. That, too, may be out of his control, which is why he should consult a power higher than himself and try putting on a cloak of humility.

Email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribpub.com.   

Comments

Nation/World

Clinton recovering from infection 

Crime

Teen charged in shooting at Mount Tabor High School held without bond

Nation/World

Marine officer receives reprimand for Afghanistan criticism

Elections

Beasley top fundraiser in third quarter for Senate race

Farm & Garden

Nearly 1-ton pumpkin sets record at state fair

High School

High school football: Loeblein throws record six TD passes for Falcons; Cavs, Hornets romp

Nation/World

UK lawmaker stabbed to death in terrorist act

Crime

Cooleemee man arrested after trading gunfire with Davie County investigators in Rowan

Elections

Salisbury council candidates list crime reduction, hiring a new city manager among city’s top priorities

Crime

Blotter: Man charged with trio of vehicle break-ins

Coronavirus

Catawba College will require COVID-19 vaccinations in 2022

Local

City selects Sada Stewart Troutman as new Downtown Salisbury Inc. director

Local

Rowan Republicans’ Lincoln-Reagan Dinner brings conservatives together for night of speeches, awards

High School

Photos: South Rowan volleyball team’s Senior Night, Falcons’ unblemished SPC season

Coronavirus

Four new COVID-19 deaths make 433 in Rowan since start of pandemic

Nation/World

Bill Clinton in hospital for non-COVID-related infection

Local

Quotes of the week

High School

High school volleyball: West edges South for unbeaten SPC season

Coronavirus

FDA panel endorses lower-dose Moderna COVID shot for booster

Nation/World

Full pension restored for FBI official fired under Trump

News

Former Gov. Perdue leading standardized testing board

Elections

Salisbury mayoral candidates Alexander, Heggins talk leadership style during Chamber of Commerce forum

Local

Photos: Rowan deputy’s funeral procession passes through downtown Salisbury

Crime

24-year-old man jailed for kidnapping, rape charges