The stupendously irrelevant Donald Trump is back in the political limelight after attending the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa, where he delivered a speech to the state’s foremost gathering of socially regressive Christian extremists. As a result of Trump’s appearance in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa, some mainstream outlets are (pretending to be) falling for his alleged 2016 presidential aspirations. Just like previous election years, Trump isn’t ruling anything out just yet, even though according to him, the country needs him. On Tuesday he told Fox News:
“I do think I can make fabulous deals for the country. I think I could make the country great again. I think I could make the country rich again.”
While even the most casual political observer knows that Trump will never run, few understand the real reason why. Most assume it’s because Trump is purely and simply a self-promoter and likes the attention. While this is certainly true, it misses the deeper, more fundamental reason: Donald Trump is a deeply insecure man and he is terrified of the mass rejection that would inevitably result from his candidacy. More than a sign of arrogance, Trump’s notorious bombastic bluster is a not-so-convincing attempt to hide an inferiority complex the size of Trump Tower.
For one thing, it’s clear that Trump is extremely sensitive to perceived slights, and isn’t afraid to file or threaten lawsuits – however frivolous – against his detractors. In 1990, he unsuccessfully sued a Philadelphia brokerage firm because one of its analysts made negative comments about the financial viability of Trump’s Taj Mahal casino. Subsequently the analyst was fired, but in a delicious irony the Taj filed for bankruptcy the following year. Not only that, he turned the tables, suing Trump for defamation and settled out of court. The Taj bankruptcy would be the first of four for The Donald (1991, 1992, 2004, and 2009).
In 2006, Trump again engaged in litigious bullying when he sued the city of Palm Beach, Florida for $10 million after it had fined him because his Mar-a-Lago club was flying a flag that was larger than a city ordinance allowed.
In 2009, the New York Times’ Timothy O’Brien got into trouble with The Donald for claiming that Trump’s net worth was somewhere between $150 million and $250 million, and not the $5 to $6 billion that Trump had been claiming. Such a threat to his manhood was O’Brien’s claim, Trump filed a defamation lawsuit against him, which was quickly dismissed.
In February of this year, Trump sued comedian Bill Maher for $5 million because the latter jokingly said he’d donate $5 million to a charity of Trump’s choice if he produced a birth certificate showing that he’s not the “spawn of his mother having sex with orangutan.” Trump ended up withdrawing the lawsuit.
The same month he sued Maher, Trump threatened to sue an online campaigner for merely calling for a boycott of Macy’s so long as the company carries Trump’s products.
It’s also worth noting that last year, Trump tried to prevent the BBC from broadcasting a documentary about his golf course in Aberdeen, Scotland. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Trump obtained development rights for a small part of a contiguous nature preserve, which outraged environmentalists. He antagonized some of his neighbors by building berms, then planting trees, to block the views both of and from their houses.” The documentary in question focused on these and other issues, and was aired by the BBC as scheduled.
Beyond Trump’s bullying frivolous lawsuits are his bullying frivolous tweets, which are loaded the rhetoric of an insecure human. Trump is a billionaire, and yet for some reason sees fit to engage in pissing contests over social media. You’d never see Warren Buffet or Bill Gates or even a much-maligned bank CEO like Lloyd Blankfein taking to Twitter to slam his critics – at least not nearly to the extent Trump does.
One of Trump’s favorite tactics is to use the word “loser” to describe someone who criticizes him. Among the people and things he’s called a loser on Twitter and elsewhere are: George Will, Rosie O’Donnell, Alex Pareene, Sheena Monnin, Karl Rove, Rihanna, Cher, Danny Zuker, and everyone at Deadspin.
For a guy who likes to tell others how successful he is, he seems to have an unhealthy obsession with assuring the world and not the least of which himself, that his critics are losers. But in that case it must be asked, why would a billionaire “lower himself” to the point of publicly criticizing someone he thinks is a loser?
Lastly, there is Trump’s wholehearted embrace of the phrase, “You’re fired!” on The Apprentice. While most managers loathe laying people off, and very rarely if ever actually use the word “fired” in letting someone go, Trump clearly revels in telling people that they’re not good enough. He even unsuccessfully tried to copyright the phrase.
All of this explains why Trump will never run. Despite his insistence that he could win the Republican primary and general election, the fact is he would be rebuked by voters in spectacular fashion because he is so transparently self-aggrandizing that he could never successfully fake wanting what’s best for America. If he were ever to run for president, deep down Trump knows exactly what he would objectively become.