Why do some people deliberately hurt others? Why did the late Rush Limbaugh, why do Steve Bannon, Marjory Taylor Greene, Alex Jones, Tucker Carlson, and Donald Trump appear to take sadistic satisfaction in insulting and demeaning others?
Frightened, offended, in the heat of the moment, we say things that hurt other people. Most of us regret these lapses, apologize, as best we can, make amends. Regret, apology, making amends, are as foreign to the minds of Mean People as the dark side of the Moon.
Since each of us is a collage of genes and environment, it is impossible to appreciate what makes other people “tick.” This is true for Limbaugh, Bannon, Greene, Jones, Carlson, and Trump. However, what we know of Donald’s formative years appears to expose some roots of his Meanness.
In Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Made the World’s Most Dangerous Man niece Mary Trump affords first person details of the former president’s childhood. When Donald was age two, a near-fatal illness left mother, Mary Anne, emotionally unavailable. A famously successful New York real estate developer, father Frederick, was away from home six days a week. By embracing Fred’s wealth and power, Donald bonded with Dad.
As a child, Donald J. Trump never experienced love! As a man, Donald’s life is a plea for love!
Lacking any notion of how to give or receive love, this plea conflates symbols and trapping, i.e., fame and wealth, with love. More blatant of these include three gorgeous wives, Czech media personality, socialite, author, and model, Maria Ivana; actress, television personality, and model Marla Ann Maples; Slovenian Model Melania Knauss; Trump Tower, other Manhattan real estate, Mar-a-Lago, and numerous private golf resorts.
In addition, sensing its lack from outside, Donald morphed love into self-love, Narcissism. More florid examples: A Savior descending the golden staircase. Like a cardboard cutout for a Christian bookstore, posing in front of a church holding up a Bible. I am: the “second coming of God,” “King of Israel,” “a stable genius.” At MAGA rallies, adoring his image on the Jumbotron.
In a rare honest moment, learning he is less popular among urban women Donald’s pleaded, “Please like me.”
On January 6, 2021, Donald’s warped yearning for love culminated in orchestrating and ordering an armed assault on our Capitol, our Congress, and our Constitution. Who besides Donald saw rioters “hugging and kissing” police officers? The President was clearly delusional. Only after observing the pitched battle for more than three hours, President Trump called off his forces with, “We love you, you’re very special.”
Ironically, it is impossible to overstate the terrible consequences Donald J. Trump’s yearning for love has had, and continues to have, on our American democracy.