Tuesday, June 04, 2019


Atrios writes:
You can find the pictures yourself, but is there a more miserable man than Trump in the UK? He likely thought nothing would make him feel better than having the Queen of England give him a big welcome, but of course it makes him miserable. These things are for show, and Trump doesn't know how to dress himself (why does nobody dress him? I'd be paying someone to dress me!) or behave and the whole thing is mostly just for pictures so of course it isn't "fun" in any meaningful way and wouldn't be for anyone, really. He thought it would be the ultimate moment of being at the center of attention, but like everybody else - even the queen - he's just a bit character in a theater production. That's just how these things work and how can you be so stupid as to not know that.
I don't believe Trump thought this would be fun, and he clearly knew he wouldn't be the center of attention, which is why he started the trip with a cheap shot at London's mayor, along with a thumbs-up for Boris Johnson -- he was about to lose the privilege he has in America of being the center of attention whenever he wants to be, so he had to self-administer a massive dose of look-at-me, in the hope that it would tide him over during the days of ceremony in which, infuriatingly, he knew he would be regarded as less important than other people. (Foreigners!)

The New York Times tells us that Trump has a lifelong interest in Queen Elizabeth, but it appears that she's just a character in the family drama that's always taking place in Trump's psyche:
One of President Trump’s earliest memories, one he routinely recounts to journalists and biographers, is of watching his mother watch television, so enthralled that she barely moved for hours, on the day in 1953 that Queen Elizabeth was crowned.

He was only 6 years old, but he understood that the gilded spectacle unfolding more than 3,400 miles away inside Westminster Abbey struck a chord in his mother, Mary Anne MacLeod Trump, a poor girl who had immigrated from Scotland and who had worked for a time as a housemaid in a grand mansion. He also understood that, for some reason, the same spectacle offended his father.

“I also remember my father that day, pacing around impatiently, ‘For Christ’s sake, Mary,’ he said, ‘enough is enough, turn it off. They’re all a bunch of con artists,’” Mr. Trump recalled, years later. “My mother didn’t even look up. They were total opposites in that sense.”

Mr. Trump tells this story in his book “The Art of the Deal” as an explanation for why he was not satisfied with simply inheriting his father’s business. His mother had passed on a love of spectacle and grandeur, as expressed in the coronation — “loftier dreams” of “splendor and magnificence.”
We all know Trump's move into the Manhattan real estate market was his attempt to synmbolically kill his father, or at least defeat him in a contest of manhood (yes, while accepting millions of dollars in loans and gifts from Dad), but I wasn't aware until now that Trump describes his interest in gilt and glitz as an inheritance from Mom. How Oedipal. With every bit of gold leaf, he crawls into bed with Mom.

But I don't believe Trump ever expected to enjoy his visits with Queen Elizabeth -- to him, being with the queen is just a notch on his belt, a means of showing the world (and his dead parents) that he's arrived, that he has access to privileges other people don't. Psychologically he needs this, to demonstrate that he's an important person (even though he is, um, the president of the United States, which already makes that clear). But it was never going to be fun for him. He has an emotional need to rub elbows with the most prominent people in the world and he also has an emotional need to be the most prominent person in the room. It's hard to satisfy both needs at once.

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