Updated: Jul 2, 2019
By CJ Waldron
It’s no secret that Donald Trump considers himself royalty. During his recent trip to England, he intimidated that his sons would constitute the next dynasty. He even named one of his sons, Barron, as an indication that he believes his own hype.
But that’s not the royalty I’m thinking about.
Instead, I see Trump patterning himself after a fictional German baron, Baron Munchausen. Like the American fictional character, Walter Mitty, this character sees himself as larger than life, creating a series of fantastical stories to make them appear larger than life. No doubt Trump sees himself, and his accomplishments, that way. By calling anything he does “the greatest ever”, Trump has excelled in using hyperbole.
Another quality he shares with this fictional character is Munchausen Syndrome.
This is a condition where a caregiver creates a crisis only to “save” the person. The most famous case of this was an upstate New York mother, Mary Beth Tinning, who was convicted of murdering her children as a means of seeking attention. She was convicted of smothering one of her children, confessed to murdering two others and suspected in the deaths of five others. Tinning seemed to thrive on the attention she received from those who sympathized with her grief of losing a child.
So, she repeatedly smothered her children, simply to gain this attention.
Like Tinning, Trump thrives on creating a crisis, only to come in to heroically “solve” the issue through his ability as “a master deal-maker”.
Most recently, we have the threat of tariffs on Mexico to solve the “border crisis”, which he declared a National Emergency so he could circumvent Congress, which refused to provide funding for his campaign-promised Border Wall. What he failed to mention was that negotiations had already been on-going, and the provisions were agreed upon long before this tariff threat. Instead, being the master showman, he created this crisis and is now claiming victory.
Like his government shutdowns, Trump has created crisis after crisis, often as a diversion from unfavorable news stories. This is equivalent to the attention sought by those suffering from Munchausen Syndrome.
Meanwhile, his base will continue to tout these fake accomplishments, while calling any unfavorable coverage “Fake News”.
The danger is in going too far. We only have to look to Iran to see the possibility of a crisis escalating into a full-scale conflict. Climate change, the border problems, healthcare and a myriad of other issues could be the next “crisis” to be “solved” by His Royal Highness.
We need this to stop!
CJ Waldron is a retired English teacher from upstate New York. An adjunct instructor at Horry Georgetown Technical College, he lives in Conway, SC with his wife, Donna.