The blue collar billionaire doesn’t mingle with hoi polloi
Politico made note of something over the week-end that has always struck me as illustrative of Trump’s essential monarchist point of view:
In his 14 months as president, Trump hasn’t yet followed his predecessors’ habit of dropping by local watering holes (even though he’s made no secret of his love for junk food) or public service events either at home or on the road. He hasn’t gone to a baseball game or stopped at a soup kitchen. On Saturday, he ventured out of the White House to attend the annual Gridiron Dinner, taking a baby step into Washington’s elite social scene. But his appearance at the white-tie event did little to bring him closer to ordinary Americans.
Outside Washington, Trump follows a careful routine of visiting factories or local law enforcement headquarters. When he stopped recently in Parkland, Florida, on his way to Mar-a-Lago, he took a smiling photo with a girl who had been shot at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a sharp contrast to images of Obama sitting in a small room with his head in his hands grieving with the parents of first-graders killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012.
Trump promised the night of his victory to govern on behalf of “the forgotten men and women of our country.” Yet as president, he rarely comes into contact with regular people except in the structured setting of the White House or during tightly orchestrated events set up by staff, including a West Wing listening session last month with Stoneman Douglas families that featured some attendees who were critical of his proposals. His announcement last week of new tariffs, the timing of which surprised even some senior staffers, came at a table packed with industry executives rather than at a Rust Belt steel mill.
This is not an oversight. Trump believes that it would be bad if he mingled with the riff raff. They would lose respect for him:
Don’t forget that when I ran in the primaries, when I was in the primaries, everyone said you can’t do that in New Hampshire, you can’t do that. You have to go and meet little groups, you have to see — cause I did big rallies, 3-4-5K people would come . . . and they said, “Wait a minute, Trump can never make it, because that’s not the way you deal with New Hampshire, you have to go to people’s living rooms, have dinner, have tea, have a good time.”
I think if they ever saw me sitting in their living room they’d lose total respect for me. They’d say, I’ve got Trump in my living room, this is weird.
I’m sitting in an apartment the likes of which nobody’s ever seen. And yet I represent the workers of the world. And they love me and I love them. I think people aspire to do things. And they aspire to watch people. I don’t think they want to see the president carrying his luggage out of Air Force One. And that’s pretty much the way it is.
He’s better than everyone. And that’s what everyone loves about him.
He may be right. So let’s hear no more about the “guy you’d like to have a beer with.” It was always BS. Right wingers yearn to be subjects.