Three months into the presidency of Donald Trump, there have already been countless examples of strange interviews with the president. It is tempting to dismiss all the bizarre ramblings of the nation’s president, but unfortunately, they reveal some concerning trends. A recent interview with the Associated Press seems to highlight the insecurity that constantly drives Trump’s unusual behaviors.
During the Oval Office interview, Associated Press correspondent Julie Pace attempted to have an informative discussion with President Trump. However, he kept attempted to change the subject. Instead of discussing matters of foreign policy and domestic politics, Trump kept making random statements about irrelevant subjects that still seem to bother him. The recurring trend among all of Trump’s rambling seemed to be a need to prove his own likeability and popularity.
For example, Pace attempted to ask a few questions about how funding would work for a border wall. In response to this brief question, Trump went into a monologue about the electoral college. He told Pace, ” OK, the thing [my base wants] more than anything is the wall. My base, which is a big base; I think my base is 45 percent. You know, it’s funny. The Democrats, they have a big advantage in the electoral college. Big, big, big advantage. I’ve always said the popular vote would be a lot easier than the electoral college. The electoral college — but it’s a whole different campaign…”
It seems that Trump’s inability to win the popular vote is still weighing on his mind. This is not the first time that the interviews devolved into Trump rants about how impressive it is that he won the electoral vote. When the interviewer tried to get the conversation back on track, Trump suddenly jumped to a discussion about how the media is constantly misquoting him and making fake news designed to make him look bad.
Throughout the interview, Trump’s thin skin was constantly on display. If any controversial issue or political concern was brought up, Trump turned it into a discussion about how he was perceived. Anyone who had a problem with him was dismissed as biased, ill-informed, or dumb, and Trump repeatedly insisted that all the intelligent, powerful people, like Chancellor Merkel and President Xi of China, he meets love him. At one point, the president stated ” I’ve developed great relationships with all of these leaders. Nobody’s written that…But I still get along with them great.”
Reading a transcript of the interview barely even makes sense due to all the sudden off-topic remarks by Trump. At several points, he just flat out refuses to acknowledge the interviewer’s questions and instead makes irrelevant and repetitive statements. It is clear that all the public dislike of Trump is getting to him. He went out of his way to bring up minor incidents such as the viral photo of Chancellor Merkel looking annoyed with him. All of these pointless rambles seemed to focus on two subjects: Trump’s own personal greatness and the lying media that incorrectly claims he is disliked.
These displays of insecurity would just be moderately annoying if they were coming from anyone else. However, it is quite worrying to have a commander in chief who seems to be obsessed with winning competitions, discrediting anyone who disagrees with him, and appearing well-liked. In international politics, this could lead to huge problems for the nation. As our recent interactions with Afghanistan, Syria, and North Korea have shown, Trump’s insecurities can lead to unwanted conflicts and controversies.