Trump hasn’t uncoupled from the inner child we all leave as we grow older


boston globe donald trumpDonald Trump is 69 but still seems to believe (like many of us did at age 11, 18 and 22) that he can change the world. All by himself. There is nothing, he boasts, that he cannot do. The wisdom of the years has bypassed this absurd demagogue with an inclination to becoming a tyrant.

Consider the list of enormous ventures that Mr Trump seriously suggests he can accomplish because he’s so “great”:

  • Keep Muslims out of America
  • cut off the head of ISIS
  • force China to raise the value of the yuan
  • direct Pakistan to release Dr Shakeel Afridi, the doctor who helped the US government to make the secret DNA identification that confirmed Osama Bin Laden’s presence in the Abbotabad compound
  • compel Mexico to pay for a wall on the border with America
  • Bring millions of jobs back from low-wage locations to America
  • Pull off a confidence trick that makes all of us take him seriously

He also seems to want to return to a less eco-friendly world, bemoaning the fact (on Thursday, May 5) that hairspray-use is considered to be bad for the ozone layer.

How does the world view Mr Trump’s childlike belief in himself?

  • China has expressed bemusement, offering the view that if America elects Mr Trump it may mean the end of democracy for it (and both Beijing and Washington will then share the same moral terrain)
  • Pakistan has said Mr Trump is “ignorant”
  • Mexico is incensed and in no mood to pay for a wall
  • There are a lot of people who aren’t prepared to fall for the confidence trick

But Donald Trump’s inner child is still jumping up and down and shouting for attention and approval.