He didn’t want to be President. Not if President means making sticky decisions, and being blamed for things (most of the world calls this ‘adult responsibility’), and being woken at four to read the papers.
What he wanted was to be Mr President. Good morning, Mr President! He wanted to star in the biggest ticker-tape parade, and have flags waving, and maybe people would make Donald masks and schoolchildren would wear them and Melania would float into his arms like a giant swan.
Same when he builds a hotel. He doesn’t really want to build a hotel: he wants to put his name on a big building in gold letters and it’ll have a glitzy big foyer and people will come in and swank around. He pays minimum attention to the hotel-building chore that gets him there, as we see when it starts falling apart, is cheaply built, and he hasn’t paid his contractors. A man who took pride in the thought that “I — have built a hotel” would pay his sheetrockers.
This expression, the day after his Presidential Inauguration, says it all. She is angry — possibly a thwarted Trump is no fun to go home to Friday night. She’s put up with him ever since the doors closed and the cameras dissolved away.
But he is baffled, furious, bored, bamboozled — what is happening? This wasn’t supposed to be like this.
The greatest weekend of his life has been stolen from him — by a march. And life has not just stolen a march, it has shown him up with ratty thin combover crowds, hustled into position behind the Great Leader to swell the photographs; and dismal responses from the music community refusing to play at his party. The world is laughing at him.
Half the jokes are infuriating to Donald because he can’t understand them. How could he? This is a guy who all his life has learned that you get what you want by getting your own way. You rant and shower some half-baked ideas and ream people, and they hurry off and make it happen. You don’t need to know how it works.
He has no idea that he would now be wealthier if he had just let the fortune he inherited sit in boring bank bonds on Wall Street. His experience has taught him that success is more important than happiness or enjoyment, and success comes from making an appearance. He’s the shopping mall god. He’s a boy band with only one member, the one kept at the back of every group photograph.
He’s outclassed by his wife, the porn queen with her carefully prepared speeches, his daughter, smart enough to play along when she must surely see through him, the real King, that daughter’s husband, and now by the coterie of White House staff who have seen it all before and it was better. Poor Donald. Embodying all that’s most grating in America’s overblown sense of itself, he’s out of touch. And this weekend, the crown, the dream, the White House in the air, has taken everything away from him. If all you know how to do is bully and the most powerful seat in the land brings nothing but millions refusing to listen to you — what’s left?