Chess With The Trumps

November 27, 2016

One thing we know for sure about people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder is that they are motivated as much by revenge as anything else. They have thin skins and long memories. The other thing we know, and which any shrink in America can tell you, is that Donald Trump has, among many other dysfunctionalities, NPD. And before we go any further, yes, I do have a doctorate in clinical psychology. Just like every other mental health professional who watched the Republican Primaries and the Presidential Debates with horror, I experienced a dawning awareness of Donald’s condition. We didn’t need to have him on the couch in our private offices. We had only to watch and listen, and the picture became clear.

Now we come to the interesting part, the appointment of Nikki Haley, and the dangling of the possibility of being Secretary of State in front of Mitt Romney. Both of these establishment Republicans said some pretty rough things about Trump before the elections, and so it seems wildly unlikely that he would reach out to either of these people and elevate them into his cabinet. But wait…Trump doesn’t read books, or take intelligence briefings, but he does know how to plot a decent revenge, and I strongly suggest that this is what he’s doing now, and brilliantly.

Let’s look at Nikki Haley first. Here’s a woman with a secure governership and what looks to be a bright career ahead of her. Suddenly she is offered a chance to represent the country as Ambassador to the UN, and it’s an appointment few would turn down. What does this mean for her, a person with no foreign affairs background or experience? Very possibly, if she is given enough misdirection and a lack of support from the administration, it will result in abject failure, giving Trump a chance to fire her, publicly humiliate her, and become part of his exit strategy for pulling out of the UN. Big win for him there. Meanwhile, her Lt. Governor is a loyal Trump supporter, who will step into the spot vacated by Haley, leaving her out of office and with no place to go. Checkmate.

As for Mitt Romney, it must have been pleasant for Donald seeing him arrive at Trump Tower hat in hand, hoping for a big appointment as Secretary of State. I’m sure it was a huge surprise for Romney, considering everything he said about the current President Elect. Still, there he was, making nice to a man he characterized as everything from crazy to criminal, eager for such a plumb job. Trump had to offer something really big and juicy to get Romney’s attention, and Secretary of State is right up there in the job department. Of course, Giuliani, as everyone knows, is also in the running, so naturally it’s not a done deal. Now it’s a contest. All Trump had to do at this point was make it known that he was considering Romney, and the lathered up hordes of Trump supporters predictably did the rest. Within hours, the conservative and alt-right groups were screaming about Mitt’s losses in 2012, acting as if the man is a cross between Beelzebub and Walter Mitty, both evil and ineffectual. Now all Trump has to say is, “Gee, I’m sorry Mitt. I tried, but everyone hates you. Sorry you’re such a loser. Better go back to Michigan.” Checkmate.

Donald Trump may not have the brains, temperament, or integrity to be President, but he knows how to play this kind of personal chess quite well. So does his son-in-law Jared Kushner. Chris Christy made the fatal mistake of successfully prosecuting Jared’s father and sending him to jail, and a few years later look what happened. Christy was given the position as head of the Trump transition team. When the time came to actually do this job, though, he was fired, all of his choices for various positions were told to forget about it, and he was sent home in disgrace. No wonder Ivanka married Jared Kushner. She wanted someone just like Dear Old Dad, and she found him. The Trump Family specializes in the long game, and they’re willing to sacrifice any number of pieces in the process. Romney and Haley won’t know what hit them. But we will.

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