President Trump is Sullen, Isolated, Abandoned, and Alone

Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post via ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

How is our president doing these days? Here’s a quick summary from media reports:

Washington Post: Angry and increasingly isolated … fumes … voices frustration … revives old grudges … seethed with anger … raging … venting … furious … .irate … “Morale is the worst it’s ever been” … feels abandoned and alone.

Politico: Chaos here, backlash there, shock everywhere … growing sense of despair … deep demoralization and discord … erratic … sullen and isolated … deeply suspicious of the people around him.

Guardian: Abandoned in a raging storm … fulminated … isolated, angry and ready to lash out … unchecked volatility … “angry and gunning for a fight” … erratic … morale is understood to be at an all-time low … increasingly isolated and mercurial … staggering from one crisis to another.

These stories must be rough on reporters. I mean, how many synonyms for “raging four-year-old” are there?

Actually, though, the true connecting thread running through all these stories is: sullen, isolated, abandoned, and alone. In the past, Trump tossed around vague orders and within a year or two a new golf course would open. He believes that was all due to his leadership, and the only thing different about the White House is that he’s got a different staff. So if things are failing now, it can only be the fault of the people working for him. His personality doesn’t allow him to believe anything else.

The result is predictable: when things start going south he lashes out at his staff as either incompetent or disloyal. Then he gets new staff. And when things keep going south the only possible explanation is that everyone is against him. And so he ends up sullen, isolated, abandoned, and alone.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate