Time magazine has connected the dots of Donald Trump’s intensely personal presidency. The magazine’s cover features the President in his business suit, staring into a mirror that reflects him in regal splendor, complete with crown. “King Me,” declares the cover line, but the good stuff is announced in the headlines below: “Visions of Absolute Power,” “Trump vs the Constitution” and “Why Mueller Won’t Indict.”
In these pieces, Molly Ball, Tessa Berenson, Neal Katyal and Jack Goldsmith define the style and practices of a man who leads in the brutal and imperious fashion of a cartoon monarch. The roots of this ignoble attitude run all the way back to the President’s childhood as the scion of one of America’s wealthiest men in a family where he was groomed to royal ways.
“You are a killer, you are a king,” was the mantra intoned by President Trump’s father Fred as he taught his boys to believe in their right to rule. This detail, reported in Harry Hurt III’s biography “Lost Tycoon, The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump,” is a chilling marker for anyone trying to understand the degraded condition of politics under our current president.
In biographies of Trump, including my own, “The Truth About Trump,” one is introduced to a man raised by an imperious father and a mother besotted by the British royals. Ask Trump about his mom, as I did, and the most acute memory he relates finds her gaping at the television as Queen Elizabeth was coronated.