The Great Trumpsby

To the Editor:

Some nights, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s rich poseur Jay Gatsby studied a light across the water. The mysterious green glow symbolized what he could not attain, a wraith he loved. By New York standards, it was a piddling aspiration. Donald Trump, by contrast, wants to become the colossus bestriding America.

However, he is unqualified for this public service job, not necessarily for his politics or policies, but rather for his emotional insufficiencies.

Trump’s proven depth amounts to this: make money, lose it, remake it, repeat. Art of the deal equals art of the venal.

His proven shallowness amounts to this: the more dollars bragged about, the more insecure the braggart. He would bring his vapid strivings and distressing anxieties to a presidency.

One prays Trump’s Putin-sized inferiority complex wouldn’t mean he, like Putin, would mount a large animal bare-chested – the Russian’s personality disorder equaling suppression and probable homicides. Trump is, after all, a Democrat, even as his whines for approval resemble Vladimir’s. Fortunately, Trump’s negligible self-awareness calls forth merely his foment of the moment. Any evangelist of the opportune who self-finances a grandee antic such as a presidential run can bellow at any audience drooling to be barked at.

The Great Belittler, an oxymoron suiting a tiny greatness, pleads ‘Nominate me, I’m huge!’ – the grade-school kid wormy to be called on. Many hope the GOP obliges, so the national election can flush him. For his rivals to make the primary, though, trouncing Trump electorally isn’t necessary. Dismissing him beforehand is preferable.

Yet no one believes a self-disgraced party can neutralize the guy, reassemble and have its voters choose among positives. Republicans reap the whirlwind they stoked, an overwrought right wing.

Trump’s remaining stage opponents might prevail if they diminish his fevers. But if a party’s brightest cannot outsmart its most simplistic spokesman – which is the case so far –how is it competent to operate a complex, world-leading government?

As Sen. Mitch McConnell used to say when it suited him, “Where’s the outrage?”

Kasich is respectable for his composed attention to actual issues, as was Bush. Overweeners Cruz, Rubio, etc. project boisterously, as did Christie. But no one has been able to tank a surly sot, drunk on himself, unaware he’s only rich. Even Fiorina the Razor couldn’t nick his vitals.

Peel away Trump’s unGatsby-like bombast, a hollow man remains, ogling his greenlight dreams, wondering why, having put down cash, he can’t own, say, 50 states to round out his recent acquisitions of Boardwalk, Park Place and the B&O Railroad.

Let’s hope he instead buys naming rights to the U.S. and retires the national debt.

Removing the first-person singular from Trump’s vocabulary – devoutly to be wished, but impossible – leaves a fop with a cantilevered coif and little there beneath it. His decent brain, most admired by himself and Putin, in that order, is a neutral factor because, in Trumpdom, conceit is substance and vanity is legal tender. Class consists not of honoring others no matter their station, but of showcasing look-at-me red neckties that dangle to his zipper. Trump’s hubris, notable by Aristotelian standards, impedes his access to the objective quadrant of his I.Q. He would contaminate his presidential reasoning with Megyn Kelly-like hobgoblins – all his yesterdays of slights, grudges and other content-deficient issues.

Gatsby, too, was ostentatious, but at least not a categorical boor.

Most Americans didn’t appreciate Nixon’s complexes until the tapes exposed them. Trump prefers to advertise his own, mounting a “celebrate my neuroses” platform with planks that denigrate people, religions and ethnicities, and ascribe sinful motives to, for example, immigrants’ humane aspirations. Shrilly pummeling any needler, he debases debate itself. “I like Ted,” Trump said, then gives Cruz the Roman short sword. The term is “passive-aggressive.”

Here is no capacity for the statesmanship presidents must master.

Lincoln spoke for union, urging “the better angels of our nature.” We need that caliber leader. Instead, bedecked in finery and attuned to little that is fine, the jabberwocky titleholder flenses the nation’s scabs, salts its cultural lesions and cultivates its sad divisions. Imagine him “counseling” us in a 9/11-like tragedy.

Hey, GOP candidates, at least try dignified debate, okay? A grateful nation will thank you.

Overreach winnowed Gatsby to a nullity. Dangling at Trumpsby’s nose is a carrot the master negotiator cannot buy: the certain greatness and grace of a leader.

Were Trump, now 69, able to transcend the bitter angels of his nature, we would have seen it before now.

Kent Olson

Bass Harbor

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