Carl Jung points out that male aggression without release breeds anti-intellectual action. Well, I’m not sure if Jung said that, but I did read it somewhere and wrote it down so I’m going with it as an apt description of our current President.
Donald Trump is pure id. He has no ability to be self-aware so when he is angry and cannot figure out how to control his innate aggression, he tweets his uninformed thoughts of the moment. He rages on Twitter, he “likes” conspiracy theories and he live-tweets Fox and Friends, the home of anti-intellectualism. The latest example of him watching Fox and then taking its words as absolute fact is his now-infamous tweet on the most holy day on the Christian calendar, Easter. In the spirit of Jesus — a refugee — he wrote:
Border Patrol Agents are not allowed to properly do their job at the Border because of ridiculous liberal (Democrat) laws like Catch & Release. Getting more dangerous. “Caravans” coming. Republicans must go to Nuclear Option to pass tough laws NOW. NO MORE DACA DEAL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 1, 2018
Before Trump and his third wife Googled the nearest church to attend on Easter, he sat in his bathrobe and feasted on Fox News Sunday. Apparently, the talking heads were scare-mongering their audience about caravans of Mexicans driving Mad Max vehicles straight to the US border where they’d unleash children just to get their Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status! So, of course, the President was pissed! Dirty, raping, drug-mule Mexicans were about to infiltrate the Good Old US of A and drop their kids off so they could immediately sign up for DACA! Because, in Trump’s mind, that’s how DACA works. Show up, be Mexican (or from some vague Latin American country) and you’re a DACA!
His aggressive stance on non-white immigrants and undocumented people is not new. That he went all in on the conspiracy theory of birtherism told us he could not wrap his brain around how a Black Man could attend Harvard or become President. We know he began his candidacy by calling Mexicans rapists and criminals without any thought for facts or how hurtful his racist words were. But his complete ignorance regarding DACA leaves the fate of 700,000 people in the hands of the most anti-intellectual person holding the most powerful office in the land.
I imagine he is livid that his request for $25 billion for his Big Beautiful Wall was rebuffed in the 2019 Federal Budget. The promised draconian slashing of most domestic programs was completely ignored and that must infuriate him, too. In fact, the GOP, the party of fiscal responsibility, provided big spending increases to the military and to domestic programs Trump wanted axed. It was the Democrats who got what they (mostly) wanted:
The spending bill “repudiates the abysmal Trump budget, investing robustly in critical priorities like child care, transportation infrastructure, national security, election protection, medical research, opioid abuse prevention and treatment, veterans’ health services and much more,” said Representative Nita M. Lowey of New York, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.
The bill was 2,232 pages and apparently no Democrats or Republicans, or the President, actually read it before it was voted on. Now Trump has buyer’s remorse and Schumer and Pelosi are the winners. Trump could take negotiating lessons from those two:
“In all honesty, none of us know what is actually in this bill,” said Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts.
Trump, of course, rage-tweeted his disgust and possible veto of this bill but eventually had to sign it or risk government shutdown number three:
As a matter of National Security I’ve signed the Omnibus Spending Bill. I say to Congress: I will NEVER sign another bill like this again. To prevent this omnibus situation from ever happening again, I’m calling on Congress to give me a line-item veto for all govt spending bills! https://t.co/kYwMk5AE5k
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2018
Trump, unable to truly release his aggression without being at a red-state rally, resorted once again to his complete ignorance of how line-item vetos work — because they are not allowed under current law.
We don’t expect Trump to understand what a President can and cannot do legally. He stepped into the Oval Office with the absolute belief that this was a fiefdom and he had absolute power. His overriding frustration of the last year is the fact that being President in the US is not like being President in Russia. We actually have checks and balances with three co-equal branches of government. By the way, Trump thinks the three branches are the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House:
Republicans want to fix DACA far more than the Democrats do. The Dems had all three branches of government back in 2008-2011, and they decided not to do anything about DACA. They only want to use it as a campaign issue. Vote Republican!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2018
His overwhelming ignorance aside, Trump is correct that the Obama Administration did not do enough to get legal protections and to provide a legal pathway to full citizenship for the DACA enrollees, which left many people, some now adults, fully vulnerable. But it was only when Trump woke up one morning in September and watched his besties on Fox and Friends, then canoodled with his loathsome white nationalist buddy Stephen Miller, then remembered the threat of a lawsuit by a bunch of anti-immigration Republicans, that he buckled under pressure and cancelled the DACA program. He had no understanding of DACA. He did not know what it was and who it affected and it did not matter to him. His unspoken aggression towards those Mexican interlopers and fear of Republican lawmakers led him to make a decision that left hundreds of thousands of lives in jeopardy.
Trump wears his anti-intellectualism like a badge of honor. I assume that is to make him more appealing to his fan base.
The 2019 Federal Budget does not include protections for DACA recipients. This omission has to make Trump happy as the rest of the budget is a complete
repudiation refudiation of everything he promised his base. Recently, the Supreme Court declined to hear the administration’s case, leaving a lower court ruling in place. Which means that while the case winds it way through the appeals process, the Department of Homeland Security must continue to accept renewal applications from the roughly 700,000 young people currently enrolled in DACA. The administration had intended to shut the program down by March 5. That deadline is now largely meaningless.
As Trump empties his administration of his “best people” and brings in loyalists, sycophants and warlords like former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, we should prepare ourselves for more hate and more anti-intellectualism. By loading up his team with people who agree with his worst instincts, support his idiotic ramblings, and push him further and further into his bubble, this country better buckle up. With the Mueller investigation heating up and Stormy Daniels not going anywhere, plus being humiliated by the lack of quality lawyers willing to work with him and the budget he was forced to sign, Trump’s pent-up aggression will only mean more ill-thought-out ideas — like bringing Spymaster Putin into the White House. Some may call it anti-intellectualism. Jung would call it dangerous.