President Trump Channels King Richard III With Ego-Driven War Mongering

Portrait painting of King Richard III

by Oletta Branstiter


Schoolyard Bullies

The U.S. President and the North Korean President are engaging in a playground competition to compare the size of their respective “missiles”, endangering the entire globe. Did we expect anything less?

In his usual style, Trump tweeted a threat to Kim Jong Un:

When confronted by media for the bombastic tone, the Commander-in-Chief doubled down by retorting that his words may not have been strong enough”.

This show of power has become a disturbing trend since Trump’s inauguration. Within two weeks of his administration, he had provoked six nations: Iran, North Korea, China, Mexico, Australia, and Germany.

Two weeks into his administration, Trump is the proverbial bull in the diplomatic china shop. But his provocations and precedents are serious and are likely to lead to a conflict somewhere that cooler heads would avoid. Writing for Foreign Policy, Stephen Martin Walt, an American professor of international affairs at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, who describes himself as a realist, said Trump has already blown it, is offending people in every direction, and he doesn’t get it. – Alternet.org

 

This week, President Trump enlarged his scope of power by threatening military action in response to the economic crisis in Venezuela. Reuters reports:

The South American nation on Friday said Trump had engaged in “an act of craziness” by making the brief statement, in which he did not offer details on what such a military intervention would mean.

Ego-driven Threats

Are these the empty threats of an inexperienced politician, the challenges of a fragile ego, or the true intentions of a power-hungry tyrant? None of these reasons are reassuring. Give a schoolyard bully an entire nation to govern and his ego will expand to fit the imagined rule.

The fact that Mr. Trump is filling his cabinet with military Generals hardly assuages the fears of those who see the troubling indications of a populist demagogue with delusions of grandeur.

It’s all too easy to give a man of such low character the power to wield the military might of the strongest nation on earth, especially when he avoided the unpleasantness of uniformed service by claiming the disability of “bone spurs” during the Vietnam draft.

President Trump likes to provoke possible enemies from his kingly high horse, condemning others to hand-to-hand combat following his ego-driven pronouncements.

In 2012, citizen Trump tweeted,

“Polls are starting to look really bad for Obama. Looks like he’ll have to start a war or major conflict to win. Don’t put it past him!”

Trump’s narrow margin of electoral victory and lack of popular votes, combined with his own rock-bottom polling has exacerbated the current bombast from our President.

Delusions of Grandeur

One is reminded of the tragedy of Shakespeare’s Richard III, in which the protagonist must energize his fragile ego by instigating strife and seizing unauthorized power by the edge of a sword.

Why, I in this weak piping time of peace
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun

We have yet to witness the full measure of the “Winter of our discontent” when President Trump doubles down on burying the positive attainments by this haphazard administration and proclaims,

To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.

Because:

Richard loves Richard; that is, I am I.

Perhaps the song, “Scenes”, by Burlap to Cashmere says it best:

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