If you need proof, check out Donald Trump and me.
Ever since he began campaigning (to be honest, I never paid attention to him before then), I’ve been wondering what was driving Mr. Trump’s ultra-sensitivity to slights, perceived and real.
Surely, a man with such tangible success in both real estate and entertainment was well acquainted with the slings and arrows of the public spotlight. Self-satisfaction should be the best defense against any insult or satire.
Yet, even as president, he seems incapable of letting even the smallest of slights go. I had several theories, but the one I find most logical, and the one I can most identify with, is that Mr. Trump is basically insecure.
The repeated stories about his electoral victory, the exaggeration of his inaugural crowd size and “illegal” voters and his resistance to the almost universally agreed upon fact that Russia meddled in our election all seem to stem from insecurity over his winning the office of the presidency.
Which, of course, would be stunning to me, were I not also insecure about so many things in my life. So, I can get it that he could think the way he does.
The difference is, true bravery is recognizing those feelings as unwarranted insecurity and not blaming the world that it is not piling on. It is only your own mind that is the enemy.
Accepting that, I can face the world and interact without paranoia, overreaction or vindictiveness. Yes, I’m not a public figure, but insecurity is no less debilitating for lack of fame.
Mr. Trump is the president. There are many who don’t like that fact. There are many who wish it were otherwise. There are even some who don’t think he deserves it. There are some who don’t think George Bush deserved to be president in 2000.
The difference is, Bush just went about being president. He didn’t wallow in the mire of doubt and, if he had any self-doubt, it didn’t show in his public persona.
Mr. Trump shows streaks of petulance, stubbornness, grudge-holding and exaggeration that all seemed designed to puff himself up. But to whom? The media who dig into him will not be swayed. His boosters who support him don’t need the reminder. Congressional members are only interested in their own agendas, not Mr. Trump’s ego.
So the logical conclusion is that all his behavior is for him. And the only logical reason for him to so tenaciously fight this battle constantly is that he feels personally affronted.
But he is the president. He won the brass ring. His ascent is legendary, truly something that will stand out in American history.
The only person who doesn’t seem to be truly convinced of that is Mr. Trump himself. That’s a classic example of insecurity.
And that. at least, I get about Mr. Trump.