Sunday, November 20, 2016

Privilege is Toxic: What about this Trump guy?

David Remnick (The New Yorker) writes about Obama coming to grips with a Trump presidency. It's a long and interesting article. Concerning Obama's meeting with Trump:
The official line at the White House was that the hour-and-a-half meeting with Trump went well and that Trump was solicitous. Later, when I asked Obama how things had really gone, he smiled thinly and said, “I think I can’t characterize it without . . . ” Then he stopped himself and said that he would tell me, “at some point over a beer—off the record.”

I wasn’t counting on that beer anytime soon. But after the sitdown with Trump, Obama told staff members that he had talked Trump through the rudiments of forming a cabinet and policies, including the Iran nuclear deal, counter-terrorism policy, health care—and that the President-elect’s grasp of such matters was, as the debates had made plain, modest at best. Trump, despite his habitual bluster, seemed awed by what he was being told and about to encounter.
I'm reminded of the conversation he had with Jerry Seinfeld in Comedians in Car Getting Coffee starting at about 13:42:

Jerry Seinfeld: How many world leaders do you think are just completely out of their mind.

Barak Obama: A pretty sizeable percentage.

JS: Now these people, you must meet them, you must be chatting, and you see in the eyes, you look in the eyes, you go Oh...

BO: Yes.

JS: this guy’s gone.

BO: Yeah. And part of what happens is these guys, uh, I think the longer they stay in office, the more likely that is to happen.

JS: Of course.

BO: Right.

JS: They loose it.

BO: I mean, you just, at a certain point you’re feet hurt, an’ you’re having trouble peein’, you have absolute power, and...

JS: Privilege is toxic.

BO: Yeah.

JS: Sadly.

BO: It really is.

JS: Things that people struggle to achieve, get to positions of power, influence, money, can do things. It has a toxic effect on their judgment.
What did Obama see when he looked into Trump's eyes?

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