Something to Admire About Donald Trump

Like many of you I’ve perceived that President Trump seems to be:

  • narcissistic
  • a pathological liar
  • lacking in empathy
  • a blowhard
  • a bully
  • a con man and a cheat
  • a white supremacist
  • racist and sexist
  • xenophobic and…
  • a sexual predator

But I’ve set a goal in trying to find at least one good thing in the people I most heartily dislike.

Trying to find something I could admire about Donald Trump has not been easy, but I’ve been doing my best. It’s taken me over a year—but finally I’ve seen something to admire about Donald Trump. It’s something I even envy!

Back in My School Days…

When I was a senior in high school, my school officials decided to experiment in one of our required social science classes with mixing smart kids with kids from the bottom level tracks.

The principal explained that putting smart kids in with those who were not doing as well with their grades might help those at the bottom.

When my name was one of the ones picked for this experiment, I was utterly dismayed.

Earlier in my life, we moved from the country to the city, and I’d been mistakenly tracked into the bottom level of third grade for not knowing arithmetic—even though I’d scored high on my second grade IQ test.

In the city, all the other kids in my new third grade class shunned me for not being like them. I was lonely and totally bored out of my mind.

As a senior in high school, I expected no less misery from being placed in a mixed track of high and low IQ students.

I knew it wasn’t like the teacher would let me tutor some of the kids having trouble in school – I would have gladly done that.

But no one was to know who was who. This was the dumbest idea I’d ever heard. I could see who was who simply by looking, and I (mistakenly, I later discorved) assumed everyone else could too. I walked into class that first day feeling total dread.

Fortune, however smiled on me that morning.

As I looked over the students I spotted a guy I’d seen around after school. He was the center for the school football team while I was a twirler at the team’s games.

He gestured to me to sit next to him. Surprised at the invitation, I sat. No guy I knew in school had ever done that before.

This guy’s name was Bradly Kingston. Brad made that boring class fun to be in. We talked, often joking, every time the teacher wasn’t looking. By the end of the first week, Brad whispered, “You’re one of the smart ones aren’t you?”

I nodded and whispered back, “And you are too!”

When he shook his head “no” I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it. He explained, “I need to be in here. I have this problem with paying enough attention.”

We didn’t know anything about ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in those days. It didn’t exist.

So I just accepted what Brad said, didn’t believe for a moment he wasn’t really smart, and encouraged him to go on to college like I planned to do.

The Spark of Connection

Trump TV at Mar a Lago

When I saw an image like the one here of President Trump at Mar a Lago on MSNBC on Christmas time I finally understood what news commentators were talking about when they wondered what “Trump TV” was.

Trump’s TV screen at Mar a Lago instantly took me back to Graceland, Elvis Presley’s mansion, where there was one room full of TV screens so Elvis could watch all the sports games at once.

Trump’s gigantic screen was a modern version of Elvis’. It featured a huge TV monitor split into several sections, each broadcasting a different news station.

In front of the President on a massive table sat a large microphone. The President was speaking into it, reading a script from a single piece of paper to American troops overseas.

As I said to a friend later, I couldn’t imagine being able to do what our President was doing.

“All those other programs on the screen? I get anxious when basketball games have one split screen of an interview with a coach while the game is showing on the other side. I can only watch one thing at a time.”

My friend said, “Of course you’re not like him—you’re the exact opposite—you can focus on one thing for days at a time without even taking a break. I guess Trump never learned how to do that.”

And then the flash of insight hit me. The piece dropped into its rightful place in the puzzle. Donald Trump has ADHD.

That’s why he can’t seem to pay attention to any one thing for more than a brief span of time.

That’s why Trump tweets. It’s how he can pump out a tweet every minute of the day for an average of forty hours a week all year around—and then go play a round of golf.

How I envy him! I wish I could get so much done as quickly as he does!   I wish. I wish!

Unfortunately, like a Shakespearean tragic character, Donald Trump’s strength is also his worst weakness.

ADHD is why the President jumps into one thing after another, unable to focus well enough on the best way to get things said or done in order to make his wishes come true.

Donald Trump, no doubt realized he was different from other boys at a young age, and not wanting to be seen as stupid, decided he was way smarter then everyone else,

Donald has never realized that others might be intelligent in different ways than he is, or that he might be able to learn things of use from other people.

Trump’s ADHD, coupled with his profound insecurity about his self image, make it impossible for him to recognize any other way to do things than toss out half-baked ideas, demand someone else implement them, and quickly move on to something shiny and new before his failures can catch up with him.

I’m sure that’s what makes him so angry and frustrated all the time. It’s why he gets sued constantly. It’s why he’s always firing those who aren’t “loyal” enough to him.

I can clearly see why Donald Trump has to live in a world of sycophants, lies, exaggerations, and fantasies. He must remain inside that fragile bubble in order to preserve his huge need for a feeling he’s capable of big accomplishments.

Right now that’s most unfortunate for him and the rest of us.

Genetics are Not Destiny

But Donald didn’t have to wind up like he has—coming across as a simpleton, dilettante, and victim while he repeatedly claims to be so hugely smart.

Awhile ago, when the Internet offered sites to look up high school classmates, I went looking for Bradley Kingston. I found my classmate on the page listing those deceased.

To my great sadness and delight I saw that Brad had gone to college and gotten a PhD in Psychology.

Somehow Brad Kingston, a guy with the same challenge as Donald Trump, had finally learned how to pay attention in class. Even more impressive, Bradley spent his entire career and life helping kids like himself who had ADHD.

1 comment so far ↓

#1 Raoul A. Martinez on 01.18.18 at 2:51 pm

Hi Nancy; What a wonderful anecdote. Enjoyed reading it. I also suspect Trump has ADHD; And I believe all your other suspicions about his character are correct.

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