Hampered by Hubris

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He had the almost-perfect con game going. But then his narcissism and ambition took him too far. I’m tempted to refer to it as “The Peter Principle” played out on the world’s most public stage—except that the moment Donald J. Trump stepped out from his wealthy father’s shadow, he already had reached his level of incompetence.

Donald Trump should have known he was not up to the monumental task of leading the world’s most-advanced nation. He should have known his shot at glory would go horribly awry, causing grave damage to his reputation and, worse by far, to the country he claims to love.

But, as is common among self-centered people, Donald Trump is ignorant of his ignorance. He knew more about the military than the military’s generals. He knew more about NATO than NATO’s leaders. He knew how to hire all the right people. He alone could fix the nation’s problems. Now he claims to know more about infectious diseases than the medical experts. Blah, blah, blah.

But that last claim almost certainly will be his undoing. In this deadly pandemic, his gross incompetence and negligence are on full display as never before. His devoted disciples no doubt will try to cover for him, but even they can’t help but see that their messiah’s robe is in tatters, leaving him as exposed as the proverbial naked emperor.

The fight over the impeachment of America’s 45th President ended, not surprisingly, with an acquittal–the vote following party lines, with just one Republican having the courage and honor to stand for justice. But justice–too long delayed–will not be denied come November.

I’m finally feeling confident that the Trump era will soon end–although reasonable people must not become complacent. Donald J. Trump, simultaneously the most ignorant and most arrogant man ever to occupy the presidency, will be remembered as the nation’s worst president. Future generations will shake their heads in dismay at the mention of his name.

Yes, he very likely could have continued his cons, enriching himself at others’ expense, but his hubris lured him too far.

Literature, throughout history, is full of stories about hubris causing ambitious men’s demise. If only Donald J. Trump had read some of those stories. But, then, arrogant people tend to be ignorant of their ignorance. What can one learn when one already knows everything?

Donald Trump will soon be excised from our national scene and psyche. But for years to come, the rest of us will pay for his arrogant ignorance.




  1. Well said. And, you are right, we cannot get complacent. He was right about one thing – he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and his followers would still support him. What they failed to realize is that comment is an insult said right to their face. Saying it a different way, he told them they are not smart enough to hold him accountable. But, we must.

    A smart person knows how much he or she doesn’t know. Yet, the US president proudly proclaims his amazing intellect. I reminded Jeff that Trump said he knows more about taxes than anyone in the history of taxes. Really?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    I was pondering a post similar to this, but then Grump, aka Jerry over at On the Fence Voters, wrote this one. I’ve long followed that old saying, ‘Why re-invent the wheel’, and so I am sharing Jerry’s thoughts here, as they mirror my own. We cannot, must not become complacent … the future of this nation and the 330 million people in it depend on our actions November 3rd. Thanks Jerry!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The end for Trump will play out like Harold Hill in the music man whose con job to produce a Midwest band eventually crashed and the community ran him disgracefully out of town.


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