As it turns out, for all his bluster and bullying, Trump is nothing but a coward
The word “narcissist” had been tossed around lot as a possible explanation for Trump’s oft-time erratic behaviors. Indeed, Vanity Fair published an article in 2015 titled: “Is Donald Trump Actually A Narcissist? Therapists Weigh In!“
Wendy Terrie Behary, the author of Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed, told Vanity Fair that “Narcissists are not necessarily liars, but they are notoriously uncomfortable with the truth. The truth means the potential to feel ashamed. If all they have to show the world as a source of feeling acceptable is their success and performance, be it in business or sports or celebrity, then the risk of people seeing them fail or squander their success is so difficult to their self-esteem that they feel ashamed. We call it the narcissistic injury. They’re uncomfortable with their own limitations. It’s not that they’re cut out to lie, it’s just that they can’t handle what’s real.”
An outward reflection of this injury can be avoidance of situations they cannot control, situations that run contrary to their own feelings of grandeur.
Take for instance the last two White House Correspondents’ Dinners.
In April 2016, then Republican front-runner Trump announced that he was skipping Obama’s last White House dinner, blaming the media for his absence. However, as Yahoo News and others reported last year, Trump’s real motivation was likely the avoidance of a repeat of the 2011 dinner.
As Yahoo News reported, “In 2011, Trump made an infamous appearance at the dinner, where he was mercilessly mocked by Obama, whose long-form birth certificate had just been released in response to the so-called ‘birther’ movement championed by the reality show star.”
Obama began by making several jokes about Trump’s freakish obsession over his birth certificate:
Donald Trump is here tonight! (Laughter and applause.) Now, I know that he’s taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald. (Laughter.) And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter –- like, did we fake the moon landing? (Laughter.) What really happened in Roswell? (Laughter.) And where are Biggie and Tupac? (Laughter and applause.)
In 2017 Trump elected not to attend the Correspondents’ Association Dinner again. As The Telegraph reported at the time:
It is the first time since Ronald Reagan in 1981, who was recovering from an assassination attempt at the time, that the US president has not attended the biggest night in Washington’s social calendar – an event that began in 1921.
Instead, Trump opted to throw a campaign-style rally in Pennsylvania where he “trumpeted the achievements of his first 100 days in office.
Most recently, the White House announced on Saturday that Trump won’t be attending this year’s Kennedy Center Honors after at least two honorees, and possibly a third, announced they are boycotting the ceremony.
As NPR reports, “It will be just the fourth time in the event’s 40 years that a president will miss it.”
President Bill Clinton skipped in 1994 because he was headed to Budapest, Hungary, as the New York Times reports, President George H.W. Bush missed 1989 because of a summit in Malta, and Jimmy Carter skipped in 1979 because of the Iran hostage crisis.
As a quick side note, President Obama attended all of the Kennedy Center Honors, hosting the Pre-Awards ceremony at the White House as well.
As NBC News reports, “The decision came after multiple honorees said they would boycott the 40th annual gala that is traditionally hosted by the president and first lady and recognizes artists for their contributions to American culture.”
Television producer Norman Lear of “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons” fame was the first to boycott the ceremony, telling NPR‘s Elizabeth Blair that: “As an artist and a human being, I cannot celebrate this incredible honor … at a White House that has no interest in supporting the Arts and Humanities.”
Lear also posted a couple of tweets explaining that while he would accept the award, he would not be “accepting the White House reception” with Trump:
I could never turn my back on the @kencen. It represents the Arts and Humanities which mean everything to me. Of course, I’m accepting…
— Norman Lear (@TheNormanLear) August 4, 2017
— Norman Lear (@TheNormanLear) August 4, 2017
On Thursday, the legendary 86-year-old dancer and choreographer Carmen de Lavallade posted a notice on her website explaining her decision to boycott the ceremony due to Trump’s remarks following the recent Charlottesville tragedy.
“I am truly honored to receive the Kennedy Center Honors Award and look forward to attending the ceremony at the Kennedy Center. In light of the socially divisive and morally caustic narrative that our existing leadership is choosing to engage in, and in keeping with the principles that I and so many others have fought for, I will be declining the invitation to attend the reception at the White House,” she wrote.
Singer Lionel Richie told The Today Show that he would have to “play it by ear” about whether he would attend amid all the recent controversy surrounding Trump.
“I must tell you that I’m not really happy with the controversies. They’re weekly, daily, hourly,” Richie said, adding “I understand where we are at as a country right now is going backwards, but all we can do is sit here and hold our breaths for a while.”
For their part, the Kennedy Center seemed to embrace the decision by Trump with Kennedy Center Chairman David Rubenstein and President Deborah Rutter releasing a joint statement on Twitter Saturday saying they respect the decision.
A Statement from Chairman David M. Rubenstein & President Deborah F. Rutter Regarding the 2017 Kennedy Center Honors pic.twitter.com/YdkyryF3s7
— The Kennedy Center (@kencen) August 19, 2017
“In choosing not to participate in this year’s Honors activities, the Administration has graciously signaled its respect for the Kennedy Center and ensures the Honors gala remains a deservingly special moment for the Honorees,” the statement said, adding that all the honorees “are expected to attend the weekend’s Honors events.”