Donald Trump Is Not the Boss of Me -- or You

President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump walks across the South Lawn as he arrives at the White House, Sunday, June 30, 2019, in Washington. Trump returns from a visit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea as well as the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)


Donald Trump is not the boss of me — or you. At first blush, that may seem counterintuitive. I mean, after all, he is the President of the United States, leader of the free world, our Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief. But he’s not my boss. I don’t work for him and I don’t answer to him. Actually, the reverse is true: He answers to me; he needs my vote. And whether he gets it or not, he’ll be gone from that role in a little over five years — at most.

This isn’t to say he’s not powerful. Of course, he is. He wields an extraordinary amount of power. But he’s not all-powerful. He’s not super-human and he doesn’t possess superpowers. Except…in the minds of those who have lost perspective.

This is a concept I’ve been noodling on for quite a while now. In fact, I initially began to write this several months ago, after seeing this tweet from the Divine Miss M:

“We’re sick from uncontrollable rage,” cries Bette. (Just look what this horrible ogre has done to us!)

I set it aside for a bit as other things in my life took precedence. But it has nagged at me since. Time and again, I’ve seen people — on social media and traditional media alike — assert that their bad behavior/ill manners/venomous outbursts were prompted by Donald Trump. It’s the present-day version of “the Devil made me do it.”


What these finger-pointers seemingly fail to realize is that, by making such claims, they are investing Trump with more power, while abdicating their own. If one asserts that their behavior is involuntary/reflexive in response to Trump, then they effectively render themselves helpless (and blameless) puppets, dancing as he pulls their strings. They make him their master.

Moreover, they are projecting. They decry his namecalling and petulance while petulantly calling him — and those who support him — names.  Take, for instance, one George Conway, husband to Counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway.  Conway’s been vociferous in his grievance with Trump and his defenders — particularly of late — apparently deeming Twitter the proper channel for venting his spleen. (Ironic, no?)


Yes, after Friday’s installment of Impeachment Theatre, Sweet-talkin’ George took to Twitter to hurl invective at Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY). “Lying trash” he called her. “Why?” you might ask. He explained:



Per Conway, Trump’s a “psychologically unstable man” who “calls people ‘scum’ for telling the truth about him.” And Stefanik had the gall to defend him. Thus, it’s wholly justifiable — in George Conway’s view — to call her “trash”.  Well, sure, that’s perfectly rational and not the slightest bit hypocritical.

Speaking of perfectly rational, Conway later continued his justification by noting that Stefanik not only misspelled “mysogynist,” she brazenly (that hussy!) lied in defense of a man who not only called people (including George) “scum,” but “who’s a serial sexual abuser and rapist.”

(Talk about kickin’ it up a notch!) I don’t know about you but if I believed my spouse went to work every day with a serial sexual abuser and rapist, I might find better use of my time than bellowing about it via social media. (And if I loved and supported my spouse, I’d not take a Twitter torch to his career while simultaneously trash-talking (literally) his proxies. But I digress.)

The point of all this is: Donald Trump is not the boss of George Conway. Actually, come to think of it, that may very well be the point of Conway’s wrath…


But the point I’m trying to make here is that Donald Trump is not the author of George Conway’s words. George Conway is. Though I don’t suppose he realizes that.

James Hasson touched on this Saturday afternoon:

Indeed.  As Hasson rightly notes, Conway’s a prime example of this mentality. “I’m so undone by Trump calling me ‘scum,’ I’m compelled to call someone else ‘trash.’ Damn him for making me say bad things!” No, sir, I’m sorry – someone else’s bad behavior isn’t license for yours.

I concurred with Hasson’s point:

Then had a bit of back-and-forth with fellow attorney and pizza lover @md06john316 — shout out to King Pizza! —


As I explained there, Trump’s most ardent opponents often exhibit the same behavior of which they accuse him. Further, they blame him for their behavior. Which is a bunch of malarkey.  While Trump’s behavior is on him, their behavior is on them.

This isn’t to say that others’ behavior can’t — or shouldn’t — affect you. Of course, the words and actions of others can hurt and anger us — just as they can please and inspire us. But it is up to each of us, then, to determine how we react — if we react at all. Ultimately, blaming Trump (or anyone else) for our own behavior grants him (or them) way too much power over us. He is not the boss of me — or you. He is not responsible for my words and actions — I am.

I thought it interesting, as I composed this, I happened upon this quote from Joe Biden:


No, Joe. Donald Trump isn’t changing the nature of who we are. He’s not that powerful. If “the nature of who we are” is changing, we are doing that.

So, here’s something to consider: If you don’t like who you are — or who you’re becoming — take a long, hard look in the mirror. And realize — it isn’t Donald Trump staring back at you.







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