Friday, September 4, 2020



TOO MUCH and NEVER ENOUGH by Mary Trump provides a uniquely intimate look into the Trump family dynamics that helps readers understand the origin of Donald's penchant for grift and cruelty.

Sadly, the origin is Fred, Donald's father. Fred was father to a total of five kids: Maryanne, Freddy, Elizabeth, Donald, and Robert, in that order.

As the daughter of Freddy, Mary witnessed her grandfather dispensing cruelty to Freddy for veering off what was expected of him (to be a ruthless and unethical real estate dealmaker) by becoming an airplane pilot. Donald learned to mimic Fred's cruelty by repeating Fred's opinion to Freddy—that pilot work is glorified bus driver work.  

Imagine being told such a thing by one's parent. And imagine hearing such a thing being repeated by a sibling. So cruel.

A colleague recently told me that it felt great to hear an unexpected compliment from her adult son. She loved hearing it and also she loved the opportunity that the compliment created, for her to practice humility. I hadn't heard anyone frame the humility practice in that way but when I think about it, I think that is how most parents intuitively teach our kids the humility practice—to love and accept compliments and then use those moments to practice humility.

As much as I dread Donald, this book also has me feeling deep sadness for him. Because Fred never taught him about practicing humility. Rather, he was taught that there can never be enough compliments and that anyone who doesn't compliment him is a loser. And that even the highest criminals deserve to be rewarded if they learn to give him compliments.

I admire that Mary felt the need to write this book to try to help the nation wake up and course-correct. Her book is part of an enormous stack of books that have been written by people who have experienced the same cruelty and corruption. That stack seems to make little difference to his base and enablers, which is the ultimate tragedy.

Decent people on both sides of the aisle have hope that Donald will be defeated in November. But I think we are also bracing for a Donald who will reject the loss and kick and scream to try and hold onto power. I'm not looking forward to that blood bath. And I'm not looking forward to the decades it will take the world to heal from his wretched presidency and the sickness it has flamed.

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