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Pete Sabey: The Wizard of Washington

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Pete Sabey

In “The Wizard of Oz,” Dorothy finds three companions who join her in seeking the Wizard’s help. Our amazing president perfectly embodies the traits of all three. This is an accomplishment that no other world leader from least powerful to most powerful can boast of.

And, of course, the leader of the USA is generally acknowledged to be the most powerful on the planet.

Dorothy first meets the Scarecrow, who lacks a brain. Next she meets the Tin Man who lacks a heart. Finally she meets the Cowardly Lion, who lacks courage. Can it possibly be true that Trump captures the traits of all three? As to the lack of a brain, Trump may have the lowest IQ of any president in history. Former professors describe him as a hopeless student. He currently is incapable of reading more than a single page at a time, and his retention appears highly compromised, probably symptomatic of early dementia (longtime associates also note the shrinkage of Trump’s vocabulary). And mental health experts find him afflicted with at least two or more serious mental disorders including Narcissistic Personality Disorder (everything is about him, his TV and polling ratings and his business — with apparently no regard for the nation’s best interests). The other prominent mental disorder is extreme sociopathy. Persons with this disorder used to be called psychopaths. Trump manifests this in a number of behaviors:

By lying on a daily basis about even the most trivial and obvious facts; by a lifetime of cheating on taxes, stiffing contractors and blocking immigrants while exploiting them at his properties; and perhaps most egregiously shameless, firing inspector generals who are meant to hold him to account.

Thus it would be fair to say we have a scarecrow in the White House. Although, to be fair, the Scarecrow is not mentally ill, just brainless.

The Tin Man lacks a heart. One of the most painful absences in our president is his lack of empathy, his astonishing heartlessness as he continually tries to deprive millions of the most vulnerable Americans of health care, downplaying the threat of the current pandemic at incalculable cost in human lives, trashing the environment to promote use of obsolete and dangerous fossil fuels. The list goes on, but it would be hard to argue that the man at the heart of our government has a heart.

The Cowardly Lion lacks courage. Is this also true of Trump? One of the surest psychological markers of cowardice is bullying. We see this daily — with reporters asking appropriate questions, with any public official who differs with him, including his closest associates from the totally cowed vice president and on down through the ranks of sycophants who surround him. Trump is unable to ever take responsibility for the failures of his government. Instead he always finds someone (Obama, Pelosi, “nasty” reporters) to blame and call childish names. This is a manifestation of a deep inner insecurity and desperate defense against the shame lurking just below the surface. Again, in fairness to the Lion, he wasn’t nearly as cowardly and twisted as Trump.

Where, then, is the Wizard who can supply Trump with a brain, a heart, and courage? Probably nowhere to be found, because when the curtain is pulled back, the Wizard of Oz proves to be a total phony. I guess we have to add this fourth trait to Trump’s portfolio. The self-described “very stable genius” (The Wizard of Washington) also proves to be a total phony.

To use three of Trump’s favorite words to praise his own performance: “Great!” “Tremendous!” “Perfect!”

Truer words: Untruthful! Unfit! Unbearable!

Pete Sabey lives in Grass Valley


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