The mainstream media has been excoriated of late for its coverage of so-called ‘trivial’ issues relating to Donald Trump’s first few days in the White House. Now, I’m no fan of infotainment, but I have to take issue with those who would lambaste the press for reporting on such things as Trump’s obsession with the size of the inaugural crowd, or the fact that his inauguration cake was a direct copy of Barrack Obama’s inauguration cake. Those who view this as an unnecessary focus on trivialities miss the point; actions and events since January 20 speak to the mental and emotional state of the man who occupies the most powerful office in the world, and, along with the so-called ‘substantive’ issues, they should be known by the public.

Mine is bigger than yours

During the campaign, Trump seemed obsessed with size. I won’t go into the details of the hand-other organ comparison, but this seems to be an issue with him. Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, went postal on the media for daring to question the claim that the crowd at Trump’s inauguration was the largest to ever watch an inauguration, and Trump himself even tweeted his displeasure at the coverage. Of course, he later, tried to walk that lie back by claiming he actually was referring to the TV and Internet viewing audience as well as those who physically attended. This crowd seems to have a fixation on ‘theirs being bigger than anyone else’s’.

Then there’s Cakegate. Photos of the cake at Trump’s inaugural ball showed it looked surprisingly similar to the one at Obama’s last ball. When the Obama cake baker was contacted, he confirmed the similarity, and when the bakery that did do Trump’s cake was contacted, the fact that it was an exact copy was confirmed, and reported by no less than Fox News.

A continuing obsession

This would indeed be a trivial matter if it had ended there, but, alas, it didn’t. In a meeting at CIA headquarters, standing in front of the plaque memorializing those who have died in service to the country, Trump went on an ad hoc riff, again claiming the media had underreported attendance at his inauguration. Then, on January 23, in a meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers at the White House, Trump repeated the lie that there’d been millions of illegal voters, from 3 to 5 million, which is why he ‘lost’ the popular vote.

Why the trivia matters

Make no mistake about it, the 45th president has taken some significant actions that when combined will impact many lives, here and abroad. He signed an executive order directing departments to ‘ease regulations associated with Obamacare,’ or the Affordable Care Act. Details on just what this means have not been announced by the White House, so we’ll just have to wait and see. He also ordered a freeze on federal civilian hiring and a moratorium on new regulations. Another of his orders announced that the U.S. would pull out of the TPP, and we would negotiate bilateral trade deals with all the parties to that agreement, and that he would meet with Canada and Mexico to renegotiate AFTA. He appears to be keeping his campaign promises to dismantle not only everything associated with the Obama Administration, but a good deal of what was in place when Obama was elected in 2008.

But, the trivia matters as well. It speaks to the state of mind of the occupant of the gold-drape festooned Oval Office. He’s obsessed by size, by being the smartest, the best—he’s obsessed with himself. He has a very thin skin, and reacts to every slight, no matter how slight. And, he’s still using Twitter to vent, announce, and head-fake his way through life. I don’t know about anyone else, but these personality traits in the man with the nuclear codes keeps me awake at night.

Oh, and one last item. There’s just been an announcement that he’s keeping James Comey on as Director of the FBI. The FBI, you know, that agency that along with the CIA and NSA is investigating the links between some of his close advisors and the Russians. What’s up with that?

Published by Charles Ray