Nothing describes Trump better than – well Trump. He is the product of his own creation and his brand is as much himself as his very life. Everything he touches bears the “Trump” stamp. Trump Towers, Trump Wine, Trump Water, Trump Steaks, Trump Hotels, Trump Golf, Trump University. However, unlike Midas, very few of the things he touches turn to gold. More often than not, the Trump brand fails rather than succeeds.
And the Trump brand fails because in most cases the product is not worth the price. Yet throughout the campaign, Trump trumpeted his “success” as a businessman. His vanity could not allow him to admit any failures, even when they were brought to his attention. It was always “somebody else’s fault.” His vanity extends to his appearance, with his garish fake orange tan and inexplicable hair.
His vanity reaches to his wives, and beyond. As he said in 1991 “You know, it really doesn’t matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.” He has already traded in two of his three wives in for newer, younger versions.
Since his inauguration on January 21st, Trump has spent nearly every weekend at one of his personal properties, nearly every one at his private resort in Florida Mar-A-Lago. While many speculate he does this in order to profit from the presidency, it could be that he needs the adulation that comes from being surrounded by people who paid fees up to $200,000 in order to be near him. Not even the White House provides him that sop to his ego.
Let’s be very clear on one point. Trump is not proud, he is vain. It is vanity that leads him to claim one of the highest IQs of anyone. It is vanity that led him to say he knew more than any of the generals on how to defeat ISIS. If Trump had any pride, then he would also feel shame. And Trump is completely without shame. He lies when he doesn’t need to lie and he lies about things that can be easily disproven.
In the New King James translation of the Book of Ecclesiastes, it begins:
“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher;
“Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”
What profit has a man from all his labor
In which he toils under the sun?
But the translation of these same words from the Jewish Publication Society hit harder:
Utter futility! – said Koheleth –
Utter futility! All is futile!
What real value is there for a man
In all the gains he makes beneath the sun?
Trump’s latest brand is the Trump Presidency. He sold it to just enough of the American people to win the election. What those voters didn’t realize is that they were voting for a brand, not a person. The Trump brand means whatever Trump wants it to mean at any given point in time. Just as he said under sworn testimony that his personal wealth was whatever he “felt” like it was.
He has now licensed his brand, his presidency, to both China and Mexico. By doing so, he has lit his own bonfire of vanities. But the glow from this bonfire on the Trump-brand Presidency has begun to dim, even among some of his staunchest supporters. Many people are beginning to realize that the product they bought is not worth the cost. Like Trump steaks, Trump vodka, and Trump University, the Trump Presidency is just another scam.
And the day will come, hopefully sooner rather than later, when the American people recognize those words: “Vanity of vanities. All is vanity.” are the real description of Donald Trump.