de·lu·sion·al – characterized by or holding idiosyncratic beliefs or impressions that are contradicted by reality or rational argument, typically as a symptom of mental disorder.
Dan owned the largest real estate company in our community. Most folks assumed he inherited it or that he was born with money, but the reality was that Dan started the company himself with two desk, two chairs, two phones and one employee. At the time of his death seven years ago he had offices in five counties and probably controlled 60% of the residential real estate market.
If you have ever heard Zig Ziglar speak or read one of his books that was Dan. Positive, optimistic, backslapping, the kind of larger than life personality that makes some people run in a different direction to get away from him. He called everybody Buddy…..everybody. Even if he knew your name you were Sam Buddy or Sarah Buddy.
I was at a conference one year that Dan and his wife Kate were attending. It had been a long three days full of boring speakers and technical information. On the last night there was a cocktail party. I had a few drinks and talked to a few people, but I was ready to go home. I saw Kate sitting at a table by herself, so I went over to join her. In the background we could hear Dan working the room with his trademark, Buddy this and Buddy that. I had known Dan and Kate for twenty plus years and they were friends with my in-laws, so I was comfortable asking her this question, “Does Dan ever turn-off or is he like that all the time?” Kate, a charming Southern lady with a dry, wicked sense of humor, smiled at me and said, “He is like that all the time, even walking around the house in his underwear.” I didn’t need that visual but it certainly drove the point home.
Dan was a successful businessman for a number of reasons. First, despite his sunny disposition if he needed to be serious about addressing a problem or confronting an issue he did it in a steady, reassuring way. Over the course of 40+ years trust and dependability carried Dan, and his organization over several economic bumps in the road. Second, and probably most importantly, Dan surrounded himself with smart, and competent people many that went on, much to Dan’s pride, to become competitors. It was not in Dan’s nature to hold people back. His entire existence was built on lifting people up, helping them move ahead, and forward.
Despite a massive company bearing his name. Despite driving around town and seeing his name plastered on signs in front yards in every neighborhood you never got the feeling that his ego was more important than his family, his employees, or his community. He lived life as a humble man, albeit a very jolly and loud one, and when he died, he was mourned by thousands who knew him as a friend, a boss, a mentor and their Buddy.
I write all this so you understand what a real leader, a real human being looks like and I can promise you the “orange wonder” occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. isn’t the kind of leader or man my friend Dan was.
This week has been another shit show for Trump. While he has assigned one superlative after another about the excellent, tremendous, incredible, great job HE is doing more Americans become infected and more Americans die from COVID-19. And while hospitals and health care providers continue to plead, and beg for more equipment, supplies and help Trump tells all that continue to listen to him that they have all that they need.
Think about it, it’s just Wednesday and already Trump has fired the person responsible for overseeing the $2 trillion relief package. Why? Because Trump realized that acting inspector general for the Defense Department, Glenn Fine was a “by the book” kind of guy, just the kind of “accountable” person Trump refuses to have in his administration. Trump is getting ready to treat that $2 trillion like it is his own personal piggy bank. He wants it, he needs it and Fine wouldn’t have let him have it so he got fired.
Then Trump attempted to shift the blame for his lack of response to the World Health Organization (WHO) even stating that the United States would put a “very powerful hold” on WHO funding. The truth is WHO did correctly identify the scale of the virus and attempted to warn Trump and his administration very early on. Instead of accepting, planning and communicating the gravity of what was headed our way we got “…… as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone.”
We also learned that Peter Navarro, who serves as Assistant to the President, Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, and the national Defense Production Act policy coordinator, a very smart guy, wrote two memos to Trump the first of the year. Navarro’s memos warned that the Coronavirus could become a “full blown pandemic” causing trillions of dollars in economic damage and risking the health of millions of Americans. Trump claims, “I didn’t see them. I didn’t look for them either”. Later Trump stated “I’m a cheerleader for this country. I don’t want to create havoc and shock.” Ask the families of the 12,905 people that have died to date from the Coronavirus how they feel about their “cheerleader”? Ask the millions of Americans that have lost their jobs if they are feeling “havoc and shock” yet? I bet they are.
I could add to the list, the resignation of Trump’s acting Navy secretary, everyone is acting, Thomas Modly and the very fucked-up things he said about the ousted commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, Capt. Brett Crozier who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Or the removal of White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, number four in three years but who’s counting. She has the distinction of never, ever giving a single press briefing but she certainly spent a lot of time on Fox News. But what’s the point of piling on?
For those of us that are fully awake. For those of us that are conscious. For those of us that see Trump for who he really is, a conman, a grifter, a delusional, and mentally ill narcissist just remember, “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.” Take heart America, in time, like a miracle, Trump will disappear and fade from our sight as well and his “legacy” will be just a sad footnote in the history of this great country. What we will be left with is a sullen, lonely, bitter old man, living at Mar-a-Lago until it is repossessed, making a few guest appearances on the Sean Hannity Show until it is cancelled along with a few thousand old, fat white people still wearing tattered MAGA baseball caps made in China.