A narcissist is a person concerned only about himself. He sees the world through a lens reflecting just his image. Everything is a function of his ego. He is hypersensitive to slights. He bristles at criticism. If it serves his interests, he attacks, maligns, humiliates, and obliterates those he perceives as a threat.
When a narcissist is President of the United States, his actions, words, and policies can be cruel, and cruelty is the only word that adequately describes Trump’s action against 800,000 children of undocumented people who have committed no crime.
Trump’s cancellation of DACA instituted six years ago by Executive Order of President Obama, despite the urging of Trump’s advisors and many fellow Republicans not to do so, is without question the ugliest action he has taken since becoming President. In my memory, this is the ugliest action taken by any president in my lifetime.
Countless Jewish organizations have condemned Trump’s decision including the Union for Reform Judaism, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the American Jewish Committee, the ADL, Bend the Arc, J Street, Amenu, the National Council of Jewish Women, Truah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights, the Shalom Center, the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs.
Why did Trump do it? The writer John Binder in Breitbart News tried to justify Trump’s action:
“Ending DACA could be a major stimulus for the 4.4 percent of unemployed Americans who will see more than 700,000 new job openings across the United States.”
Rob Eshman, the publisher of the LA Jewish Journal, put it exactly right when he wrote this week:
“… ludicrous. It assumes none of the Dreamers are self-employed, that their roles can easily be filled by the ranks of the remaining unemployed – many of whom are far less well-educated, less well-trained, less motivated, far older or not even living in areas where the Dreamers work. Some 250 work for Apple – in what fantasy world are those jobs just ripe for the picking? But Breitbart knows that.”
And so, what’s this all about?
It seems to me that Trump was motivated by two things:
First, he hates Obama, never missing an opportunity to trash policies of the Obama administration. It doesn’t matter what good Obama did for the country and for millions of people. If the policy was Obama’s, Trump has sought to reverse it.
Second, Trump recognizes that his shrinking power-base has to be fed continually. His base of nativist, xenophobic, white supremacist and anti-immigrant bigots will stay close if he speaks and acts on their dark impulses. According to polls, Trump is now losing everyone else at the rate of one percentage point each week.
Thankfully, for the sake of these 800,000 children of undocumented immigrants, there is a potential silver lining. Not only has the nation reacted negatively across political lines to Trump’s decision to cancel DACA, a number of Republicans are working in a bi-partisan effort with Democrats in Congress to legislate a compassionate and humane solution for the dreamers.
As more and more Republicans lose faith in Trump and see him for who he really is, many Republicans in Congress will be guided not by partisan politics but by their moral compass. That will be good not only for the DACA people but for the country.