1) Donald Trump’s presidency started on January 20, 2017, with a contentious debate between his press operation and the reporters who cowl the White House over how giant a crowd had attended his inauguration. Trump pressured then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer to go in entrance of reporters and assert it had been “the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe.”
Those two episodes perform as symbolic bookends of the Trump presidency. In a White House by which virtually nothing was steady or predictable, the then-President’s utter obsession with not simply drawing giant crowds but in addition with making certain that everybody knew he drew giant crowds is a uncommon by means of line connecting the early days of the Trump White House to his closing ones.
The examples are legion of Trump’s maniacal deal with proving to everybody simply how many individuals had come to see him communicate.
Recently, in a speech to a social conservative group, Trump in contrast the crowd he had drawn for a July Fourth speech to the one who got here to see Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” tackle.
“And Dr. King gave a speech and it was great. … They showed the picture and it was massive. … They said it was a million people. … Then I gave my speech and they showed the same thing. … Everything was identical. … I gave my speech. So his, they said 1 million people. My pictures were exactly the same, but the people were slightly closer together. They were more compact. … There were more people, they were tighter together if you look at it. … Dr. Martin Luther King had a million, and that’s fine. Donald Trump with more people, had 25,000.”
In the wake of a mass taking pictures in El Paso, Texas, in 2019, Trump traveled to the area to console the victims’ households. In a speech he gave from El Paso, he reminisced about one other tackle he had given within the metropolis a number of months earlier than.
“I was here three months ago,” Trump is seen telling a bunch of what seem like first responders and different officers at University Medical Center within the video.
“That place was packed. … That was some crowd. And we had twice the number outside. And then you had this crazy Beto. Beto had like 400 people in a parking lot, they said his crowd was wonderful.”
There are extra examples — so, so many extra — however you get the concept: Trump has been fixated on his crowd sizes at each second of his presidential marketing campaign, his presidency and, now, his post-presidency.
Which raises a easy query: Why? As in, why does Trump care a lot about crowds?
I’m no psychology main — I’m, in truth, an English main — however the trigger appears comparatively simple.
Trump has spent a lifetime telling himself a narrative. And that story has a hero. And that hero is him. In Trump’s model of his life, he’s the neatest, funniest, best-looking, hottest individual on the planet.
Anything that threatens that delicately constructed self-image is, due to this fact, a significant menace. Empty seats in an enviornment characterize visible proof that Trump might not, finally, be as nice as he thinks he’s. So he reacts viscerally to them.
The Point: If you want a single lens by means of which to look to grasp why Trump is how he’s — and does what he does — his obsession with crowd size is a fairly good one to decide on.