Michael Nutter says the President needs to realize that Americans aren't going to share his bizarre, egomaniacal view of the world and are not going to condone his attempts to bully people
He says it's time for the President to govern for all people, not just a fraction of them
Editor’s Note: Michael A. Nutter is the former mayor of Philadelphia, a CNN contributor and the David N. Dinkins Professor of Practice at Columbia University/SIPA. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his.
Dear President Trump, We know what you’re doing, we know why you’re doing it, and we will not tolerate it or normalize it.
You have mistakenly allowed yourself to think, and convinced your White House team of true believers, that Americans will adjust themselves to accept and conform to your bizarre behavior, your obsession with your greatness, your need to always be “right” no matter what you say, your ability to lie about or deny what you’ve said or not said even in the face of audio and/or video proof, your continued floating of conspiracy theories without presenting evidence, your abusive and aggressive tweeting AT people which sets your Twitter-troller followers into a frenzy to attack your critics.
We see all of these purposely hurtful, distracting and egomaniacal tactics for what they are – publicly available literature would indicate that you may apparently be displaying signs of malignant narcissism and narcissistic leadership .
You will NOT be successful in trying to convince Americans, or any other world leaders for that matter, that somehow there is something “wrong” with the rest of us because we don’t see the world through your warped prism of “win/lose,” biggest, best-ever, largest, greatest, incredible, fantastic, first, only ever and “no one can do it like me.”
You expose your insecurities and embarrass yourself when you speak in this manner, and your behavior forces many people to examine you in an unflattering light. Your words and actions appear to be classic “projection” on your part, revealing the following personality traits:
Small, like when you argue about the size of your hands.
Petty, like your public humiliation of Mitt Romney.
Insecure, like how you take people around with you to clap and cheer for you.
Obsessed, like disrespectfully talking about inaugural crowd size at the CIA Memorial Wall.
Deceptive, like directing Sean Spicer to report false information or allowing Kellyanne Conway to use the term “alternative facts” to explain falsehoods, as if we’re living in the society of 1984’s Oceania.
Devoid of empathy, like your inability to seemingly understand the pain and anger you have inflicted by your words and actions on women, Muslims, Mexicans, African-Americans, disabled individuals, the LGBTQ community and many others.
The lesson many people have drawn from your behavior is that you are employing the technique of gaslighting, defined as manipulating someone “by psychological means into doubting their own sanity.”
These traits and character issues are of great concern to many Americans, and now you’ve apparently decided to start attacking mayors as well.
You met with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on December 7, 2016, at Trump Tower while you were President-elect, but now as President, you negatively and nastily tweet at him about serious public issues.
Did you somehow lose his phone number, and now can only communicate by tweeting AT him, rather than talking TO him? You may find this surprising, but that Twitter machine that is apparently surgically attached to your hand also has a number of other fascinating features – it really is a PHONE that you can TALK to people with and communicate that way as well.
If you actually talked to Mayor Emanuel, you would know that there really IS a legitimate and proper role for the “feds” to play in helping Chicago deal with crime and public safety issues. For that to happen, rather than tweeting a threat that you are apparently considering invading the great City of Chicago, you could send your team to ask the mayor directly what his needs are and how could your administration best provide assistance and support.
After coordinating a plan between your administration and the Emanuel administration, you could then travel to Chicago and talk about the great work that you’re doing to help the city. See, isn’t that a great way to show leadership?
This is how real government leaders work – we meet, we talk, we plan and then, we take action, together. The cities of America are what make America great, and having a partnership between the great cities of America and the federal government will be a key to the success of your administration. We should all be partners, not adversaries, in our mutual commitment to serve our constituents.
As a new person to public service, you would benefit greatly from listening to, watching and learning from these city leaders who are on the front lines of public safety, education, immigration, job creation, civil and human rights protection and government leadership.
Mayors will not be bullied or intimidated by you or your team on Twitter or by other means. Mayors are chief executive officers of their cities, and cities represent the engines of innovation, opportunity, economic development and progress.
Mr. President, try this strategy for a week – less tweeting at or about people, more talking directly to and with real people about real issues that actually matter to most Americans.
Please resist the almost uncontrollable urge you have to publicly rant about whatever obsessions are rattling around in your own mind about yourself, your self-image or your self-importance. Your diehard followers still adore you, the election is over, you won and now it is your turn, whether some like it or not, to sit in the White House as the 45th President of the United States of America. It’s now time for you to govern on behalf of the entire 325 million of us in America, and reassure the rest of the world that the gaslight period has ended.
The campaign is over. It’s time to govern for ALL America.