President Trump’s entire career has been built on one foundational myth: that he is tougher than his competitors. Trump positions himself as a knife fighter more than willing to wield the weapon. He’s a brutal negotiator, he says, a man who won’t be bested by competitors. His catch phrase: “You’re fired.” His hard elbows are just part and parcel of his quest for victory, he says.
But what if President Trump isn’t that tough?
The normal tough guy doesn’t care too much what people think about him. But what if President Trump is deeply concerned with what people think — consumed with it? What if he wants to be liked? What if he enjoys watching conflict among others, but hates being blamed for it?
What if Trump isn’t willing to take a hit for the sake of his agenda?
Trump came into office on the backs of two central promises: repealing Obamacare, and a full-scale revocation of President Obama’s executive amnesty. He’s already failed at the first. Now, the most likely outcome seems to be either an actual enshrinement of President Obama’s executive amnesty in a law passed by Congress and signed by Trump himself, or a continuation of Obama’s informal policy with regard to DACA — the use of prosecutorial discretion to avoid enforcement of the law.