PERSONAL CORRESPONDENCE: KAEPERNICK VS TRUMP

An acquaintance familiar with this blog recently asked me (Brooks): “Who is dealing with life better, Kaepernick or Trump?” Wow! Not often does one hear those names together – an NFL quarterback who sits or kneels on the sidelines when the national anthem is played (an action protected by the Constitution), and the Republican nominee for President. But the question got me to thinking how would I evaluate their coping skills solely on the basis of these actions.

As for Kaepernick my answer would depend on his motivation for sitting or kneeling. If he wants to increase the sales of NFL team jerseys with his name on them, then he is doing a great job with his protest. According to news reports, sales of Kaepernick jerseys have greatly increased. Of course maybe he just protests to draw attention to himself. If so, then once again he is coping beautifully because his protest has received a lot of media coverage.

If, on the other hand, the motivation behind his protest is to encourage a dialogue and spur action to improve race relations and social justice in the USA, I would say his protest is a dismal failure. To be sure his action has produced a lot of discussion, but unfortunately the discussion has centered on his protest method, and not on the issue he is protesting. In my opinion, a far better coping strategy for this young man with considerable financial resources would be to put some of those resources behind proactive social programs to bring warring parties together to develop positive ways to solve the racial injustices he is protesting.

My bottom line: If Kaepernick is protesting social justice inequities and is going to leave it at sitting or kneeling during the national anthem, his coping efforts are a dismal failure.

Trump? I think he’s simple to size up. In my opinion, if you boil him down to his essence you’re left with one thing: EGO. His overriding motivation for everything he does is self-glorification. He cares not for me, not for you, and not for the country. He cares only for himself.

Running for president is an exquisite and successful coping action for a narcissist like Trump because for many months he has enjoyed the adulation of thousands of mesmerized fans at live rallies. They literally worship his words and hope many of those words are distasteful and insulting. He readily accommodates their hope, and their positive reactions allow him to nourish an insatiable ego. This is quite an ego trip and in coping terms, I believe Trump is wildly successful in obtaining what he needs for feeling productive and satisfied – a well-fed ego.

Of course, voters must decide if Trump’s coping actions are what they want in a President of the United States. For me, a Republican of 48 years, the prospect of his being in the Oval Office floods me with intense anxiety. That is why I must visit the coping blog on a regular basis!

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