The following is an excerpt from The Atlantic, dated 3 September, 2020:
On Memorial Day 2017, Trump visited Arlington National Cemetery, a short drive from the White House. He was accompanied on this visit by John Kelly, who was then the secretary of homeland security, and who would, a short time later, be named the White House chief of staff. The two men were set to visit Section 60, the 14-acre area of the cemetery that is the burial ground for those killed in America’s most recent wars. Kelly’s son Robert is buried in Section 60. A first lieutenant in the Marine Corps, Robert Kelly was killed in 2010 in Afghanistan. He was 29. Trump was meant, on this visit, to join John Kelly in paying respects at his son’s grave, and to comfort the families of other fallen service members. But according to sources with knowledge of this visit, Trump, while standing by Robert Kelly’s grave, turned directly to his father and said, “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?” Kelly (who declined to comment for this story) initially believed, people close to him said, that Trump was making a ham-handed reference to the selflessness of America’s all-volunteer force. But later he came to realize that Trump simply does not understand non-transactional life choices.
“He can’t fathom the idea of doing something for someone other than himself,” one of Kelly’s friends, a retired four-star general, told me. “He just thinks that anyone who does anything when there’s no direct personal gain to be had is a sucker. There’s no money in serving the nation.” Kelly’s friend went on to say, “Trump can’t imagine anyone else’s pain. That’s why he would say this to the father of a fallen marine on Memorial Day in the cemetery where he’s buried.”
-- Jeffrey Goldberg, “Trump: Americans Who Died in War Are ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers’,” The Atlantic
Between this article and Mary Trump’s book, Too Much and Never Enough, we get such a clear picture of Donald Trump’s self-involved Weltanschauung that any other embellishment might almost seem redundant. Trump sees life, or at least certainly HIS life as based utterly in transactionalism, quid pro quo, and completely zero-sum. Selfless service or dedication to a cause is equally a mystery to him, because it speaks to serving something other than oneself or larger than oneself, as we all doubtless know by now, Trump is about no one other than himself, and serving something or someone other than himself is a concept he not only will not entertain; he can’t even conceive of doing such a thing.
The foundation for this attitude is well-documented in Too Much and Never Enough, and its source is Fred Trump, Sr., Donald’s father. To listen to Mary Trump describe him, Fred was a martinet, narcissist and sociopath, and the circumstances of Donald’s upbringing resulted in his becoming a near-clone of his father, only without the skills of management which had given rise to Fred’s real estate successes. Regardless, neither of them had any use for participating in any form of service. In fact, TMaNE includes a scene wherein Donald is threatened with being disowned if he entered the military in any capacity. Fred Trump’s attitude was clear: we don’t serve; we ARE served, an attitude his son clearly adopted.
And so we have a man in the post of president of the United States, a position of service, who not only has no concept of service but no desire or interest in serving his fellow man and woman, but only himself. If he bolsters the position of the 1% with his tax policies, that is likely only a coincidental side effect. His intent in passing it was purely to fatten his own pockets, though it also increases the likelihood of maintaining the super-rich’s support of his policies.
General William Tecumseh Sherman, when being drafted for the presidency, is alleged to have said, “If nominated, I will not run. If elected, I will not serve.” Donald John Trump did run, was elected, and occupies the Oval Office of the White House as President of the United States.
But in no way, shape, or form, does he serve.