Too Much and Never Enough is Not Enough to Explain Our President

Julia Knox
3 min readJul 24, 2020

It is no surprise that Trump had an unhappy childhood. Were his social and emotional skills fostered? No. Were the majority of American male children of his generation nurtured with a loving kindness from both parents, due to inherited emotional wisdom, spanning across decades of Puritanical inbreeding? No. Are all of them sociopaths? No.

Growing up, I witnessed more disturbing incidents of WASPs gone wild.

The bullish Donald became entwined in a grande scheme, purportedly concocted by his father, to epitomize the glitz and wealth of a real estate mogul. His father built an empire, and invested in Donald’s penchant for publicity as intentionally as he invested in real estate. The book paints the late Fred Trump as the epitome of sociopathy, and I am sure there are many details that remain unknown to the public. Yet, I hardly find the details to explain, let alone excuse, the monster of Donald Trump. The fact that Donald was failing fantastically while presenting the facade of a self-made businessman is nothing new, either. Socio-economic determinism, anyone? Daddy was bankrolling his Benz while he failed upward with startling velocity. If you think this is unique to the Trump family, wake up.

The issues raised in Mary Trump’s book are national issues, not personal ones.

Money as a proxy for love in families devoid of emotional intimacy is not a new concept. Financial abuse is not a new concept, and it is an exceedingly cruel method of control, often used by perpetrators of domestic violence. The brash overconfidence of the mediocre white man is not new, but it is getting old. Fast.

I do not think Mary Trump’s book was a mistake. She provides a humanizing picture of the Trump family, and my heart goes out to her father, Freddy, in particular. Yet, nothing in this story is unique to the Trump’s aside from their inordinate wealth.

Wealth in America functions as a great divider, it can divide families as divisively as economic classes.

As we are seeing during the Coronavirus pandemic, we can no longer deny that America puts a price on human lives. Money has become synonymous with human value in the very system that claims to care for our lives: The Healthcare System. To put it crassly, money now defines who is worthy of living at all.

It is important to examine how we value human life. Human life and human capital should not be synonymous, and to define human life as valuable outside of capital is to think outside of the capitalist context.

To rid ourselves of an epidemic of Donalds, we must ascribe value to human life independent of capital.

America is the only industrialized nation without Universal Healthcare. The lack of basic healthcare reinforces the value that economic worth defines one’s right to survive. The Trump family was not unique in creating Donald. Capitalism encourages the narcissism, sociopathy, and deceit to which Donald is so prone.

Donald Trump is not the fault of the Trump family, he is the Golden Boy of Capitalism.