Is Donald Trump Guilty Of Hubris?

Donald Trump wowed every thinking man and woman in America, most around the world, and perhaps beyond if there is intelligent life out there by winning the US presidential election against all odds back in November. He broke every guideline, rule and taboo of political campaigns. He insulted his opponents, belittled the press, and told blatant lies. He won on the steam of his own arrogance and by making the many who would believe in his rhetoric.

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Post election one would think the president elect would have more pressing matters to attend then talking about himself at rallies in front of adoring fans but it seems that the campaign may have been just the beginning. Thirty days after election night Trump was back on the road doing his victory lap, rehashing his amazing, incredible, fantastic campaign. Not satisfied to simply bask in the win he continued to rake his opponent over the coals; hubristicly.

“Young men and the rich are hubristic because they think they are better than other people.”
-Aristotle

Hubris is generally defined in modern times as poor sportsmanship. Of gloating over a win or kicking a person when they’re down but in the ancient world Hubris was a crime of arrogance so great it was punishable by the gods; see Icarus plummeting back to earth, or Satan being cast down to hell for demanding the other angles worship him.

Photo via Wikipedia

Being husbristic is marked by a loss of contact with reality (‘I’m going to build a wall and Mexico is going to pay for it’). An overestimation of ones competence, accomplishments or capabilities (‘My IQ is one of the highest — and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure; it’s not your fault’, ‘Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest – and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure, it’s not your fault’). It’s taking pleasure in humiliating a bested competitor, it’s the childish act of rubbing it in.

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On what was called his Thank You Tour which was ostensibly billed as a way to create unity after the ugliest election since the 19th century Trump very shortly reverted to his pre-election style. Haranguing his former opponent, blowing his electoral majority win way out of proportion and still accusing main stream media of bias. Even as he tried his hand at humility saying he was only the messenger of the American people he couldn’t resist ending it with ‘Let’s face it I have been a pretty good messenger’.

Photo via Wikimedia

Pride Comes Before the Fall

It was the attitude though, this hubris, that has attracted his supporters. Hubris, once a crime punishable by the gods is now rewarded. Social media and reality television stars (which president elect Donald J. Trump recently was) are praised for acting like spoiled children and elevated to the status of celebrity for that special combination of arrogance and ignorance which defines the word. The professional athletes celebratory strut after scoring and the boasting lyrics of pop stars telling us they got and we don’t that we as the public buy into. Perhaps one of the reasons we enjoy braggarts and the self important so much is the anticipation of comeuppance. Nothing garners more media attention then a celebrity at their worst, a celebrity – president therefore may provide the greatest meltdown in Twitter history.