Young Donald Trump
I grew up in Beverly Hills. The experience has given me an idea about Donald Trump.
My dad didn’t earn one percent of the money that Trump’s father did — far from it! — but I knew kids whose parents had heavy money. It can make a kid insecure: “I’ve got so much stuff, but I didn’t earn it. Maybe I don’t deserve it.”
If an insecure person achieves high status, his self-image can congeal into the impostor syndrome: “I’m in this great position, but if people find out that I don’t deserve it, my life could fall apart.”
That person might hide this fear under bluster and bravado: “If I act like I’m the greatest and like anyone against me is just jealous or lying or crooked — like they’re the undeserving ones, not me — then I’ll be safe.”
Trump would probably deny that insecurity could be driving him. He doesn’t seem introspective enough to explore whatever subterranean fears might be spinning his turbines. Nor does he seem likely to consider that he may have built up the hard-charging front-line fighters of his outward behavior to protect him from his own feelings.
And I’ll admit that Trump-size wealth seems likelier to make a kid feel secure, not insecure. If everyone around you always gives you the best of everything as if you deserve it all, then you’ll probably believe that you deserve it.
But when I see someone who boasts about himself and denounces others as often and passionately as Trump, I see insecurity. And it may be the insecurity of the rich kid who feels like an undeserving impostor.