Something that Gwyneth Paltrow said reminds me of Donald Trump:
“Fame is such a weird and distorting thing. I’ve thought a lot about it, and my theory is that you kind of stop growing at the age you are when you become famous. Because what happens is, people start removing all your obstacles, and if you have no obstacles you don’t know who you are. You don’t have real perspective on the problems that face you in life, how to surmount them, and what kind of character you have.”
–– Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales.
Paltrow’s right. But fame isn’t the only attribute that removes obstacles. Wealth and power have the same effect.
Whether you have wealth, fame, or power, people without those advantages will try to do favors for you. They may not like you, but a lot of them will try to please you, because you have what they want or what they fear.
Which brings us to Donald Trump.
Trump has been wealthy since infancy, famous since his early thirties, and powerful — first in business and then in politics — for decades. Whenever he’s faced obstacles, he’s used his wealth, fame, and power to help him surmount them.
When someone without Trump’s wealth, power, or fame faces obstacles, she can surmount them only by raw strength of character. Even the mostly despicable Richard Nixon developed impressive tenacity and resilience.
Not Trump, though. He’s never had to build up those mental muscles.
No wonder he goes on Twitter rampages when people displease him. He may never have needed to learn other ways to respond.