AMERICA, MEET DONALD (CAPTAIN QUEEG) TRUMP,” a real-life version of the fictional Captain Philip Francis Queeg of the minesweeper USS Caine. The Caine Mutiny, was the 1951 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel written by Herman Wouk, and subsequently became, in 1954, a five-star movie starring Humphrey Bogart—one of my all-time favorites.
The “Queeg” moniker came to me yesterday after months of observing and listening to Trump’s unstable lashing out at virtually anyone of note (and some not-so-much of note) from whom he perceives an insult and his consistent display of an uber authoritarian persona. It reminded me of Captain Queeg’s monomaniacal obsession with strict discipline—dominating and micromanaging his crew—which easily distracted him from his primary duties in WWII.
I recalled Queeg’s paranoia, his turning the Cain inside out in a search to find the thief of a can of strawberries, his demanding that no one may interrupt him while he’s talking, his intolerance of being contradicted and his angry rebuke of a subordinate while his ship steamed over its own tow cable.
Considering this juxtaposition with Trump, his presidency is chilling on many levels, especially that he’s now in possession of the nation’s nuclear missile launch codes (Dr. Strangelove comes to mind), his global-warming denial and his intention to go full bore in opening up more land to drilling for fossil fuels, a bow to the Kochs and which includes rescinding the sanctions on Russia for the sake of huge profits for Exxon Mobile (the corporation of Rex Tillerson—Trump’s nomination for Secretary of State and likely confirmed on Jan. 23rd).
As for Trumps thin skin, in my mind he needs some early conditioning on how to thicken it. Since his subordinates in the White House and most congressional conservatives likely are sycophants (yes men) who would bow to his demands for no other reason than for profit and power (although I hope the military types are not so greedy and demonstrate the integrity his Wall Streeters are not likely to display), his education is left to the public.
I will, henceforth, refer to him as Capt. Queeg, until and unless he proves me wrong. I won’t, however, bet the farm. I hope others adopt this view as well.
I once thought that GW Bush was much like Queeg and suggested as much in my novel, The Empathy Imperative, but at least Bush’s insecurity left him open to manipulation (mainly by Cheney). Trump, however, masks his insecurity in extreme narcissism and hostility, therefore, he is not likely controllable.