The past life experiences of our current president have not trained him well for his job. In his past life as a businessman, he was the ruler of all he surveyed and all in it. His past life as a reality star and public celebrity has been even worse, as these yield only to the likes of the Emperor Nero in treating the people around them like dirt.
Even his life as candidate did not teach him much, as he did not build a real coalition as much as exploit the anger of those treated badly by job loss and stagnation, and stoke the revulsion at Hillary Clinton, who proved too tone-deaf and corrupt to be borne. Imagine his shock when he came to White House and started to realize that, beyond being able to blow up the world by pressing a button, his powers were not what he thought. Aside from his own, there were two other branches of government, including the courts, which could reverse his decisions, and 538 members of Congress, with their separate backers and bases of power, acutely attuned to the ripples of change among their supporters, who put their interests ahead of his own.
In business, when you win in a deal, you win and it's over. But in politics it's seldom that clear. In 2016, Trump loved insulting Sens. Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio, embarrassing them in their home states and extracting endorsements out of John McCain and some others. But in November, each carried his state by far larger margins than Trump did. Because each will be in office for six years, while he looks like a one-termer, they can do him more harm now than he can do them.
In business, you may not care what the general public thinks about you as long as you keep making profits. In show business, more people may yawn than adore you, as long as enough people tune in. But in politics, everyone who turns against you cuts into your store of political power, and lessens your strength just so much.
Let us recall that Trump lost the popular vote in 2016, never won a majority of Republican primary voters, and since then has gotten less popular. In show business, you can be a big winner if only some of the public finds you compelling. But in national politics, a different standard applies. This is one reason why Trump made such a mistake at the very beginning, when his opening speeches as president were confrontational, surly, and antagonistic. Just imagine how silly the Women's March would have looked if he had been Jeffersonian at his inaugural; been magnanimous, showed humor, or held out a hand. The air would have seeped out of the so-called "resistance." Instead, he inflated it, and caused it to grow.
"You're fired," was Trump's signature phrase when he starred in "The Apprentice," and it does have a Henry VIII ring to it, as in "Off to the tower" or even more finally, "Off with his head." But William III put an end to this business, and since then the Anglosphere has managed things differently: Richard Nixon said "You're fired" to Archibald Cox 43 years ago, and soon after he found himself fired as well.
As Gerald Ford said, an impeachable offense is what Congress thinks it is, and though Nixon broke many laws, he was forced out of office because his own party could no longer defend him, as his stock with the public had fallen so low. If he does not make amends with more of the public, Trump may hear "You're fired" too.
Noemie Emery, a Washington Examiner columnist, is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and author of "Great Expectations: The Troubled Lives of Political Families."