What defines Donald Trump?
If you were to ask Mike Pence or Neil Gorsuch I suspect that each would remember a defining moment in their relationships with Trump — the moment when a handshake veered towards a shoulder dislocation.
When I first saw this I wondered whether Trump had some kind of involuntary muscular spasm as he yanked on Gorsuch’s arm. But then I saw this:
On both occasions, it’s as though Trump thought he was leash-training his new puppy with a yank to show who’s the boss.
Yet to be on the receiving end of that yank must have been at least unnerving and perhaps even haunting.
A mafia boss knows that loyalty can only be sustained with fear — that the possibility of disobedience needs to be seen as posing an existential threat to anyone who steps out line.
I assume Trump’s never threatened to kill anyone, but if he has, that would hardly seem surprising.
And even if no one in Trump’s orbit fears getting their feet set in concrete and then getting thrown into the Potomac, Trump seems to go out of his way to make himself appear menacing in a variety of ways.
Trump’s handshake/yank could signify many things — “I’ve got you now,” “don’t stray from me,” “I’m in control.”
What it certainly fails to convey is a shred of respect for the person on the receiving end.