Why isn’t obvious to everyone that Trump is a coward?

Trump's face on cowardly lion from The Wizard of Oz

Trump dodged Vietnam. I wouldn’t be as bothered if he dodged the draft but at least had enough courage to protest the war if he didn’t think anyone should kill or die for it. But when someone lies to get out of a war and is happy to have others go in his place, that is cowardice.

We know it took him almost two years to visit troops in combat zones, and when he did so he did with extreme precautions, and took no more risk than his wife did.

Now in recent days we’ve seen him tweeting with outrage as he hid in a bunker after turning off the lights in the White House. Later, in an attempt to show bravery, he had the military violently clear Lafayette Square of protestors so he can safely walk across for a quick photo shoot before scurrying back to the White House.

Why can’t so many of us see that he’s a coward?

Some of us think he’s brave because he talks like a tough guy. It’s the same reason so many thought John Wayne was brave. Trump has cultivated his tough guy image for decades. Back in 1991 he had the New York Daily News publish a story about Trump stopping a mugging. That story quoted an anonymous witness to describe Trump’s heroics, but at least one real person disputes it.

Another reason we think he’s brave is he’s reckless. But Trump isn’t reckless with his own safety. As a born-millionaire entrepreneur, he can afford to be reckless. If you have enough money, you can try one thing after another and you don’t have to win them all – you just have to win more than you lose. It doesn’t hurt Trump when any one of his businesses fail because he has others. It only hurts people who lose their jobs, pensions, or investments.

Trump took that recklessness with him to the White House. Trump was reckless when he taunted Kim Jong Un with childish name-calling. But who would suffer if a nuclear armed madman in Asia were to retaliate? Not Trump. Most likely, just our allies in South Korea and Japan. And what a rallying cry it would be if Kim were to harm innocent people on the other side of the world. We’d nuke North Korea and hail Trump as a hero.

Which brings me to the final reason so many fail to see Trump for what he is. He’s dangerous. We’re not wired to see the difference between danger and bravery. Think about at how many organizations use dangerous animals as their logo. But a cobra doesn’t bite because it’s brave. It bites out of fear. And that’s the same reason Trump had peaceful protestors tear gassed at Lafayette Square.

Thinking about what a coward Trump is and why so many can’t see it, it becomes clear why so many of his fans feel the need to arm themselves for Starbucks.

(edit notes: I fixed some grammatical errors since originally posting)

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