As with Superheroes, Trump’s Superpowers Have Their Limitations

President Trump delivers remarks on immigration policy at the White House, May 16, 2019. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)His acid tongue can melt Republicans, but not Democrats.

In comic books, a key to a compelling superpower is its limitations. Magneto can manipulate metal but only metal. Superman has problems with magic, red suns, and kryptonite. The limitations drive the drama.

In politics, Donald Trump has a couple of superpowers. Shamelessness is one. He’s willing to say whatever he thinks will benefit him, heedless of traditional rules of civility, decency, consistency, or honesty. This is much more of an asset in politics than many would have guessed just a few years ago, because it allows him to say and do things other politicians can’t.

Advertisement Advertisement

Why Trump largely gets a pass in these regards is a complicated question that I can’t fully answer, but I think part of it is that it comes across as authentic and, to some, as entertaining or endearing. Whatever the reason, it makes him immune to the sort of gaffes that typically wound other politicians.

Another Trump superpower is his ability to destroy the careers of politicians who displease him by attacking or insulting them.

View Source