We're all familiar with the tale of King Midas, whose greed was his downfall. In a way, Trump is similar, except that his downfall is due to his ego. Everything in his life -- his real estate holding, his family, foreign policy, domestic policy -- seems to be an extension of his ego.
It's as if when the satyr Silenus offered to grant Trump a wish, Trump had said, "I want everything I touch to make me look great." But Silenus then replied, "But I can't do that -- only you can do that."
So Trump tried, but he tried too hard. And he would constantly point out how great he was, which only made him look bad.
For instance, when Trump said during the campaign, "I will be the greatest President for jobs that God ever created," it sounded good, at first. What's not to like about more jobs? But in retrospect, it was all about him.
Note that Trump did not say, "Our administration is going to create an unprecedented number of jobs, and that will be a primary focus." He started out by using his favorite word, "I," and ended the sentence with "God ever created," as if the Almighty had specifically created him, back in 1946, to be the greatest jobs President ever.
If Trump had taken out the words "for jobs," the sentence would have shown what was really on his mind.
Trump was probably thinking in the back of his mind that invoking God would win him points with the religious crowd. Instead, it merely betrayed his ego.
What Trump needs to realize is that just one or two self-deprecating jokes would do wonders for his image. He actually has a decent sense of humor, but all his jokes are directed outward. If just a few could be at his own expense, people would like him more. The jokes wouldn't even have to be off the cuff, they could be obviously written by his speechwriters.
It's hard to imagine that Trump's handlers haven't thought of this. Does Trump just overrule them and delete the jokes from his speeches? He may just be constitutionally incapable of modesty.
Best of all would be if Trump could make a joke about his own ego. If he wants to rule a certain course of action out, he could say, with a wink, "That's about as likely as me saying something self-deprecatory."
Next time he wants to describe something as "yuuuuge," instead he could say, "This thing....Let me put it this way, it's almost as big as my ego."
Instead of boasting that he's surrounded himself with the very, very best people, he could just say, "I made sure that absolutely every last person on my staff is smarter than me -- which is probably the smartest thing I've ever done."
If he would make these comments, one of two things would happen: his approval ratings would rise, or he would choke to death.
It'd be worth the risk.