Trump’s Placelessness

Yesterday Donald Trump got his cities confused.  He thought he was going to speak to farmers in Nashville when he was actually going to speak to farmers in New Orleans.

This seems like an honest mistake.  It is not unusual for people who travel a great deal–businessmen and musicians come to mind–to forget what city they are in.

But Trump’s mistake got me thinking about the way his life is defined by placelessness.  He leaves Trump Tower, the White House, Mar-a-Lago or Bedminster in a limo and drives to a private plane.  He lands somewhere and then takes another limo to a hotel or conference center.  Then he gets back in his limo, drives to the airport, boards his private plane or Air Force Once, and returns home.

Much of his presidential campaign consisted of flying to a city, getting in a limo, driving to an arena, getting back in a limo, and flying back to Trump Tower.  There was little interaction with ordinary people in these towns and cities.  The only time he spends outdoors is on a private golf course.

Trump lives in a placeless world in which he occupies about five or six spaces.  Within these sanitized spaces–the Oval Office, his bed, the inside of Air Force One, his Trump Tower apartment, the backseat of his limo, his room at Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster–he engages the world through Fox News.

Yet, ironically, millions of Americans have turned to him to save their local communities.

2 thoughts on “Trump’s Placelessness

  1. Well, we don’t need to have the president around us much anyway. I think he said when people are in trouble financially, such as many government employees are right now, they adjust or do something like that.
    Because the regular folks are resilient and don’t feel the pinch the way Trump would.


  2. John,
    I have to respectfully comment that this is a non-story. Please show me any president whose orbit is not sanitized. President Obama was not out shaking hands on a daily basis with factory workers, farmers, and soccer moms. (But he was pretty good at gladhanding large doners in posh coastal venues.)
    In fact, during the 2016 election Hillary was criticized for having a physical campaign presence which was far too limited and controlled. This tendency became even more pronounced after the embarrassments of her coughing spells and her actual bodily collapse at an event in NYC.
    I don’t intend to turn this comment into a critique of other politicians per se. The main point is that all presidents and presidential candidates are constrained by security, schedules, and logistical factors.


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