Trump is just another fake tough guy
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Up till now, we've often heard about how "fearless" GOP nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpComey responds to Trump with Mariah Carey gif: 'Why are you so obsessed with me?' Congress to get election security briefing next month amid Intel drama New York man accused of making death threats against Schumer, Schiff MORE is — how nothing scares him; how he'll say anything and do anything and can't be controlled because he's just too tough.

Perhaps the country is finally starting to realize what complete and utter nonsense this is.

"I was viciously attacked," he told TV host Bill O'Reilly after being roundly and justly condemned for his comments about the parents of American hero Humayan Khan. The media, he said, was being "tremendously unfair."

And now, apparently, the polls are being unfair. It's why Trump has started (dangerously) talking about a "rigged" election: he's afraid of losing. And when Trump gets scared, he reacts like a 6-year-old child, claiming that it's all just unfair, unfair, unfair!


We saw the same reaction when Megyn Kelly dared ask him challenging questions about his history of misogyny at a debate; he refused to participate in the next one, claiming that she been "unfair" to him. He then tried to ruin Fox's next debate by planning his own event for veterans for the same night. After The Washington Post exposed the fact that Trump had lied about the donations received during that event and had never actually made the personal $1 million donation he had promised, the candidate held what can only be described as an extremely bizarre "press conference," during which he chastised the media, even going so far as to call ABC reporter Tom Llamas a "sleaze."

This is Trump's true nature — that of a petulant child — a scared little boy who needs constant praise, constant affirmation and constant attention. And if he doesn't receive that constant praise — if anyone questions him or suggests that he is anything but great, wonderful, amazing — he just can't take it.

In his book "Think Big," Trump dedicates an entire chapter to revenge. "I always get even," he writes.

One incident he recounts in the chapter is illustrative of his beliefs: He describes a woman who worked for him, that he had brought up from obscurity and made "into somebody" in the real estate world. Later, when he ran into financial trouble, he asked this same woman to make a call to a friend of hers at a bank in order to procure him a special favor. Evidently uncomfortable with doing so, the woman refused.

"She turned on me," Trump says in the book.

He immediately fired her. But even more revealing are his feelings upon doing so: He writes gleefully about watching her demise as the years passed and he himself moved back on top:

"She ended up losing her home. Her husband, who was only in it for the money, walked out on her and I was glad. Over the years, many people have called asking for a recommendation for her. I only gave her bad recommendations. ... This woman was very disloyal, and now I go out of my way to make her life miserable."

This is the real Trump that many Americans are starting to see for the first time. They're also learning that his phony tough-guy persona quickly falls apart when faced with any actual challenge.

He was happy to accept a Purple Heart that was recently donated to him by a supporter, stating, "I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier."

My own father got the Purple Heart the old-fashioned way: by earning it. Yet when it came time to go fight in Vietnam, like my father and millions of others did, Trump — a pampered, cowardly son of a multimillionaire — got four deferments, then arranged to be medically disqualified.

Guess he wasn't so tough then. Talking is easy; going to war takes actual courage.

But Trump's greatest fear – the thing that petrifies him the most — is that the world will recognize him for what he truly is: an empty, empty man with no worthwhile ideas who was fortunate enough to be born into the right family. He knows that his entire life is a con and he sits in fear that that con will be exposed.

The truth is, despite his lifelong yearning to be considered a tough guy — despite all of his talk about toughness — he's truly about as far from tough as possible.

What he really is is a bully. And like many bullies, he crumbles in the face of any true opposition. He rails against others because he can't face his own inadequacies (and no, I don't just mean his tiny, tiny fingers). He creates spectacles as distractions from the truth. He repeats lies over and over again to cover up for his complete and utter incompetence. Everything he does is done in order to keep his incredibly large, incredibly fragile ego intact.

By constantly criticizing others, he avoids criticizing himself — avoids any type of introspection.

If you've grown up in New York like I have, you learn the difference between a faux tough-guy and a real one. You learn that often the biggest talkers are also the biggest cowards. Trump is no tough guy. He's about as tough as a gingerbread cookie: just the slightest bit of pressure will cause him to snap. He's a roar without the lion.

Like many other spoiled, rich children, Trump is afraid of being told that he's wrong. He's afraid of having to face himself. He's afraid of reality.

The American people are starting to learn that.

Rosenfeld is an educator and historian who has done work for Scribner, Macmillan and Newsweek.

This piece was revised on Friday, Aug. 19, 2016 at 9:08 a.m.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.