Have you ever had a professional colleague, friend or family member who just cannot bring himself to apologize when he makes a mistake or demonstrates bad behavior?
The ability to apologize is a mark of maturity.
We hope Donald Trump develops the ability to apologize. It would set him free from so much criticism.
Unfortunately, the Trump modus operendi when someone calls him out for misdeeds is to rewrite history and deny he ever said or did the bad thing. It can be on video for millions to see and he will still deny he did it. Then, he will double down and send out a spokesperson to deny he ever did it.
The latest example popped up when actress Meryl Streep addressed a crowd of Hollywood insiders at the Golden Globe awards ceremony Sunday night. She talked about how Trump broke her heart last summer when he mocked a disabled New York Times reporter, whose spastic condition has deformed his hands and causes him to flail his arms.
Streep said she feared the leader of the Western world mocking someone with a physical disability could make it acceptable and cause others to do it.
Predictably, Trump issued a tweet calling Streep “overrated” as an actress and characterizing her as a “Hillary flunky.” We believe he’s wrong. Streep deserves the highest rating as an actress. She did support Clinton over Trump, but we don’t think that makes her a flunky.
Take a look at the YouTube video of Trump and judge for yourself. Did he mock the disabled reporter? It’s clear to us he did. It was harsh and unnecessary.
No, it’s not a big deal in and of itself. We could tell Streep, “Politics is rough. Get over it.” But that is not the point. Trump could help himself by correcting some flaws in his behavior.
We don’t know how he acts in private. Publicly, however, he seems unable to admit mistakes. Instead, he attacks critics even when they are demonstrably right. In doing so, he denies himself public empathy and rejects the opportunity to redeem himself. And that’s too bad because people love redemption stories.
Those of us who are open-minded want to give Trump a chance to succeed in the presidency. The brash tweets aimed at Streep make it harder to empathize with him and accept his leadership even when he points us in the right direction.
The White House is no place for someone with thin skin. The occupant should be humble and introspective. From time to time, he should be able to look into the camera and say, “You know, Streep is right. I’m sorry and I’ll try to do better.”