President Trump: Stuck in the White House too long?

There is a pivotal scene in the 2017 movie Darkest Hour about an event that had a major impact on Winston Churchill's success as prime minister, and it is a must-see for currently beleaguered Americans.  In it, Mr. Churchill is besieged by calls from the elite ruling class to negotiate with the Nazis.  Most of the British army is trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk, and defeat is all but assured.  He finds himself locked in an agonizing battle between his gut and the establishment experts in his war cabinet.  Exhausted and worried, Churchill can't find the strength and resolve to do what he always did best — lead and inspire the British people — and he contemplates surrender.  As he is chauffeured to parliament, the P.M. suddenly has a moment of clarity.  He hops out of the car and walks down into the London Tube with average working Britons. 

On the train, he asks people what they think he should do, and they tell him with certainty what he knew all along: to never surrender.  While the real-life Churchill likely didn't crowdsource one of the most monumental foreign policy decisions in modern history from a bench on the underground, according to the film's director, the notion is conceivable.  He was said to have ventured out to discuss matters of significance with regular citizens.

Churchill was a famously colorful, wealthy aristocrat, but he drew his inspiration and strength from being instinctively in tune with average people.  The film accurately portrays him as one of history's most famous extroverts, and this scene in particular is the perfect illustration of how a good, extroverted leader operates.  

Human interaction on a grand scale is what fuels extroverts.  Their natural ability to cope with challenges depends heavily on being in large groups of people.  When removed from crowds and sequestered in place, extroverts lose their steam, and their gut instincts become harder to discern.  Grounded extroverts are not at the top of their game.

Like Winston Churchill, Donald Trump is an extrovert.  So am I.  At the risk of playing armchair psychologist, and in part due to my own current state of extrovert in lockdown–induced stress, I have a message for our own modern-day Mr. Churchill: President Trump, you have been in Washington for too long.  It's time to step out of the White House and into the Tube.  It's time to flee the swamp. 

Apart from his short trip to Norfolk to send off the Navy's USS Comfort hospital ship on March 28, the president has spent his time shuffling between meetings in the White House and the briefing room.  It is obvious that Trump, like Churchill, gets his inspiration from interacting with regular people.  He in turn inspires them.  Unfortunately, the president is stuck at home with a bunch of conceited reporters.  I can't imagine a worse place for him to be, especially as he grapples with decisions that impact the lives of all Americans.

President Trump is at his best when he is with real Americans, not locked down with the preening, out-of-touch elites of Washington, D.C.  Human nature is what it is, no matter the job title.  From this president to this stay-at-home mom, all extroverts know where we are at our best.  And it isn't under house arrest.

If President Trump were able to step out of the White House and ask average citizens what they think about the mess we're in, I suspect he would find that the American people are much braver than the experts are giving them credit for.  They would tell him to reopen the country and assure him that he can fight the media, the virus, and the saboteurs of American prosperity all at the same time.  They would tell him with certainty to never surrender their jobs and their freedom. 

Laura Walsh is a stay-at-home mother and Millennial living in the suburban South.

There is a pivotal scene in the 2017 movie Darkest Hour about an event that had a major impact on Winston Churchill's success as prime minister, and it is a must-see for currently beleaguered Americans.  In it, Mr. Churchill is besieged by calls from the elite ruling class to negotiate with the Nazis.  Most of the British army is trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk, and defeat is all but assured.  He finds himself locked in an agonizing battle between his gut and the establishment experts in his war cabinet.  Exhausted and worried, Churchill can't find the strength and resolve to do what he always did best — lead and inspire the British people — and he contemplates surrender.  As he is chauffeured to parliament, the P.M. suddenly has a moment of clarity.  He hops out of the car and walks down into the London Tube with average working Britons. 

On the train, he asks people what they think he should do, and they tell him with certainty what he knew all along: to never surrender.  While the real-life Churchill likely didn't crowdsource one of the most monumental foreign policy decisions in modern history from a bench on the underground, according to the film's director, the notion is conceivable.  He was said to have ventured out to discuss matters of significance with regular citizens.

Churchill was a famously colorful, wealthy aristocrat, but he drew his inspiration and strength from being instinctively in tune with average people.  The film accurately portrays him as one of history's most famous extroverts, and this scene in particular is the perfect illustration of how a good, extroverted leader operates.  

Human interaction on a grand scale is what fuels extroverts.  Their natural ability to cope with challenges depends heavily on being in large groups of people.  When removed from crowds and sequestered in place, extroverts lose their steam, and their gut instincts become harder to discern.  Grounded extroverts are not at the top of their game.

Like Winston Churchill, Donald Trump is an extrovert.  So am I.  At the risk of playing armchair psychologist, and in part due to my own current state of extrovert in lockdown–induced stress, I have a message for our own modern-day Mr. Churchill: President Trump, you have been in Washington for too long.  It's time to step out of the White House and into the Tube.  It's time to flee the swamp. 

Apart from his short trip to Norfolk to send off the Navy's USS Comfort hospital ship on March 28, the president has spent his time shuffling between meetings in the White House and the briefing room.  It is obvious that Trump, like Churchill, gets his inspiration from interacting with regular people.  He in turn inspires them.  Unfortunately, the president is stuck at home with a bunch of conceited reporters.  I can't imagine a worse place for him to be, especially as he grapples with decisions that impact the lives of all Americans.

President Trump is at his best when he is with real Americans, not locked down with the preening, out-of-touch elites of Washington, D.C.  Human nature is what it is, no matter the job title.  From this president to this stay-at-home mom, all extroverts know where we are at our best.  And it isn't under house arrest.

If President Trump were able to step out of the White House and ask average citizens what they think about the mess we're in, I suspect he would find that the American people are much braver than the experts are giving them credit for.  They would tell him to reopen the country and assure him that he can fight the media, the virus, and the saboteurs of American prosperity all at the same time.  They would tell him with certainty to never surrender their jobs and their freedom. 

Laura Walsh is a stay-at-home mother and Millennial living in the suburban South.