Liberals who have long been freaking out about President Donald Trump’s authoritarian rhetoric should relax. Trump really doesn’t want to be king; he just wants to play one on TV.

The current global crisis driven by the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed Trump at his most bombastic and most feeble. One the one hand, he has loudly asserted that as president he has “total authority” and can order state governors to do his bidding and even shut down Congress if he is so inclined. On the other hand, he has run away from making the hard choices a capable leader must make, leaving it to governors and mayors to create their own plans to get safety gear to hospitals and organize the kind of comprehensive testing program that is imperative before the economy can be revived. He is all talk and no action.

The good news, if there is any, is that Trump is a fake tyrant. The bad news is that he is also a fake president who shuns the difficult duties of his job.

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