There is almost no dimension of politics in which Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, acts in a consistent fashion. The one exception is that Trump, the politician, apparently only feels like a real man if he gets to beat up on a woman.
Merkel finally off the hook of Trump's ire
In the international realm, Trump's anti-person has been Germany's Angela Merkel. That is so for a very simple reason: She is everything he is not. She is competent, patient, non-flashy and widely liked among her fellow heads of government.
It was bad enough for Trump that his predecessor Barack Obama and Merkel had a warm personal relationship. But that was not what triggered Trump's ire.
What really got under Trump's skin was a black man who had preceded him as President dared to anoint Mrs. Merkel, a woman, as his successor as the reliable leader of the West.
Of course, Trump's turbulent relationship with Germany — half-rooted in the slight that Bavarian authorities in the early 1900s refused the request of Trump's grandfather, a past brothel owner, to be readmitted to German territory – adds to having made Merkel his pet peeve.
While the German chancellor can now breathe more freely, she is far from the only international policy maker who troubles Trump.
More European women in Trump's crosshairs
Consider the example of Margrethe Vestager, the Danish woman who serves as an Executive Vice President of the European Commission. When she was previously in charge of the EU's antitrust portfolio, the Donald opined that "Your tax lady, she really hates the United States."
During her time as British prime minister, Theresa May fared even worse than Vestager. The British Prime Minister, who was consistently beleaguered by the misogynistic machos in her own Conservative Party, had put on a festive dinner spectacle to welcome Donald Trump to Britain at Blenheim Palace.
Theresa May had no idea just how much her guest of honor would double-cross her. Trump repaid the gracious dinner reception with a vicious attack via an interview with The Sun newspaper that was released just as soon as the dinner was over. In the interview, Trump essentially argued that May was in over her head.
To Trump, being a woman in politics is evidently an automatic disqualifier. It is hard to imagine a more telling and more grotesque form of a weak ego than resorting to gender as a basis for dismissiveness in politics.
American women who have been "liberated"
On the domestic front, Donald Trump has shown himself to be an even more compulsive misogynist. He has even called one of his own former White House advisors, Omarosa Manigault Newman, "crazed," a "lowlife" and a "dog" on Twitter.
He also went after four Congresswomen whose families had immigrant backgrounds and invited them to go back to their "home countries."
Ever since the Democrats' presidential primary race began to take shape, Trump's biggest piñata on the domestic front was Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Senator from Massachusetts.
Desperately looking for another Hillary
The reason why Trump needs a woman to beat up on is pretty self-evident. He generates his inner mojo that way.
That low-life fact has been clear ever since he contemplated his candidacy for the office of President of the United States. His campaign was fueled by relentless efforts to denigrate Hillary Clinton.
To this day, Trump busies himself, his Attorney General and other politicians with fomenting all sorts of wild conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton.
As it happens, his efforts in the 2016 campaign proved to be a sufficient electoral elixir in attracting the votes of a lot of white bubbas, i.e., insecure white men of all ages and levels of education.
But Hillary Clinton, like Germany's Angela Merkel, can finally breathe more easily now. They are in the shadows of Trump's ire now.
Target number one: Kamala Harris
Trump will focus all his destructive energies on Kamala Harris, the California Senator whom Joe Biden just named as his Vice Presidential candidate.
Trump will be especially drawn to Harris because, in a curious way, he relishes a real challenge, if for no other reason than to get his energy up. Harris is far more energetic than Biden, whose physical frailty Trump likes to belittle.
The question is how much Trump continuing on his misogynistic path will backfire. All the more so as he risks underestimating Kamala Harris. A former prosecutor, she can certainly hold her own in the heat of rhetorical combat.
Kamala Harris is well equipped to be in attack mode, should Trump — as is likely — decide to go there. That would allow Joe Biden to stay above the fray and act presidential throughout the campaign.
By engaging in gender baiting and his deeply held misogynistic attitude, Donald Trump is only attesting to his own immense sense of insecurity. More perplexing yet, the current President of the United States does not even seem to realize that.
This article is republished from The Globalist: On a daily basis, we rethink globalization and how the world really hangs together. Thought-provoking cross-country comparisons and insights from contributors from all continents. Exploring what unites and what divides us in politics and culture. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. And sign up for our highlights email here.