Mocked at two funerals and a (royal) wedding so far, President Trump may well be on the way to becoming President Grata.
The latest criticism comes in the form of the upcoming funeral for Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), Who made it clear to the late Senator before his death that he did not want the incumbent president present. That feeling is reciprocal – Trump did not mix a statement that McCain praised as a "hero" – just underscores the myriad ways in which Trump has rejected the standards of his ministry and has been increasingly rejected.
Less than two years into the first semester, Trump has often played the role of pariah, both unwelcome and reluctant to perform the basic rituals and ceremonies of the presidency, from public displays of mourning to cultural ceremonies.
Trump, in addition to McCain's funeral and commemoration ceremony later this week ̵
"We're not talking about going to a presidential and rallying in a state that voted against him," said Tim Naftali, a presidential historian at New York University, previously director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. "We are talking about a president who can not even attend a ritual where the presidents are usually welcomed, and that is one of the consequences of his sectarian definition of the presidency."
Trump's bitter feelings McCain dominated the first 48 hours after the death of the senator. The President ignored the repeated requests to worry about McCain and flew most of the time on Monday over the White House. He reluctantly revoked public and private pressure Monday afternoon and issued an official proclamation to lower the flag in honor of McCain's death.
"Despite our differences in politics and politics, I respect Senator John McCain's service to our country and have signed a proclamation in his honor to cut the flag of the United States by half until the day of his funeral, "said Trump in a statement.
Trump's striking absence at funerals from both McCain and Barbara Bush may provide the strongest examples of the ways in which Trump is ostracized by some of the tasks that other presidents have performed rather than almost de facto aspects of their work.
"It is a tearing up of the Presidency's substance that he is not invited, but I understand why he is not invited because he has personified the Presidency in a way that no previous President has done," said Naftali. "Donald Trump never accepted that he is the head of state."
A high-ranking White House official rejected Trump's idea as a persona non grata and said, for example, that it's not the norm that presidents sit funerals from former First Ladies, in part because of the disruption it causes. For example, Obama was not at the funeral of former First Lady Betty Ford or Nancy Reagan when he was in office. Instead, Michelle Obama took his place just as Melania Trump attended Bush's funeral.
The official added that Trump has organized and attended events that are inconsistent with traditional republican orthodoxy, notably his various meetings with unions shortly thereafter, as well as his attendance at the inauguration of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in the Last year, despite controversy over his visit.
But Trump has also been excluded from other, more routine parts of the presidency. During a trip to the UK in June, his visit to Queen Elizabeth II was undermined by reports in the British press that she was the only member of the royal family willing to meet with him. And two months ago, the president by name did not receive an invitation to attend the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, although the duo – which is reportedly not Trump's fans – bypassed almost all political guests.
Trump also skipped last year's Kennedy Center Honors after three of the five award winners said they either boycotted or might celebrate the traditional celebration of the White House bound for the celebration. And Trump has faced high-profile insurgency athletes he hoped to honor.
In June, for example, the president hurriedly kidnapped the entire Philadelphia Eagles team from a White House event in honor of their Super Bowl Championship, after he was frustrated to protest some of his policies, the team had planned only a small delegation of To send players. The party continued somehow, albeit without the honored guests.
Former presidents, of course, also had to deal with defectors, and a number of athletes and teams have still visited Washington to be celebrated by Trump.
In many cases, rejection is mutually exclusive. Trump – who prefers the comfort of his Trump brand resorts and restaurants – rarely ventures far from his coddled bubble. He is generally reluctant to enter hostile territory and prefers to visit places where he is praised rather than blamed.
"We chose this top predator, and you're not sitting down at the table with T-Rex," said Alex Castellanos, a Republican media consultant and strategist. "I think the civilized society does not want him to behave rude at the dining table, and he has no interest in their claims."
At his recent rallies, Trump has his lack of acceptance by the so-called elites, proclaiming it a badge of pride. And his contempt for what he calls political correctness is applauded by many of his supporters alike.
"The thing to do is make Donald Trump's base revel in playing the transgressive idiot," said Rick Wilson, author of Everything Trump Touches Dies and a veteran of Republican campaigns.
Wilson added that with McCain in particular, the funeral rig may stand out more than most, in part because Trump can not stand being the main focus of flattery. "You know, what makes Donald Trump the craziest right now is that he's not the center of attention," Wilson said. "He crawls through the damned walls because they're running story after story about John McCain and he hates it because he's not the center of attention."
Trump has also sometimes fought in the role of chief drink, another key demand from the presidency. When he visited the hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico last year, he took out widespread ridicule because he described his trip as "charming" and threw paper towels into the crowd as if he were firing baskets, though his government was struggling with the deadly tragedy would have. He was re-sentenced this year during a hearing session for students affected by the Parkland School massacre who wore greeting cards with a basic reminder of emotional empathy in black sharpie: "I hear you."
Andrew H. Card, Chief of Staff under President George W. Bush, said he is partially fighting the current political climate because he was brought up to believe that the President, whoever he is, deserves respect and respect that he thinks both sides are
"If the president does not seem inviting, it's his problem, he's created a problem," Card said. "If others refuse to accept an invitation, I think that's wrong."
But, he added, a paradox is that Trump has in many ways created exactly the environment he is now railing against. "I think the president gives permission for what I think is rude behavior," Card said, "and yet he reacts so badly to the rude behavior of other people."