Three UCLA basketball players, in China for a recent tournament, were arrested for shoplifting. As part of his Asia-Pacific tour, Donald Trump reportedly brought up the incident to Chinese President Xi Jinping, asked for the matter to be resolved, and soon after, the young men returned to the United States.
Naturally, the American president was pleased with the outcome, though as Trump made clear on Twitter yesterday, he expects thanks for his good deeds.
"Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!"
As it turns out, the players did thank the president yesterday. This morning, Trump returned to Twitter, satisfied with their gratitude. "To the three UCLA basketball players I say: You're welcome," he tweeted.
But what amazes me is the personality of someone who doesn't just grumble privately when he wants to feel appreciated, but who publicly asks for thanks in response to his efforts. It's as if Trump believed the public-relations win wouldn't be complete unless the three student athletes shared their appreciation for the president's efforts with the world.
When it comes to Trump, this comes up with some regularity. After the federal response to Puerto Rico's hurricane came under fire, the president complained about the "ingrates" who failed to thank him. After Trump was caught in a fundraising controversy surrounding veterans charities, he felt sorry for himself in a very specific way: "Instead of being like, 'Thank you very much, Mr. Trump,' or 'Trump did a good job,' everyone's saying: 'Who got it? Who got it? Who got it?' And you make me look very bad. I have never received such bad publicity for doing such a good job."
Proverbs says, "Kindness is its own reward." If only Trump agreed.