Sunday, January 17, 2021

How I Will Remember Donald J. Trump

  

Before 2015, I paid little attention to Donald Trump. I thought he was a buffoon and a grifter, as well as a spoiled rich boy who liked to tell people, "You're fired." He loved being the center of attention, and often said things to draw attention to himself. I often wondered how much of what he said he actually believed. If all of it, the man was delusional.

Now, I know he's delusional. I feel that he's taken the American people on a deeply unsettling journey through the terrified landscapes of his mind full of imaginary enemies, threats, conspiracy theories, and lots of fast food and golf. I know him better than I want to know him. And in fact, I wish I never had to endure the trip he's taken us all on the last four years. I am not sorry to see him leave.

How will I remember Donald J. Trump? 

The first thing will be his face: the orange skin, tiny eyes, fish mouth and thick jowls topped by thin blondish-white hair. I will remember his tremendous girth, revealed on the golf course as he took a swing at a golf ball. 

The second thing will be his total lack of curiosity, and demonstrated average (if that) intelligence. When I first heard that he'd won the presidential election in 2016, I was willing to give him a chance despite his appalling behavior during the campaign, because I believed that anyone who becomes president will aspire to do his or her best to serve the American people. I was wrong. DJT did nothing to learn the job, to fulfill the responsibilities of the position, or to respect historical norms and procedures. He plunged right into being a gangster and thug, turning the presidency into a mafia-like family enterprise, demanding loyalty to him personally, requiring complete obedience, and conducting business as if he were a street thug dealing in quid pro quos.

The third thing I will remember is his lack of respect for other people. In fact, I believe he doesn't really comprehend the existence of others because he is the only person that matters. And if his family members believe they are immune, it is only because they know nothing else and can conceive of no other way. They live to acquire money and power. They couldn't care less about anything or anyone else. And so, DJT thinks nothing of "grabbing pussy" or making fun of the disabled, thinks nothing of pronouncing himself a "great genius" and "the best president America has ever seen." As long as people adore him, he'll treat them fine. But challenge him and you are worthless to him.

The fourth thing I will remember is his dishonesty in all aspects of life. He lies in business as easily as he lies in politics because to him, what he says can only be the truth because he's said it. This, more than anything else, I'll remember as a sign of his complete disconnection from reality. The world according to DJT is a fantasy world in which he is good, powerful, all-knowledgeable, all-wise, wealthy beyond expectation, admired and desired by everyone. The reality is far different.

The fifth thing I'll remember is the fear that permeates everything DJT says and does. Especially the fear of losing, because in his world, he can only win. So in 2016, he lost the popular vote to Clinton by 2.9 million votes and he immediately claimed those votes were fraudulent and really belonged to him. In 2020, he lost the election to Joe Biden by 7 million popular votes and his response was to repeat over and over that the election was rigged, that those 7 million votes were his, that he'd won by a landslide. In his fantasy world he won, and reality must terrify him. 

The sixth thing I'll remember is his projections. He was actually quite reliable about them. Whenever he attacked someone for doing something -- lying, cheating, stealing an election, etc. -- you can be assured that in reality he was doing what he accused the other of doing. I used to think of it as deflection, but now I really think it was projection. Psychology Today defines projection: "Projection is the process of displacing one’s feelings onto a different person, animal, or object. The term is most commonly used to describe defensive projection—attributing one’s own unacceptable urges to another. For example, if someone continuously bullies and ridicules a peer about his insecurities, the bully might be projecting his own struggle with self-esteem onto the other person." 

The seventh thing I'll remember is DJT's total failure to lead the country at a time of crisis: the COVID-19 pandemic. We now have 400,000 Americans dead, and over 24 million infected. He could have saved lives from the beginning by addressing the public health emergency immediately (not calling it a hoax) and putting scientists in charge but instead he was more concerned about his re-election and TV ratings.

                                    DJT Addresses his Supporters on January 6, 2021

The last thing I'll remember about DJT is his speech encouraging his supporters to attack the U. S. Capitol at the time that Congress was meeting to certify the Electoral College votes in the 2020 election. He encouraged violent action in one way or another for four years, and this was the culmination. It was also sedition. I know that no one wants to say that word and DJT in the same breath, but if his supporters could be charged with sedition or treason, then I believe DJT could be too. He created the conditions for an insurrection, i.e. a rebellion against Congress and the U. S. government. How is that not sedition? How is that not treason? 

This coming Wednesday at 12:01 p.m., Joe Biden becomes the 46th President of the U.S. I welcome this with great relief tempered with the knowledge and certainty that it will take a lot of work and bridge-mending to repair the damage done in the past 4 years by DJT. I hope also that following the House of Representatives impeachment of DJT, the U. S. Senate will convict him of the one count of impeachment against him and he is forever barred from holding public office.


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