May 30, 2018
In trying to understand the Trump Presidency, we need to separate the personality of Trump from the Trumpian policy agenda. The two are, of course, inter-related especially since Trump personalizes policy questions into questions about himself. It is always about Trump: the border wall, the tax cut, repealing the Obama achievements, etc. etc.
Trump the person is thoroughly unfit to be President. He is a deeply flawed human being both in his personal and business life. But we underestimate the man when we focus on his flaws.
He is a great propagandist, self-promoter, and character assassin. He has a canny gift denigrading his enemies: Crooked Hillary, Little Mario, Lyin’ Ted, Rocket Man, Liddle Bob Corker, Failing New York Times, Obstructionist Democrats, fake news, and the list goes on.
I recommend two articles: One by Bill Beck entitled “Trump’s Winged Words”which is on Eidolon.pub (https://eidolon.pub/trumps-winged-words-9e4a9f5ce547). It compares Trump’s epithets to those of Homer. The other is a list of epithets applied to Trump. It is entitled “Running list of Donald Trump epithets” and is on the WordPress site called Quantum Moronics (https://moronics.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/running-list-of-donald-trump-epithets/).
A second skill is that Trump is a master of creating conspiracy theories. Trump propagated the “birther lie” about Obama. He is currently pushing “Spygate” about the alleged spying by the FBI into his Presidential campaign in 2016. He knows his lies are lies but spreads them without shame. Even the repetition of his lying conspiracy theories here in this short essay reflects a victory for Trump. By repeating conspiracy theories, even if the purpose is to debunk them, we help to spread them.
It can only be hoped that Trump’s character flaws will eventually alienate even his base.