Assessment

I gave him four months to do something right in his catastrophically miscast role as president of the United States.

It is now clear that Trump is the most ignorant, stupid, selfish, self-centered, self-absorbed, needy, cruel, unhealthy, churlish, uncouth, petty, insular, vindictive, vain, greedy, creepy, tasteless, shallow, incurious, inarticulate, illiterate, sleep-deprived, overcoifed, smarmy, lugubrious, amoral, miserable, insecure, self-important, untethered, unstrung, unhinged, incompetent, unreliable, thin-skinned, thick-headed, underachieving, overbearing, mendacious, lying, self-deceiving person I have ever seen in public life.

There is undoubtedly more to him than that, but he is such an attention-grabbing, time-sucking, life-curdling jerk that one needs to stop and look away at regular intervals. And yet he remains, never far from consciousness, a decaying tooth, a dull ache in the knee, a bad meal waiting to exit violently in one direction or the other.

New Yorker cover: Trump in the kiddy car

But it is a mistake to think Trump himself is the problem. What can one say of the people who voted for him, and those who continue to support him? There are too many to know, let alone describe. One should resist characterizing people one has never seen in action.

Trump is a problem, but not the problem. Trumpism is the problem. Trumpism not only gave us Trump, it gave us Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and the rest. Trumpism had infected the country long before the Trump called Donald entered the presidential race. (Did Trump invent birtherism? Far from it.)

So, what is the cure? We used to think cancer was one disease, whereas it is many. Pancreatic cancer, for instance, behaves differently from breast cancer, of which there are several varieties to boot; and treatments vary accordingly. The same is true of Trumpism. There is corporate Trumpism, media Trumpism (a form of corporate Trumpism, but disguised as populist Trumpism), bigoted Trumpism, and (strangest of all) religious Trumpism. Oh, and there is screw-you Trumpism (the adolescent nihilism of the confused and angry).

As with cancer, it seems the cure for Trumpism will be multifaceted and will take decades.

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One Comment

  1. Rabelais
    Posted June 19, 2017 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Or, in the words of a conservative columnist …

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  • Proverbs for Paranoids, 3: If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.
    Gravity’s Rainbow

    ‘Is it about a bicycle?’ he asked.
    The Third Policeman