Let’s get real

I’m increasingly irritated by British (and US) media’s shock-and-horror reaction to every latest Trump outrage. It’s as if reporters (and their editors) still can’t believe that the US has a delusional criminal as its president. Which is why I warmed to Todd Gitlin’s rant in the Columbia Journalism Review:

Trump is not just eccentric, ignorant, vicious, self-dealing, and preeningly deceptive. He doesn’t just lie—not randomly. He may or may not be delusional. He has long surrounded himself with criminals. His history of racketeering connections and his lies about them was reported decades ago by Wayne Barrett and other reporters, though subsequently discarded presumably because it was “old news.”

But the core of the matter now is what leads a former director of the CIA not only to call the president of the United States “treasonous” and ‘imbecilic” but to say he “rises to and exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors.’” Whenever asked a straight question about his relationship to Putin and Putin’s cronies, Trump has ducked, scammed, and systematically obscured the findings of God knows how many professional investigators and investigative reporters. Is it not time that when faced with these facts, journalists stop asking fatuous questions? Should they not adopt, as a working hypothesis going in, the assumption that his lies and evasions are clear hints of what drives him?


The key to understanding Trump’s psychosis

If there is a single unifying thread in Trump’s splenetic surges, it is a visceral hatred of Barack Obama. It started early — with Trump becoming a leader of the ‘birther’ conspiracy theory — and it’s got worse with every passing year. He’s still obsessed with Obama and everything he stood for and did as president. (Including appointing Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.)

So what’s at the root of this psychosis?

Answer: Obama’s elegant mockery of him at the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. For a narcissist like Trump, this was a truly traumatic experience. And now the US — and the rest of the world (apart from Russia) is paying for it.

LATER Some people think that the humiliation at the dinner was the reason Trump decided to run for President. But that seems unlikely — as the WashPo pointed out. Also, I seem to remember that he gave an interview years ago to Polly Toynbee in which he talked about running.