“This nonsense has never happened to another President,” claims nonsensical president Donald Trump while bitching about coverage of his mistake claiming Alabama faced potential hurricane damage from Hurricane Dorian and his then dumbfounding attempt to doctor official National Weather Service reports to back up his lie.
Perhaps, Mr. Trump, this happened because we’ve never had such a nonsensical president as you
The weather service had to issue an immediate “fact check” on Trump’s claim to try to avert panic and other problems.
Creating panic, however, is a Trump trademark. So are exaggerations and outright lies to support unfounded claims.
Trump is the president who claimed he had the largest inaugural crowd in American history, a lie easily documented but that did not stop him from sending his former press secretary — the discredited Sean Spicer — into the press room to promote the lie.
As a candidate, he promoted the discredited claim that his predecessor, President Barack Obama, had a fake birth certificate and was not American born. He later said he “accepted” the fact that Obama was a citizen, but he never apologized for his lies.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of this and similar arguments to Trump’s politics. Trump, according to Trump, is uniquely targeted by the news media, a function of the media’s purported alliance with Trump’s political opponents. The reality, of course, is primarily that Trump is willing to make untrue and misleading claims with far less trepidation than past presidents. Or, really, mayors. Or dog catchers.
Adds , the chief television critic of The New York Times, who says the real Donald Trump is really nothing more than the reality TV show host he played on TV:
The institution of the office is not changing Donald Trump, because he is already in the sway of another institution. He is governed not by the truisms of past politics but by the imperative of reality TV: never de-escalate and never turn the volume down.
This conveniently echoes the mantra he learned from his early mentor, Roy Cohn: always attack and never apologize. He serves up one “most shocking episode ever” after another, mining uglier pieces of his core each time: progressing from profanity about Haiti and Africa in private to publicly telling four minority American congresswomen, only one of whom was born outside the United States, to “go back” to the countries they came from.
The taunting. The insults. The dog whistles. The dog bullhorns. The “Lock her up” and “Send her back.” All of it follows reality-TV rules. Every season has to top the last. Every fight is necessary, be it against Ilhan Omar or Debra Messing. Every twist must be more shocking, every conflict more vicious, lest the red light grow bored and wink off. The only difference: now there’s no Mark Burnett to impose retroactive logic on the chaos, only press secretaries, pundits and Mike Pence.
To ask whether any of this is “instinct” or “strategy” is a parlor game. If you think like a TV camera — if thinking in those reflexive microbursts of adrenaline and testosterone has served you your whole life — then the instinct is the strategy.
And to ask who the “real” Donald Trump is, is to ignore the obvious. You already know who Donald Trump is. All the evidence you need is right there on your screen. He’s half-man, half-TV, with a camera for an eye that is constantly focused on itself. The red light is pulsing, 24/7, and it does not appear to have an off switch.
And so we repeat to Mr. Trump. You, sir, are the most nonsensical president ever to accidentally occupy the White House in America.
Why don’t you follow the advice you tried to mistakenly give to four American citizens: “Go back to wherever you came from” and crawl back into whatever shit hole you find there.
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