Another day, another con.
Agent Orange issued an “explanatory” tweet yesterday:
Ratings challenged @CNN reports so seriously that I call President Obama (and Clinton) “the founder” of ISIS, & MVP. THEY DON’T GET SARCASM?
And our journalists proceeded to discuss in earnest the difference between “jokes” and “sarcasm,” continued to wonder why Trump does not seem to be interested in “pivoting,” and engaged in mind-numbingly pointless “debates” with Trump’s thuggish surrogates whose job is to translate Trumpese into English by insisting that black is white and up is down, and anyone who does not believe so is itching for a fight. And they are all too happy to oblige.
This sordid spectacle boggles the mind more and more as our media types refuse to acknowledge the reality of the man’s apparent character defect. They seem to have come to terms, as much as that’s possible, with his “narcissism;” but judging by their reactions, they do not understand well what narcissism means, nor notice Trump’s glaringly missing conscience. They smirk ironically and call him “unconventional,” which says… something.
And as much as one wants to blame them (and one does), a significant portion of the responsibility for this ignorance falls on the mental health professionals who have failed in their role as public educators. And not just now. This failure to teach about character defects / disorders and their dangerous ramifications appears to be a feature rather than a bug of psychiatry and related fields, and not just American. Of course in a society where narcissists and psychopaths are admired and rewarded in multiple ways, these defects will not seem to be so defective, if at all, not even to the professionals. In a future post we’ll take a look at the various ways in which American mental health experts (not all) have misunderstood Trump’s character problem.
He, meanwhile, taunts the media (not undeservedly in this instance, one must say):
I love watching these poor, pathetic people (pundits) on television working so hard and so seriously to try and figure me out. They can’t!
One person who can and does is David Cay Johnston, whose new book, The Making of Donald Trump, has just been published. In it, Johnston unmasks Trump’s most unsavory deals and exposes his sadistic and manipulative, conscience-free character without the strained and misguided attempts to “understand the man,” i.e., whitewashing his consciencelessness in the name of being “fair and balanced” or something like it. (For comparison, see the soon-to-be-published book by two WaPo journalists, “Trump Revealed,” which promises to show the man as “[p]opulist, frustrating, naive, wise, forever on the make” — with the exception of the last one, these are mostly positive, or at worst neutral, attributes that could be ascribed to, say, any social reformer, from Gandhi to Sanders. The moral aspect — that of values, of differences between right and wrong — is completely absent in such whitewashing “evaluations;” this leads, in a manner typical for moral relativism, to a normalization of conscience-free characters.)
Kathy Kiely interviewed Johnston for Moyers & Company:
“The coverage [of Trump] has been extremely poor in my opinion,” Johnston, who at 67 clearly still enjoys making trouble*, pronounced at no less a lions’ den than the National Press Club on Thursday night in Washington. (…) The main reason he has “been extremely critical of my colleagues,” in the media Johnston said, is they’ve been too buttoned-down and professional. “They’re covering him as though he is a serious person,” Johnston said of the Republican presidential nominee.
[Trump] doesn’t want you to know about his unbelievable cruelty to others, and his utter contempt for Christians, and (…) that Donald doesn’t know anything. (…) his answers are gibberish, because he doesn’t know anything.
David, from your mouth to the pundits’ ears. Let’s hope they are listening and able to hear what’s painfully obvious.
*I’ve just noticed this after publishing the post. Johnston’s truth-telling is labeled as “making trouble” — and that in such a seemingly progressive publication as “Moyers & Company.” Our journalists’ job was to afflict the comfortable and to comfort the afflicted; instead, so many of them do the opposite that those who break this mold are seen as troublemakers.