Donald Trump’s disastrous destructive four years of US presidency, undoubtedly the worst POTUS in history and a cautionary tale for all leaders, is but the latest part of what makes up many decades of his toxic career. Its a career screened by a showman’s capacity to obscure what actually went on. To himself and to his devotees, he is a winner. But he is not. He is a sad empty person, desperate for the love of his late sociopathic father. Trump experienced an awful upbringing, one that did immeasurable harm not only to himself, but to other members of his family. His entire life has been scarred by these experiences and, as they remained unaddressed, have caused him to destroy or hurt pretty much everyone he has ever come in contact with. Destruction and deceit is is modus operandi. Everything about him is fake, except the yawning emptiness within that he has to fill with things and power and food and television and attention. His character flaws, caused by his deep inner malaise are covered over by a veneer of charm and force of character. He is not a successful businessman. He’s more like a mob boss who amassed a fortune (and mountains of debt), than one who obeys laws and follows the rules of decent business practice. His enablers, those who got him were he is, have much to answer for in the court of history. His followers, those who believe him sincerely, have been duped and led into a delusional world of insane beliefs with no basis in fact, with binary us-or-them ethics that have stoked hatred and division. What is the truth? There is no truth for him but the fulfillment of his id. In truth for the Donald there is no enemy except the enemy within in his paranoid world, a world filled with hungry ghosts. He spreads his inner pain onto others like a transmissible disease. His legacy remains unremittingly destructive. His presidency has been a disaster for America and the world. He gave tax breaks to business he worked with to get elected, gave support for autocrats and racists and misogynists and homophobes and xenophobes, and he lied about everything. All this has threatened the very fabric of a significant system that allows a far greater margin of freedom and self determination than one might find, say, in countries that espouse more authoritarian and less individualistic ideologies. Right now America is the leader in democratic systems. If it loses democracy, the way lies open for autocrats everywhere to take over, that is, if another democracy does not take the lead. Hopefully things will right themselves. I don’t know for sure. My own interest in US Politics began with Nixon in the early seventies. I have, I guess remained fascinated by it ever since. I ache for America, and I am glad it’s almost over. These end times of Trump’s reign of doom and fear and divisiveness are absorbing and terrifying and deeply shocking, and yet even now his devotees are saying his bully pulpit aka Twitter etc, should be restored so he can continue in his destructive lying. He has 29,000 falsehoods confirmed as I type. Freedom of speech is not a freedom to say anything, or indeed do anything. DT faces a lot of court time once he is done being the CIC. History (or karma) is catching up with him. Doesn’t it always? For me the whole saga of Trump is a dreadful cautionary tale. It’s something to learn from, rather than repeat.
Some Books Picked Up On ‘The Donald’
These are the best, methinks…
The Mueller Report: (presented with related materials by the Washington Post) – absolutely fascinating and detailed outline of Russian interference into the 2016 election, leading to countless arrests and imprisonments, ultimately killed off by Trump’s own Attorney General, Barr when he got into power. Unputdownable.
The Room Where It Happened John Bolton, Trump’s extremely hawkish National Security advisor for a year and a half, resigned/was fired (it’s still unclear) over huge policy differences, especially over doing deals with the Taliban and North Korea. Although wordy, overly long, and constantly giving his resume, Bolton, whose feeble excuses for not testifying against his rather dodgy boss will ring hollow throughout history, still gives a deep insight into the workings of the most bizarre of regimes in modern democracy. A difficult but worthwhile and insightful read.
A higher Loyalty James Comey. Former director of the FBI, popular and admired for his ethics and integrity, wrote a detailed account from contemporaneous records (like Bolton) of his brief tenure, meetings with Trump (who demanded ‘loyalty’) and Comey’s decision to continue investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server on the eve of the 2016 election, something she says may have cost her the election and brought Trump into power.
Disloyal, Michael Cohen – A compelling intelligent mea culpa from Trump’s former Fixer and Attorney. Depicts the 45th US president as a charismatic sociopath unhinged from reality, incapable of affection or sincerity, in short a monster whose spell he fell utterly under, as did millions of others. This cautionary tale describes not only Trump toxic family life but shows how Trump’s egomania destroyed all it touched and sacrificed everyone and everything for a shot at absolute power, something he failed to secure. Also a study in how the media’s craven venality was exploited for free publicity.
Too Much and Never Enough Mary L Trump. Brilliant character study of the Donald. Mary knows the man through and through. Beautifully written, elegant, understated, devastating, forensic, funny in parts, deeply tragic in parts, painful in other parts, excruciating to read in others. Whether or not this was written as a revenge or not, well it doesn’t matter. It transcends intention. It’s simply the best book on the subject around.
Confidence Man Maggie Haberman A NYT reporter who has been covering Trump for decades and reported on some of the biggest stories surrounding him before during and after his disastrous tenure as POTUS 45, Confidence Man paints a subtle carefully wrought and equally comprehensive picture of a person whose own demons consumed him long before he rose to ultimate power. Habermans objective clear eyed writing draws an ever starker picture of Trump’s incompetence, one dimensional thinking and callous nature; however she never paints him the fool, something all to easy to do with such a divisive and at times childlike figure. This is an incredibly readable book (unlike Bolton’s – which is very hard work) and its message of how Trump broke the USA makes for a harrowing read. Its interesting to note that people like Bannon, one of the ideologues behind Trump’s election, often spoke of the necessity to break the US culture before remolding it, but perhaps I’m being too pessimistic here.