You’d think Donald Trump would be the perfect topic for a blog that tries to explain the human shadow. You’d think I’d be perfectly happy. But in truth, writing about the Donald gets incredibly boring. The shadow side of his administration is so out in the open and so distinctly obvious that it’s hardly worth mentioning, psychologically speaking. But… as long as he’s in power, I gotta keep doing it.
What do you call it when someone says things over and over which are known to be false? Doublethink. There weren’t “the most people ever” at Trump’s inauguration, and saying there “were too” over and over again will not make it so. There was no “crookedness” in Hillary’s campaign, or reality to the “birther” and “wiretap” controversies about Obama, and there never will be. Nor did Trump get the “most votes ever.” (Any kid in elementary school would call this sort of behavior lying, but I defer to Mr. Orwell’s elegant term.)
What do we call it when someone uses euphemistically vague language with strong emotional overtones to promote a particular political agenda? Newspeak. Are Americans really the greatest? How so? Are we born with better circulatory systems or larger brains?
Why would someone who regularly calls his former opponent “crooked” without a shred of evidence, someone who actually called this opponent a “devil” in a nationally televised debate, be so shocked at the viciousness in Washington?
Why do we need to make others look bad in order to make ourselves feel good?
Denial. Projection. Blame.
We all do it. This is the pot calling the kettle black; the best defense being a good offense, et cetera. But Donald Trump is extreme.
George Will wrote recently that he thinks Trump has a dangerous disability. I agree. This is not just a man who has been known to lie on occasion. This is a man who doesn’t even know when he’s lying. He simply says whatever he feels like he needs to say to get himself out of whatever predicament he’s gotten himself into. Merely to make himself feel better at the moment. This is a man who protects his ego at the expense of any and all — truth be damned, country be damned.
And this man leads a large political party full of men who apparently don’t care if he lies, as long as they get to stay in power.