Andrew Sullivan’s latest rant against Trump summons the psychological portrait of Shakespeare’s Richard III to malign him. You can learn a great deal about Richard III by reading it, and nothing about Trump. I recommend you read Sullivan precisely because it is so overwrought, so demented, it is a form of entertainment – granted of a dubious variety. An election will not be sufficient to end Trump’s rule, he says.
“This is what we’ve been dealing with in the figure of Donald Trump now for five years, and it is absurd to believe that a duly conducted election is going to end it. I know, I know. I’m hysterical and over-the-top and a victim of “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” Trump is simply too incompetent and too lazy to be an actual tyrant, I’m constantly scolded. He’s just baiting me again. And so on. But what I think this otherwise salient critique misses is that tyranny is not, in its essence, about the authoritarian and administrative skills required to run a country effectively for a long time. Tyrants, after all, are often terrible at this. It is rather about a mindset, as the ancient philosophers understood, with obvious political consequences. It’s a pathology. It requires no expertise in anything other than itself.”
Observe that Sullivan is saying that tyranny need have no objective correlatives or characteristics. It is “pathology” – a sickness. In consequence no evidence is needed, because tyranny is not an arrangement of power.
“This is Trump’s threat. Not the construction of a viable one-party state, but the destruction of practices, norms, civility, laws, customs and procedures that constitute liberal democracy’s non-zero-sum genius. He doesn’t need to be competent to destroy our system of government. He merely needs to be himself: an out-of-control, trust-free, malignant narcissist, with inexhaustible resources of psychic compulsion, in a pluralist system designed for the opposite.”
Sullivan asks us to consider Trump’s greatest policy failures: “the appalling loss of life in the Covid epidemic and the collapse of law and order in the cities.”
As you consider these events, you see a plague unleashed by China (whether by negligence or intention we do not yet know) and principally handled by state medical authorities, and a Democratic Party actively fomenting or encouraging nightly riots while defunding and otherwise demoralizing the police from handling them.
In the case of COVID, Trump has done everything that medical authorities have recommended. He may have intimated his skepticism about some of the advice he has received, but he has taken it and acted upon it. How is Trump responsible for the deaths of people from COVID, any more than he is responsible for deaths from flu or cancer? To ask the question is to answer it. He clamped down on travel from China earlier than the press thought he ought to have done and was crucified for it. All the clampowns, masks and social distancing have done little to nothing to prevent its spread but have harmed the economy and suppressed social and religious activities.
As to the antifa and BLM insurrections in Democratic-controlled cities, Sullivan would have us believe that Trump is responsible for them. If Trump’s responsibility for the deaths from COVID is minimal, his responsibility for the acts of his enemies is nil. Sullivan would say that Trump, by his character and speech, has created the American political Left. His claim is absurd.
“All he wants is chaos, because in chaos, the strong leader wins. Would he incite violence on his behalf if the votes seem to be drifting away from him? You bet he would.”
I cannot link Trump, the bogeyman of the Left, with the stand-up comic, troller, and provocateur that I see. As was pointed out by a ranter a few weeks ago, Americans are going to vote for Trump more because the Democrats and their actions and beliefs piss them off than because they are enamored of the President. This may be a negative impulse, but Democrats need to own up to the extent to which their own behaviours are bringing up the Trump vote.
Which brings too mind this rant, which I found in sieving Facebook last week. It is harsh, very American in tone, and far more true than I would like.
“We consider you to be more despicable, more dangerous, more stupid, and more narcissistic than Donald Trump.”
Reposted from FaceBook.
“If you are a liberal who can’t stand Trump, and cannot possibly fathom why anyone would ever vote for him, let me fill you in.
It’s not that we love Donald Trump so much. It’s that we can’t stand you.
And we will do whatever it takes — even if that means electing a rude, obnoxious, unpredictable, narcissist (your words not ours) to the office of President of the United States — because the thing we find more dangerous to this nation than Donald Trump is YOU.
How is that possible you might ask?
Well, you have done everything in your power to destroy our country.
From tearing down the police to tearing down our history to tearing down our borders.
From systematically destroying our schools and brainwashing our kids into believing socialism is the answer to anything (despite being an unmitigated failure everywhere), while demonizing religion and faith, and glorifying abortion, violence, and thug culture.
From calling us racists every time we expect every one of any skin color to follow our laws equally to gaslighting us about 52 genders, polyamory, grown men in dresses sharing public locker rooms with little girls, and normalize the sexualization of young children, you simultaneously ridicule us for having the audacity to wish someone a “Merry Christmas” or hang a flag on the 4th of July, stand for the national anthem, or (horror of horrors) don a MAGA hat in public.
So much for your “tolerance.” (See why we think you are just hypocrites??)
We’re also not interested in the fact that you think you can unilaterally decide that 250 years of the right-to-bear-arms against a tyrannical or ineffective government should be abolished because you can’t get the violence in the cities you manage under control. That free-speech should be tossed out the window, and that those who disagree with your opinions are fair game for public harassment or doxing. That spoiled children with nose-rings and tats who still live off their parent’s dime should be allowed to destroy cities and people’s livelihoods without repercussions. That chaos, and lawlessness, and disrespect for authority should be the norm.
This is your agenda. And you wonder why we find you more dangerous than Donald Trump?
Your narrative is a constant drone of oppressor/oppressed race-baiting intended to divide the country in as many ways as you possibly can. You love to sell “victim-hood” to people of color every chance you get because it’s such an easy sell, compared to actually teaching people to stand on their own two feet and take personal responsibility for their own lives and their own communities and their own futures. But you won’t do that, you will never do that because then you will lose control over people of color. They might actually start thinking for themselves, God forbid!
This is why we will vote for Donald Trump.
Not because he is the most charming character on the block. Not because he is the most polite politician to have ever graced the oval office. Not because he is the most palatable choice, or because we love his moral character or because the man never lies, but because we are sick to death of you and all of the destructive crap you are doing to this once beautiful and relatively safe country.
Your ineffective and completely dysfunctional liberal “leadership”(?) has literally destroyed our most beautiful cities, our public education system, and done its damnedest to rip faith out of people’s lives.
However bad Donald Trump may be, and he is far from perfect, every day we look at you and feel that no matter what Donald Trump says or does there is no possible way he could be any worse for our country than you people are.
We are sick to death of your stupid, destructive, ignorant, and intolerant behavior and beliefs — parading as “wokeness.” We are beyond sick of your hypocrisy and B.S.
We are fed up with your disrespectful divisiveness and constant unrelenting harping and whining and complaining (while you live in the most privileged nation in the world) while making literally zero contributions of anything positive to our society. Your entire focus is on ripping things down, never ever building anything up. Think about that as there is something fundamentally very wrong in the psychology of people who choose destruction as their primary modus operandi.
When Donald J Trump is reelected, don’t blame us, look in the mirror, and blame yourselves.
Because you are the ones that are responsible for the rise of Donald Trump. You are the ones who have created this “monster” that you so despise, by your very actions. By your refusal to respect your fellow Americans and the things that are important to us.
You have made fun of the “fly-over states,” the people who “cling to their guns and religion,” the middle-class factory workers and coal miners and underprivileged rural populations that you dismissively call “yahoos” and “deplorables.” You have mocked our faith and our religion. You have mocked our values and our patriotism. You have trampled our flag and insulted our veterans and treated our first responders with contempt and hatred.
You have made environmentalism your religion while trashing every city you have taken responsibility for. You scream from the rooftops about “global warming” and a “green new deal” while allowing tens of thousands of homeless people to cover your streets in literal sh!t and garbage and needles and plastic waste without doing a single thing to help them or solve the environmental crisis your failed social policies are creating. But we’re supposed to put YOU in charge of the environment while gutting our entire economy to institute this plan when you can’t even clean up a single city??
You complain — endlessly — yet have failed to solve a single social problem anywhere. In fact, all you have done is create more of them.
We’ve had enough. We are tired of quietly sitting by and being the “silent” majority. So don’t be surprised when the day comes when we finally respond. And trust me it’s coming, sooner than you might think. And also trust me when I say it won’t be pretty. Get ready.
When Donald Trump is reelected it will be because you and your “comrades” have chosen to trash the police, harass law-abiding citizens, and go on rampages destroying public property that we have all paid for and you have zero respect for.
When Donald Trump is reelected it will be because we are sick of your complete and utter nonsense and destruction. How does it feel to know that half of this country finds you FAR more despicable than Donald J. Trump, the man you consider to be the anti-Christ?
Let that sink in.
We consider you to be more despicable, more dangerous, more stupid, and more narcissistic than Donald Trump. Maybe allow yourself a few seconds of self-reflection to let that sink in. This election isn’t about Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden.
This is about Donald Trump vs YOU.
So if on the morning of November 4 (or more likely January 19, by the time the Supreme Court will weigh in on the mail-in ballot fiasco that we are headed towards), and Donald J. Trump is reelected?
The only people you have to blame is the left-wing media drones and yourselves.
You did this.”
End of Facebook rant.