What explains Trump?

Too many people try to explain Trump’s actions and motivations rationally, when he has shown us for many years to be primarily if not totally irrational.  The latest is Heather Cox Richardson writing on today’s Bill Moyers On Democracy blog (billmoyers.com.)

As I wade through the flood of news today, all of it trying to tilt the playing field toward Trump in the upcoming election, it strikes me there is an elephant in the room that we really need to identify: why is Trump so hell-bent on reelection? He has made it clear he doesn’t particularly like the job. He has no real goals for a second term. He feels victimized by the media and his opponents. He prefers Florida to Washington, D.C., and he really likes to golf. He claims to be wealthy enough to do whatever he wants. So why on earth is he apparently determined to bend our democracy to the point of breaking in order to win reelection to a job he doesn’t seem to want to do?

Richardson is seeking rationality in Trump.  Why?  Many Republicans don’t expect that anymore.  What passes through our current President’s head gets said or done without much, if any, thought.  Which echoes the modus operandi of far too many Americans who would likely vote for him.  It’s all feeling, no thought, no concern for consequence.  They see themselves in Trump, and so they venerate him as “their” right and righteous Leader.  Trump fires anyone who does not follow his lead.  As he did even in his “reality” TV shows.  He vilifies anyone who crosses him.   The list is long and public, so no need to repeat it here, but it numbers over seventy people  in the Trump’s cabinet, White House staff, or worked closely in his administration who have been fired, forced to resign, or resigned because they couldn’t take the turmoil or illegal operations anymore.

His ship of state has been chaotic.  His life has been narcissistic and will continue to be, whether or not he is re-elected.  Do not expect or look for rationality in Donald J. Trump.  He tossed off Covid epidemic deaths in America (183,000 and growing) by saying, “It is what it is.”  (cnn.com, 9/3/2020)  The bottom line is Trump is what he is.


4 thoughts on “What explains Trump?

  1. I think Trump is trying to stay in office to avoid being prosecuted. It may run out the statute of limitations or it may only defer charges for four years, but that fits his modus operandi: say and do whatever works at the moment, regardless of future consequences.

    1. Phil,
      I’m sure he’s considered pardoning himself, though the availability of a self-pardon is unclear. I’d like to see him try it, which would serve mostly to further the very bad joke of his presidency.

  2. In many respects, it seems less like an incapacity for rationality but more a more pointed rejection of it. I get the sense, and have for some time now, that the conservative right is essentially saying “we don’t need to make sense–you can’t stop us anyway.”

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