January 3, 2023 Editor

So Sad: The Final Campaign Inside Donald Trump’s sad, lonely, thirsty, broken, basically pretend run for reelection. (Which isn’t to say he can’t win.)

The Power Trip

Dec. 23, 2022


New York’s Washington correspondent

WN: I once saw a cartoon about a person at her birth; the next frame at school; the next, graduation from university; the next, married; the next, with kids; the next, elderly with a cane. She only speaks in the final frame:

What was that all about?

This reminds me of Trump. Of such, Jesus poses this question (Mark 8:36Bible Hub):

Do you gain anything if you win the whole world but lose your life? Of course not!

Now for Trump in his own words:

The question I get asked more than any other question: “If you had it to do again, would you have done it?” The answer is, yeah, I think so. Because here’s the way I look at it. I have so many rich friends and nobody knows who they are.–Trump, in Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America by Maggie Haberman.

I know what sells and I know what people want.

and:

The show is Trump, and it is sold-out performances everywhere. —Playboy, March 1990

If I get my name in the paper, if people pay attention, that’s what matters.–The 199 Most Donald Trump Things Donald Trump Has Ever Said – POLITICO Magazine

I put lipstick on a pig . . . I feel “deep remorse.”Tony Schwartz, ghostwriter

As we read in a New Yorker article, , by (my post is here: Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All):

An accompanying cover portrait depicted Trump as unshaven, unpleasant-looking, and shiny with sweat. Yet, to [ghostwriter Tony] Schwartz’s amazement, Trump loved the article. He hung the cover on a wall of his office, and sent a fan note to Schwartz, on his gold-embossed personal stationery. “Everybody seems to have read it,” Trump enthused in the note, which Schwartz has kept.

“I was shocked,” Schwartz told me. “Trump didn’t fit any model of human being I’d ever met. He was obsessed with publicity, and he didn’t care what you wrote.”

Of niece Mary Trump’s 2020 Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, one reads:

In this revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him, Mary L. Trump, a trained clinical psychologist and Donald’s only niece, shines a bright light on the dark history of their family in order to explain how her uncle became the man who now threatens the world’s health, economic security, and social fabric.

Mary Trump spent much of her childhood in her grandparents’ large, imposing house in the heart of Queens, New York, where Donald and his four siblings grew up. She describes a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse. She explains how specific events and general family patterns created the damaged man who occupied the Oval Office, including the strange and harmful relationship between Fred Trump and his two oldest sons, Fred Jr. and Donald.

A firsthand witness to countless holiday meals and interactions, Mary brings an incisive wit and unexpected humor to sometimes grim, often confounding family events. She recounts in unsparing detail everything from her uncle Donald’s place in the family spotlight and Ivana’s penchant for regifting to her grandmother’s frequent injuries and illnesses and the appalling way Donald, Fred Trump’s favorite son, dismissed and derided him when he began to succumb to Alzheimer’s.

Numerous pundits, armchair psychologists, and journalists have sought to parse Donald J. Trump’s lethal flaws. Mary L. Trump has the education, insight, and intimate familiarity needed to reveal what makes Donald, and the rest of her clan, tick. She alone can recount this fascinating, unnerving saga, not just because of her insider’s perspective but also because she is the only Trump willing to tell the truth about one of the world’s most powerful and dysfunctional families.

Here is the grand tragedy of Trump: he never matured beyond the needs/actions/mentality/maturity of a two-and-a-half-year-old . . . So his overweening narcissism by this calculus was come by honestly–initially by about age three. (And possibly the only “honest” thing about Donald J. Trump ever since!)

Then the greater tragedy: millions bought in to the antics of that puerile “grown-up” from 2015 to the present (and long before for many!). Then here’s the thing:

We become what we hate, invariably. We also become what we aspire/fantasize to imitate.

“I’m doing this to fight for normal,” [Democratic Congressman Jared] Moskowitz said in an interview. “I think the American people voted for normal in this last election, and they voted against crazy.”–A ‘fight for normal’ in Congress, January 4, 2023, by Blake Hounshell | Editor, On Politics.
From people personally close, to countless white Evangelical “Christians”/”Christian” nationalists, to Kraken crazies, to  . . ., one can only marvel at their seeming arrested development in lockstep with Trump’s infantilism, that endlessly seeks to live in a world that is not . . . Sigh! . . .

In the end, it seems that Trump never learned from the race of life, so doggedly intent was he to force life to conform to him. Not a chance! For like an elastic band that can only be stretched so far, he–and millions with him–are discovering to their seeming utter amazement and consternation, life invariably wins in the last stretch . . .

One morning in the spring before his death, I asked Mr. Morgenthau what his greatest fear was, and he did not hesitate to answer: “Trump.”

I can only wish for him and sundry eyes to truly see before they pass life by–lost in an endless Alice-in-Wonderland-like loop . . .1

Almost four months later, there is this, b, March 20, 2023: Before His Death, I Asked the Manhattan D.A. What His Greatest Fear Was. He Answered: ‘Trump. We read:

Each saw opportunity in the other: The D.A. [Robert Morgenthau], ever expedient in his drive to fund his favored causes, needed the checks, and the real estate man [Trump], ever eager to antagonize a business foe, sought an ally in law enforcement. The D.A. would not serve as a shield but more as a decoy for Mr. Trump, who could use his proximity to Mr. Morgenthau’s power to enhance his own reputation. The D.A. had a blind spot when it came to Mr. Trump, one he would recognize years later. In his final years, Mr. Morgenthau witnessed a new blood lust — demonization of immigrants and people of color, the rise of white supremacy — and was taken aback. One morning in the spring before his death, I asked Mr. Morgenthau what his greatest fear was, and he did not hesitate to answer: “Trump.”

excerpt:

He tilts his face to the strobe lights and pumps his fists in the air. Sometimes he grabs a microphone and gives a speech. He knows what the people who show up here want.

His world has gotten much smaller. His world is so, so small.–Trump adviser
It was in that optimistic spirit, 28 days ago, that the former president, impeached and voted out of office and impeached again, amid multiple state and federal investigations, under threat of indictment and arrest, on the verge of a congressional-committee verdict that would recommend four criminal charges to the Feds over his incitement of a mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol and threatened to hang his vice-president in a failed attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 election results, announced his third presidential campaign. Since then, he has barely set foot outside the perimeter of Mar-a-Lago. For 28 days, in fact, he has not left the state of Florida at all.

He is sensitive about this. He does not like what it suggests. So he does not accept the premise. “Sometimes I don’t even stay at Mar-a-Lago,” he told me. What do you mean you don’t stay there, I asked. Where do you stay? “I stay here,” he said, “but I am outside of Mar-a-Lago quite a bit. I’m always largely outside of Mar-a-Lago at meetings and various other things and events. I’m down in Miami. I go to Miami, I go to different places in Florida.”

What he means when he says “Miami” is that his SUV rolls down the driveway, past the pristine lawn set for croquet and through the Secret Service checkpoint at the gate, for the two-hour trip to another piece of Trump real estate, the Trump National in Doral, about eight miles from the airport in Miami-Dade County. There, he meets regularly with an impressive, ideologically diverse range of policy wonks, diplomats, and political theorists for conversations about the global economy and military conflicts and constitutional law and I’m kidding. He goes there to play golf. “He just goes, plays golf, comes back, and fucks off. He has retreated to the golf course and to Mar-a-Lago,” one adviser said. “His world has gotten much smaller. His world is so, so small.”

Please click on: The Final Campaign 

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Footnotes:
  1. On truly “seeing” and “hearing,” please see the previous post, where I quote from Jeremiah 5 and Mark 8, with the latter the following:

    17 Aware of their conversation, Jesus asked them, “Why are you debating about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Do you have such hard hearts? 18‘Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear?’b And do you not remember?[]

Editor

Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.