I am ready to lose my mind. As I’ve written many times recently, I have made a real effort to move away from talking about the orange man and stick to more pleasant topics — even if I’ve had to resort to the banal from time to time.
But enough is enough and if I don’t say something, I’ll explode. It’s not what you think though. It’s not “himself” of whom I speak. It’s everybody else.
Well, maybe not everybody. Just everyone who is still waiting for him to pivot, to act like a grown-up, to become presidential, to show some decency, some intelligence, some leadership.
To actually say the words “nazi,” “white supremacist,” “white nationalist”
or whatever your name is for the evil racists who held a violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend. To call it what it is, to call them out, to say it’s unacceptable and won’t be tolerated, to send them packing; and mean it. Ditto with Putin and the calls for violence and the taunting of Kim Jong Un and the public shaming of his own cabinet members and his own party and all his other bullshit.
You’ve got to stop. Because it is NOT going to happen. And no amount of hoping and praying and wishing and talking and speculating and debating and arguing and reasoning and questioning will make it happen. Get over yourselves. He will NOT change. Not because he can’t, I don’t believe that for a minute. Because he won’t — for one reason and one reason only.
This man wants to win. He wants to win at all costs. He will say anything, do anything, go anywhere, agree to anything, promise anything, welcome anyone — as long as he wins in the end.
He’s done it his whole life. We’ve seen it in his business life. We saw it in the primaries. And we continue to see it every minute of every day of his presidency. That’s why he constantly flips on issues. That’s why he contradicts himself over and over again. That’s why he changes his mind more frequently than you change your underwear. If it’s to his advantage it’ll come out of his mouth and show up on his twitter feed.
Don’t expect him to act the way you might. He has no brains, no intellect, no integrity, never has had and never will. He doesn’t even have any opinions of his own — and really, he doesn’t need them.
Because what he does have, in spades, is an uncanny ability to ferret people out — to size people up — to know in his bones what they want to hear from him — to know who he can sway and why — what their hot buttons are — and how best to bend them to his will. To manipulate them into doing exactly what he wants them to do, until he doesn’t need them anymore. And then he’ll discard them like a used tissue and move on to his next target.
Donald Trump knew — when no other 2016 presidential candidate from either party knew — that there were millions and millions of disgruntled, alt-right, anti-everything-but-white-christian-populists who were totally underserved in America; and he went after them like a pig foraging for truffles. And everything he says and does is directed at them and them only. Because he wants to keep on winning and without them he can’t and won’t.
So please, let’s stop wasting our time and our energy and our breath talking about what Donald Trump should say and do. Let’s stop wondering and speculating about when he’ll finally change his behaviour and when we can stop worrying that he knows the nuclear codes.
It won’t happen until he sets his sights on something his ardent supporters can’t deliver to him. Or Bob Mueller can prove he’s a criminal. Or the GOP come to their senses. Or hell freezes over.