Sunday, October 04, 2020


So maybe you should completely disregard my last post.

I lulled myself into imagining that Trump might stumble on the fact that there was an advantage to be gained from arousing people's sympathies under these circumstances. You'd think a guy who wants to take advantage of anything and everything that will help him achieve his goals would recognize the usefulness of being pitied and rooted for. I imagine even the average sociopath grasps that.

But Trump, who seems to want to win at all costs, has shown us throughout this pandemic that he doesn't want to win at any cost. It's much more important to him to seem strong and dominant. From the beginning, he downplayed the spread of the virus even as his poll numbers dropped, and even as those governors who took the virus seriously saw sharp upticks in their poll numbers.

It's as if he feels that if shows empathy, or concern for others, or acknowledges difficulties rather than selling the notion that everything is tremendous and becoming more so, he'll anger his dead father, who occupies massive amounts of real estate in his head two decades after he died. Trump doesn't want to win at the cost of going against his father's demand that he be a tough, dominant alpha male. Trump would rather kill 200,000 Americans and lose the election than seem weak in a dead man's eyes. That's why he keeps putting out videos purporting to show him manfully working in his hospital room. That's why he insisted on hopping in a limo today and endangering Secret Service agents, just to show that he's still vigorous, even though no one outside his base is likely to be impressed.

I thought he might grasp the notion that, in these circumstances, it's better to be seen as vulnerable, just as it was better to be seen as a decent, caring, concerned leader over the past eight months. Silly me.

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