Madman, Psychopath, or Machiavel?

Trump has a funny way with crowds. At his press conference today he claimed that there were thousands in London cheering for him, waving American flags, and only a small ‘rentacrowd’ of protestors. Reports of large numbers of the latter, he claimed, were ‘fake news’. The truth, of course, is the opposite. One is reminded here of his statements about his inauguration turn-out. He also, incidentally, at the same press conference, repeated an earlier lie about his having predicted the result of the Brexit referendum before it happened. He didn’t.

It would be useful – and may be crucial – to know whether he really believes all this. Could he have been so sheltered from reality, or so consumed by conspiratorial thinking – believing that the BBC is now part of the MSM that’s out to get him – as to genuinely hold this alternative view of events? If so, doesn’t that make him psychologically and intellectually weak? (Or, if you like, mad.) If not, of course, it makes him one of the greatest liars ever to have bestrode (bestridden?) the international stage. That could be because he really doesn’t have any regard for ‘facts’, except insofar as they can be manipulated for his purposes, or in order to conform to his prejudices and boost his fragile self-regard. (A bit like his friend Boris.) Or, thirdly, it could be because he’s aware of the lies, but knows how well they can play for him with his ‘base’ back home, even when – as in this case – they’re so easily disproved. That would make him immoral, but cleverer. I think I’d almost prefer that.

I’m sure that this has been debated in the USA for months.

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4 Responses to Madman, Psychopath, or Machiavel?

  1. Perhaps his lying is also an index of his power, and his way of showing it off. Other mortals have to conform to the expectation of truth telling, but not Donald. He is a discursive absolutist, an analogue of an absolutist monarch, not bound by any normative conventions, free to say whatever he likes and free also from any form of accountability. His followers, who have never been fans either of truth or those who insist on its primacy, must be heartened and entertained by his defiant refusal to bend to the will of the truth-inspectorate.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tony says:

    Few politicians accept the ‘facts’ if they contradict their view of the world, with advisers and ‘spinners’ reinforcing this,’ but Trump has discovered its more effective with his ‘Fox Lies TV ‘base to deny reality entirely and present ‘alternative’ universe. Many people anyway only accept those ‘facts’ that confirm their prejudices and ignore other sources of information that do not, and probably includes many readers of the Mail, Telegraph and Guardian etc which often seem on different planets in the news they select to report and interpret. In the US, many Trump supporters apparently don’t read any newspaper, but get all their information from right wing radio stations and Fox Lies TV so he doesn’t have to convert readers of the NYT or viewers of CNN, just confirm the prejudices of his base.

    Liked by 1 person

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