Quantcast
Connect with us

Trump’s uncontrollable narcissism drives him to commit impeachable offenses every day — according to this historian

Published

on

- Commentary

It’s useless to try not to talk about impeachment. It’s nearly impossible to avoid bringing it up. Running away from impeachment conversations doesn’t mean the conversation in your head will stop. So I’ll join in.

First, the national conversation is about Trump, and that’s not an accident. For a while, we heard and thought and talked about the Democratic candidates for President. They all talked about Trump, but that was only a small part of their message. Trump demands to be the lead in every news report, and now he is and will be for weeks, if not all the way to November 2020. He didn’t impeach himself just to top the news, but it’s a welcome outcome for him.

ADVERTISEMENT

The impeachment inquiry came about because Trump cannot distinguish between his own personal interests and the interests of the US. He never had a job where he had to think about anything but his own welfare. As a businessman, he was a constant public disservice, forcing people to sue him because he discriminated against black renters, stiffed the construction workers who built his buildings, and cheated the students who enrolled in “Trump University”. His narcissistic personality makes it difficult for him to think about anything but himself in any situation. So it made sense for him to subordinate American foreign policy towards Ukraine, Australia, and China to his worries about his electoral chances against Joe Biden.

His thinking is dominated by certain fixed ideas, which reason, evidence, and argument cannot budge. He enlisted the Vice President, the Secretary of State and the Attorney General in his pursuit of a Ukraine conspiracy theory, which hardly anyone has heard of outside of radical right media, because it has no substance. Thomas Bossert, Trump’s first homeland security adviser, told him it was nonsense, but no person or group of persons can talk him out of these obsessions. Long after it was definitively proven that Obama was born in Hawaii, Trump continued to say he believed in his own lies.

The obsessions are about his exaggerated beliefs in his success and refusal to believe in any failure. He can’t stand the fact that he lost the popular vote to Clinton by 3 million votes. So he embraces one explanation after another, not based on anything more than his wishful thinking – first millions of undocumented people illegally voted for Clinton, now Ukraine plus the “deep state” secretly helped Clinton’s campaign and tried to pretend that Russia was helping Trump.

His political opinions are not convictions but malleable positions, depending on his interests and the moment. He has no fundamental beliefs except himself. That is evident from his changing positions on abortion, Democrats, and gay rights. Who jumps to the opposite side on every major issue of political culture?

He has no empathy or respect for people outside of his family. His family might be able to impress him with reasoned criticism, but they don’t because they are like him, putting self before any principle. More than any other group of people, their future is tied to his success or failure.

ADVERTISEMENT

The American President presents the dangerous combination of absolute confidence that he is always right and always knows best, and a brain filled with nonsensical ideas. He commits impeachable offenses every day.

I don’t think that impeachment will get Trump out of the White House. There are not 20 Republican Senators who have the courage and patriotism to enforce the national interest when it might mean they lose an election. They share Trump’s ranking of their own political fortunes over any constitutional duty.

I think what matters is whether some Republicans in the House vote to impeach and some Republicans in the Senate vote to convict. In recent days, the first Republican dissenters have spoken out, led by Mitt Romney. Thus far, Senators Romney, Ben Sasse, and Susan Collins have openly criticized Trump. Republicans Will Hurd from Texas, Fred Upton of Michigan, and Mark Amodei of Nevada in the House have expressed support for investigating Trump, but are still wary of impeachment. Democratic Congressman Brendan Boyle says that “two dozen” of his Republican colleagues in the House are deeply concerned about Trump’s impeachable actions, although few have said anything. The defections from Trump worship may bring out others. This is history, and what each Republican politician does or doesn’t do, says or doesn’t say, will define their legacies.

ADVERTISEMENT

Unless more Republicans than the few so far show that they believe that he is a menace to our country, the impeachment inquiry will have little effect on the 2020 election. And that is the vote that matters.

Steve Hochstadt is a professor of history emeritus at Illinois College, who blogs for HNN and LAProgressive, and writes about Jewish refugees in Shanghai.

ADVERTISEMENT

This article was originally published at History News Network


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

All I want for Christmas is Democracy

Published

on

As the House of Representatives prepares to vote on articles of impeachment, and as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell openly colludes with Trump’s lawyers to fix the upcoming Senate trial, it’s more obvious than ever that Donald Trump is just a symptom of much more profound disease that has rendered our democracy dysfunctional. America is hardly alone in this regard.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Contrast McConnell with Paula Duncan, the Trump-supporting juror in Paul Manafort's criminal trial, who told NBC News, "I wanted Paul Manafort to be innocent, but he wasn't," and voted to convict him on all charges. She followed the evidence, just as jurors are supposed to. “I didn't believe politics had any place in that courtroom,” she said. “I knew I could be fair and impartial," and she was right.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

How the culture of football groomed us for President Trump

Published

on

Because everything is so Trumpian these days, there’s less air or space for the only other mass entertainment that promotes tribalism and toxic masculinity while keeping violence in vogue: football.

In the age of The Donald, it’s hard to remember that football was once the nation’s greatest television reality show. Because real people actually got really hurt in real-time, you could be sure it wasn’t fake news. Now, football is just another runner-up to President Trump, whose policies actually get people killed.

And yet football is still here, in plain sight, waiting to resume its cultural dominance once Trump is gone.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Conservative evangelicals aren’t hypocrites — it’s worse than that

Published

on

I understand why it’s hard for normal people to believe that white evangelical Christians are sadists. Normal people have never been, as I was a long time ago, on the inside of that shadowy religious world. But the sooner they understand this, the sooner normal people will see that white evangelical Christian support for Donald Trump isn’t rooted in hypocrisy, contradiction or merely straying from the straight and narrow. The reason they support a fascist president is simple: They’re sadists.

Continue Reading