Friday, February 17, 2017

Trump the Imposter

I always come back to this quote, as the villains on the Far Right keep proving it true:

An honest man, like the true religion, appeals to the understanding, or modestly confides in the internal evidence of his conscience. The imposter employs force instead of argument, imposes silence where he cannot convince, and propagates his character by the sword.
- Junius (Letter 41, 1770)

And how are the villains on the Far Right proving it true?

Due to their leader, Donald "Lost the Popular Vote By 3 Million" Trump.

Due to what Trump said yesterday at a mind-blowing mess of a rant (via The Moderate Voice):

...From there, the president’s criticism of the media went from barbed to personal in a cutting assessment of what he viewed as unfair coverage of his first few weeks in office – a period that has seen a succession of crises.
On a day when he ceded a loss over a signature policy in a federal appeals court, had to replace his labor secretary pick and faced questions over the resignation of his national security adviser, Trump chose to make the media a central focus of an unusually long and combative presidential news conference.
When asked by journalists of contacts between his presidential campaign and Russian operatives, he deflected the questions and put the focus instead on what he described as “illegal” government leaks and “dishonest” media coverage...
“...Tomorrow, they will say: ‘Donald Trump rants and raves at the press,'” Trump said. “I’m not ranting and raving. I’m just telling you. You know, you’re dishonest people. But I’m not ranting and raving. I love this. I’m having a good time doing it.”

Hint: when a guy tells you as he's ranting and raving that he's "having a good time," no he's not. Guys having a good time hoot and holler, they do not rant or rave. But I digress...

In one unusual exchange near the end of the news conference, Trump called on a questioner, asking if he was “a friendly reporter.”
When the journalist asked about recent threats to 48 Jewish centers across the country and signs of rising anti-Semitism, Trump appeared to take the question personally, replying: “I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life.” He added he was also the “least racist person,” told the reporter to be “quiet,” accused him of lying and then dismissed the question as “insulting.”

The reporter in question was Jewish Orthodox, and the reporter's query tried to lay out that he wasn't accusing Trump of anything - that Trump's got Jewish grandkids for example - other than trying to get Trump to admit there's something wrong with the uptick in bomb threats to Jewish centers and day care schools.

But Trump couldn't handle that. He quickly made it a personal attack on himself, and tried to bully the reporter by telling him to shut up and accusing him of lying.

Refer back to Junius' quote: This is Trump imposing silence where he cannot convince.

And Trump proved Junius again today, when he tweeted out this (via Balloon Juice):

Check out the framing, how he sets his position: he is accusing "FAKE NEWS media" - which happen to be some of the oldest, more reliable news agencies in the United States - of being "the enemy of the American People!"

He is setting them up as boogeymen, witches, Dirty Reds, Willie Hortons, black thugs in hoodies, scapegoats. Never offering actual proof of his claim that they are fake, but insisting that "we" his audience of "the American People" buy his word.

This is the bullying child in middle school who, when caught lying to the teachers and to the parents and unable to answer for his terrible performance with schoolwork and playing with the other kids, blames everyone but himself.

This is the con artist who, when caught setting up a job to trick a businessman out of everything, will accuse that businessman's associates of being the real crooks trying to stop him from a sweet deal.

This is the wannabe dictator who, when floundering in an administration wrapped up in foreign scandal and waning polls, attacks those who reports his regime's failures in a desperate attempt to keep his imperial robes and golden trinkets.

This is Trump proving Junius correct 250 years or so ago. Nothing has changed between the tyrants of the 18th Century and the would-be tyrant of today.

Trump is already trying to impose silence where he cannot convince. It's not going to be long before Trump uses force over argument by propagating his character by the sword...

And 62 million of you voted for this Imposter.

Gods help us.

1 comment:

dinthebeast said...

This could get real: Melania has hired the lawyer that Peter Thiel used to make Gawker disappear to sue a newspaper for $150 million for once saying she had been an escort, even after they published a retraction and an apology.
The free press is enshrined in the constitution for a very good reason. Perhaps the MAGAts should read it some time.

-Doug in Oakland