All Trump

If you’re tired of criticism of Trump, this is not your afternoon at the Tipsy Teetotaler. That’s a trigger warning, not a taunt. I can fully understand just wanting normalcy.

Maybe it’s just me, but it is piercing to watch White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her father, Mike Huckabee — both professed Christians — demean themselves in service to a man like Trump. Huckabee père says his daughter didn’t defend Trump’s Mika tweet, but only Trump’s “right to fight back.”Please. Nobody is fooled by this, except fools. A conservative Evangelical friend said to me a month or so ago that Trump was going to destroy the Evangelical Right, which hitched itself to his star with chains of iron. “I think Evangelicals have found their dream president,” said Jerry Falwell Jr. a few weeks back.

Dream a little 140-character dream, y’all ….

(Rod Dreher) No Rod, it’s not just you.

As someone said recently, “For good or ill, Christianity as a whole tends to rise or fall in plausibility and public esteem in correlation with good or bad behavior by its most visible representatives, which where I live are the Evangelicals and the Catholic Church.”

Let’s set aside any policy differences and consider a question about what kind of person our POTUS is: Can you conceive of Donald J. Trump being content in heaven, where he is the focus neither of all attention nor even of any special attention at all? (I know, I know, I know: we weren’t electing a chief Parson.)

If this seems an odd question, consider the possibility that hellions may actually prefer hell — if the alternative is giving up their drama queen personae, grudges, limelight, etc. I’m not talking from a high horse: that is an epiphany that redirected my own life 20 years ago.

Wilt thou be made whole?,” Christ asked the paralytic. It wasn’t a rhetorical question, and the answer was not without an echo of aggrieved drama, or at least a loss of ability to think outside the box of racing to the healing pool: “Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.”

Does our POTUS want to be made whole?

Donald Trump cares more about how he is perceived in the media than he cares about anything else in the world, including money. Trump is a true discipline of Bishop Berkeley, professing the creed of the social-media age: Esse eat percipi— “To be is to be seen.” Trump is incapable of enjoying anything — money, success, sex — without being perceived enjoying it.

Consider: Even though he has in fact been on the cover of Time magazine, it was discovered this week that he had had his people produce some fake Time magazine covers lauding the success of his television show, The Apprentice. He had these fake Time covers displayed at Trump properties around the world. Why? Because Trump, for all his professed contempt for the media, believes that success is not success until it is certified by Time magazine or (avert thine eyes, Hannity!) the New York Times.

Donald Trump is a man who invented an imaginary friend, John Barron, to call up members of the New York press and lie to them about his business success and his sex life. (He claimed, among other things, to be dating Carla Bruni.) A man who “does not need” the media does not do that.

Trump wrote of [Melania] that he chose her because he wanted to be able to enter a room with her and make other men envious — to see “grown men weep” — a very strange admission that his satisfaction in his marriage rests neither with himself nor with his wife but with third parties who might ogle her …

What do you think he reads first in the morning: His national-security briefing or Page Six?

I’d wager that Trump could list at least three times as many cable-news commentators as world leaders. He is much better versed in CNN’s lineup than in NATO’s.

Doesn’t need the media? He is the media, a former contract employee at NBC with a sideline in casinos. He was born to conduct Twitter feuds with second-tier cable-television hosts. Figuring out health-care policy?

Nobody watches that.

(Kevin D. Williamson)

We were warned. God knows, we were warned. For instance, from last August, in of all places, the Huffington Post:

Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who he is, believe him the first time.” Donald Trump has shown us who he is … again … and again … and again.

For over a year now, political pundits and commentators have been confused and befuddled by Trump’s unusual behavior. They’ve never seen anyone like him. In recent weeks, those pundits and commentators have begun to speculate that perhaps Trump is mentally ill, or has a serious personality disorder.

But those of us in the 12-step community know exactly what’s wrong with Donald Trump — he’s an addict …

Some recovering alcoholics might have a name for guys like Trump — he’s a “dry drunk.” He may not drink or do drugs, but he is as sick as any drunk you’ll ever meet. He is emotionally, morally, and spiritually bankrupt. His character is stunted and deformed. He has no capacity for empathy or altruism. It’s all Trump, all the time. Narcissist to the extreme.

Those of us in the wider 12-step community might use a number of different terms to describe Trump’s addictive personality: he’s “money mad,” addicted to the thrill of the deal; he’s an “attention junkie,” a “fame junkie” who can’t bear to be out of the spotlight; he’s a “power mad control freak;” he’s a “drama king,” an “Adrenalin junkie” who thrives on conflict and tension.

Trump — like other addicts — can be insatiable. There is never enough money, attention, fame, or excitement to satisfy. He always needs another fix, and will do anything to get it. “More” is his mantra.

Trump will be Trump. And why not? It’s worked for him his whole life. He is a high-functioning wealth and fame addict who’s convinced that he’s done nothing wrong. Remember, this is the guy who said in an interview that he has never prayed to God for forgiveness. But of course! A guy who thinks he IS God has no reason to acknowledge transgressions, much less pray for forgiveness. The only way an addict can change is to “hit bottom” first, then ask for help. Trump ain’t doin’ that anytime soon — probably never.

(BJ Gallagher)

“Dream President”? Only if your dream is of a President who will make the seven deadly sins so obvious and repulsive that people will repent in horror.

Go ye and become his opposite, unless you prefer to gain the world and lose your … oh, never mind.

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There is no epistemological Switzerland. (Via Mars Hill Audio Journal Volume 134)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.