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Opinion | When Trump Feels Cornered, He Gets Worse

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When there isn’t any exterior risk, there may be much less incentive to hold collectively. The greater the risk, the extra folks cohere. The instant aftermath of 9/11 was the excessive level of American unity. We have simply reached the excessive level of American fragmentation.

I lived most of my life within the Cold War. There was a transparent exterior risk. When that ended, societies inclined towards narcissism. The tribal obtained the higher hand. The selfie is the picture of the zeitgeist. Choices turned overwhelming of their multitude. Noise elevated.

It’s been a protracted dissolution, punctuated with errors. Decline relative to different powers made Americans extra determined. They’d grown used to the century being theirs. Then they had been thrust into one other one which was not theirs. They got here beneath assault.

Disorientation set in. In the tip they despatched a shrieking maniac to the White House.

President Trump is disturbed and rising extra so. When he feels cornered, his signs run wild. As a narcissist, the factor he finds most insupportable is any suggestion that he can not get away with no matter he desires. So he tweets: “IT WAS A PERFECT CONVERSATION WITH UKRAINE PRESIDENT!”

Oh, sure, Trump’s dialog on July 25 with President Volodymyr Zelensky was impeccable, the way in which he requested if the brand new chief may “do us a favor” earlier than raving about “the server” that in his addled thoughts is in some way in Ukraine and on the middle of some political conspiracy he’s embraced involving Democrats; the way in which Trump requested if the brand new chief may converse with Trump’s private lawyer and the lawyer basic about any filth he may collect on former Vice President Joe Biden, a number one Democratic candidate within the 2020 election.

The prelude to all that was Zelensky saying he needed to purchase extra protection gear from the United States. Rough translation of what ensued: If you need weapons, do the favors we wish!

(Trump had already, in completely arbitrary vogue, suspended all security assistance to Ukraine in early July, an obvious gambit for leverage; and, in equally arbitrary vogue, withdrawn the extremely competent profession diplomat Marie Jovanovich, who served as United States ambassador till May, an obvious try and clear the taking part in area for skulduggery.)

“Do us a favor” is English for quid professional quo. That’s a Latin phrase now well-liked with the lackeys of Trump who nonetheless insist on calling themselves Republicans. They hold saying, “no quid pro quo,” as if that exonerates Trump.

The dialog was certainly excellent — as a basis for impeachment, that is. It was so excellent that, in keeping with the account of the whistle-blower disturbed by the madness of the Trump White House, senior White House officers “intervened to ‘lock down’ all records of the phone call.”

In English, that’s referred to as a cover-up. I’m unsure what it’s referred to as in Latin, however I collect Republicans are engaged on discovering out.

Meanwhile, I’ve been questioning, what’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as much as? You know, he’s the man who will get on so effectively with Trump and reads him so effectively, that he’s been capable of dodge each bullet since Trump took workplace. He’s now been subpoenaed by Democrats handy over paperwork referring to Ukraine that had been requested weeks in the past. Well, yeah.

What does he need to say about Jovanovich’s abrupt withdrawal? Why, in keeping with the whistle-blower, does Pompeo have two United States ambassadors attempting to elucidate to bamboozled Ukrainian officers what to make of blended American messages? What precisely is Pompeo’s outdated Kansas enterprise buddy, T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, as much as as a “counselor” within the State Department? (Whether Brechbuhl was on Trump’s name, because the whistle-blower prompt, has been disputed.)

Now the shrieking maniac is shrieking louder, shrieking of spies and treason, and chunk of the United States will shriek with him. They will redouble their fury in opposition to the press, according to what Trump said at the United Nations this week: “These animals in the press. They’re animals actually. Some of the worst human beings you’ll ever meet.” And, “They’re scum, many of them are scum.”

Trump additionally mentioned: “I didn’t do anything. I don’t know if I’m the most innocent person in the world.” He continued: “I just said I’m the most presidential except for possibly Abe Lincoln when he wore the hat — that was tough to beat. Honest Abe, when he wore that hat, that was tough to beat. But I can’t do that, that hat wouldn’t work for me. Yeah, I have better hair than him.”

You heard that proper.

The disturbed man with the hair ought to tune into the Bobby Fuller Four. In the mid-1960s, they did a great version of a song by Sonny Curtis of The Crickets. The refrain goes, “I fought the law — and the law won.” It’s catchy.

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