Proof that he’s a bully, and not a smart one
With Trump’s surrender to Nancy Pelosi yesterday, it seems a fitting time to ask oneself, “just what is Trump good at?”
After all, he was elected President, so he must be good at something.
Based upon our experience so far, despite his claims to the contrary, it appears that he is no good at negotiating. That was just shown by his complete failure to get even one dollar for his wall. He also does not appear to understand government. He and his team were, for example, taken by surprise by some of the activities that were affected by the shutdown. Indeed, it appears he wasn’t even a really good businessperson. Evidence of that comes from analysis of his affairs showing that he would be richer if he had just taken his inheritance and invested it in index funds.
So just what is he good at? Adam Serwer of The Atlantic wrote a brilliant article arguing that he is good at being cruel. Serwer argues convincingly that Trump’s cruelty is the reason his supporters are willing to overlook his incompetence, his lying, his self-dealing, his nepotism, his personal immorality, among his many other faults.
The Cruelty Is the Point
Read Adam Serwer on why the Supreme Court is headed back to the 19th century Their names have mostly been lost to time…
I find Serwer’s analysis compelling, and indeed it is in accord with my own experience. Various commentators have pointed out that Trump is without humor. But yet people at his rallies laugh heartily. Why? Because he is being cruel. In laughing, his supporters are signaling their approval.
It reminds me of the schoolyard bully. Nobody really likes him, but he quickly divides the schoolyard into several groups. First are those who follow him. They might not have the leadership instincts of the bully himself, but they generally approve of his behavior and ally themselves with him. The advantage they get is twofold: first they do not themselves get targeted by his attacks, and second, they get to feel superior to others in the schoolyard who might otherwise outclass them in sports, grades, or other measures.
Next are the bullied, those who do not meet his approval. This group must exist, because without it, he can offer no advantage of superiority to his supporters. They are selected because they actually display characteristics that might give them some advantage. But by bullying them, the bully makes sure he and his supporters get to feel superior.
Third are those who try to stay out of it. They hope that by avoiding the attention of the bully, they will avoid his attacks.
Finally are those who are willing to stand up to the bully. In elementary school, this group is almost non-existent. I am pleased to say that as we get older, this group grows. Evidence of this fact comes from the large numbers of people like me, white, middle class, straight males, who actively oppose Trump.
Bullies are know to call others names, and Trump is no exception. So, in an effort to document the one thing Trump seems to be good at, I give you the top ten nicknames Trump has given to his critics:
#10. Crooked Hillary
#9. Low energy Jeb (Jeb Bush)
#8. Rocket man (Kim John Un)
#7. Lyin’ Ted (Ted Cruz)
#6. Adam Schitt (Adam Schiff)
#5. Pocahontas (Elizabeth Warren)
#4. Justin from Canada (Justin Trudeau)
#3. Dopey CNN Flunky (Paul Begala)
#2. Failing New York Times (The New York Times)
And, the number 1 nickname Trump has given his opponents… Nancy (Nancy Pelosi)
Need I say more?
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