The only people who Donald Trump drives crazier than his enemies are his friends. We like Trump. We appreciate Trump’s largely remarkable record of achievements – remember how your 401k used to go up instead of plummeting into the earth? We even enjoy his mean tweets. But then he does something that is so obviously self-destructive and, moreover, something that has burned him before, and we want to rip our hair out and shriek like that tubby mutant in the raincoat who got on her knees as Trump’s inauguration was announced and howled “NOOOOOOOOO!”
Okay, why the hell does he still insist on talking to Maggie Haberman of the New York Times? She’s not his friend. She screws him over all the time. The regime newspaper hates him so much that it went beyond the full Walter Duranty to get him. And yet, there he is, giving long, luscious interviews to people who hate him. He did it with Bob Woodward too. Most people put their hands on a stove once and get burned and never do it again, but not Trump. No, by now his paw is figuratively charcoal.
What is that?
Is it a need to be loved by the allegedly prestigious? A great thing about Trump is that he looks upon the Establishment and the institutions with a jaundiced eye, and his critique of them is searing. In fact, he was the first one to really lay into them. But, on the other hand, Trump is a transitional figure in the new conservative movement. He still maintains a residual respect for those institutions. He thinks a Harvard degree is a prestigious credential and that a general with a bunch of fruit salad on his chest is therefore impressive. But his blindness to the obvious failures of our institutions and the hacks at their helm totally screwed him as president.
In the same vein, he still really believes that coverage in the NYT means something good, that it is prestigious, that those people taking him seriously matters. And this means he wants the respect of the poohbahs of the Establishment, like Maggie Haberman, but he cannot get his mind around the fact that he will never, ever get it. The reality is that Trump was a necessary first step in our movement’s evolution, but he was merely a first step. He still wants to be loved and respected and accepted by the enemy, and none of that will ever, none of that can ever, happen. This yearning is a weakness, and boy, do they ever exploit it.
Understand that Trump is only partially based, and therefore he is not fully realized in his basedness such that he knows what time it is. Sure, he’s got the hour, but he needs to know to the minute and the second. We know it’s time to burn the Establishment and the institutions down.
We want to burn it all down. But Trump grew up in that world, he made his bones in it, and for him it is still the paradigm that gives him his identity. He cannot conceive of burning it all down, and therefore he cannot conceive of answering a call from Maggie Haberman with “New phone, who dis?” (Not Safe for Sissies).
Why the hell does she even have his cell number? There are a bunch of conservative journalists who support him who would love to have it. Sometimes it seems like nothing is worse than being Trump’s friend, and that nothing pays off better than being his enemy.
One thing is certain – this is not some 4-D chess power move. There’s no cunning plan that’s all going to come together down the road. Here’s the thing about Trump. He never learns, and he never changes. He just can’t. The Trump of yesterday is the Trump of today and will be the Trump of tomorrow. With all that implies.
That’s not all bad. That’s part of what makes him great. We have been subjected to far too many spineless Republican invertebrates who “mature” and “develop” and finally earn the approval of the WaPo and then totally betray us. You know that while Trump will always make the same mistakes, whether it is trying to befriend lib reporters or utterly failing to consistently make good personnel choices – “Jeff Sessions for AG? How could that go wrong?” – he will also never back down on America First. He’s not going to go soft. He’s not going to go wobbly. Whether he can fully execute his intent is unclear if he gets a second term – again, he has that handicap of tending (with key exceptions) to spectacular lapses of judgement in picking people to surround him – you can never doubt his intent. It is to implement America First. And do not underestimate the value of that. If you lived through the disaster of Bill n’ Barack’s new bestie, that fake gentleman George W. Bush, you know how tremendous that is and how much credit Trump deserves for his unwavering commitment to it.
But damn, so many self-inflicted wounds! He’s like a kid who gets bored because he’s not getting enough attention and decides to play with matches then sets the house on fire. We really shouldn’t be upset, though. Trump is Trump. We can’t change that. The sun will rise in the east, Brian Stelter will always be a potato, and in the half of the time that Trump is not making us pump our fists in the air like Judd Nelson crossing the football field at the end of “The Breakfast Club,” he will be making us pound our heads into the wall.
Understand and accept it.
We should be so lucky that we would get four more years of him if he can win the inevitable primary with the much more disciplined Ron DeSantis. Right now, the polls say he beats the senile old pervert in the Oval Office, and anyone who writes off Trump is simply not paying attention. Trump can win it all in 2024. He might even be likely to.
But we can dream, we can hope, we can engage in what is doubtless a flight of fancy that will never come true and hope that, just a little bit, he might actually learn from his mistakes.
And then we wake up.
He won’t, and that’s fine – not that we have any choice. Trump is a package, and you take the annoying with the great. But gosh, can’t he just at least stop talking to Maggie Freaking Haberman?