The pathology is the point
Never once have I spent my time going over and reading the tweets Donald Trump puts out on his account. The ones that have crept up into the news are always shocking and stupid, and mostly just frightening. I would never subscribe to get his tweets delivered to me. Why would I want to subject myself to such horror?
I’ve done what most sane people have done: I don’t read them at all. If you value your sanity, I’d say no one should read them.
I aggressively unfollow idiots and stupid people on social media. Trump is not only an idiot, willfully ignorant, a racist, a rapist, and a manbaby, he’s also unworthy of my time. Twitter is a time suck. It is designed, like Facebook, to keep you on the platform and engaging with others. I choose not to have those engagements.
There is nothing someone like Trump can tweet that will be insightful, interesting, or illuminating. We already know who he is and what he is. Everything he does when not on Twitter emphasizes his acute horribleness. Twitter is just another platform for him to espouse his horribleness. I choose not to engage.
Jack Shafer writing for Politico says this:
Why must we fetch every bone that Trump hurls into the high, prickly brush? Well, he’s the president, and he wouldn’t make such an extreme charge if it weren’t true, would he? But he does, and he does all the time. This tidy list from Business Insider demonstrates his historic capacity for making baseless but grotesque claims of criminality and deception: implicating Ted Cruz’s father in the Kennedy assassination; claiming that Obama wasn’t born in the United States; surmising that Justice Antonin Scalia did not die of natural causes; accusing Joe Scarborough of complicity in the death of an intern; asserting massive voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election; saying windmills cause cancer; connecting the Clintons to Jeffrey Epstein’s death; and the Bidens-in-Ukraine baloney.
His tweeting is all about deflecting from his very real political problems. Guess what? I don’t have to pay attention, and neither do you.
Frankly, Twitter should delete his account. They will not do that. Twitter should delete the bots populating their site too, but they won’t do that either. Part-time CEO Jack Dorsey has chosen not to make moderating his platform a priority. This is wrong, and this is the inherent problem with social media in general.
Interacting with Trump is a fool’s errand. It has no real effect other than amplifying his horribleness to people who either don’t understand or relish in his horribleness. These are also people I don’t want to engage with or spend any time thinking about. I don’t need to raise my Twitter profile by “pwning” the MAGA crowd. I just ignore them. Unhinged rants don’t need any oxygen, so I don’t feed the animals.
Make no mistake, he’s unhinged. Trump is clearly deranged and has successfully removed himself from reality.
Kevin Drum on Mother Jones posted the following:
In the past few days Donald Trump has:
Cranked up the volume on his pointless cold wars with China and Iran
Turned mask wearing into a culture war campaign issue
Accused a TV host of murdering an intern
Declared war on voting by mail
Insisted that James Comey and a variety of others should be in jail
Pushed an absurd “unmasking” non-scandal
Insisted that Barack Obama personally led a spying campaign against him
Retweeted a video saying “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat”
Retweeted QAnon conspiracy theories
All of this has happened during an enormous pandemic which should be occupying all his time. Instead, he’s virtually ignoring it because he can’t figure out what to do aside from handing it over to his son-in-law and then hauling out his iPhone to tweet about something he heard on Fox & Friends.
Is Trump mentally unstable? I don’t know. But he’s sure not mentally all there, is he?
Andrew Sullivan writing about Trump last week thinks he’s “completely bonkers.”
Yesterday, at a Ford plant in Michigan, the president reiterated that he was once named “Man of the Year” in Michigan, something that never happened and an honor that doesn’t exist. He insisted that Obama had left no pandemic preparation behind — “we took over empty cupboards. The cupboards were bare” — which is untrue. He said he owned a lot of Lincolns but then he said he didn’t. When referring to the anti-Semite and Nazi-supporter Henry Ford, he ad-libbed, “Good bloodlines, if you believe in that stuff. Good blood.” In a factory where mask-wearing is legally mandatory and where every other executive was wearing a mask — and one who spoke with a Perspex visor on as well — Trump refused to wear one in public, though he apparently put one on behind the curtain. When asked why he wasn’t wearing one, he said: “I don’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.” The official taxpayer-funded White House trip was also used to give an overtly partisan campaign speech, breaking the law. Just one completely bonkers day from a president who has effectively refused to do the job.
Later in his piece he says Trump is suffering from a delusional pathology.
I know we’re used to it, but there is no rational or coherent explanation for any of this. There is no strategy, or political genius. There is just a delusional pathology in which he says whatever comes into his head at any moment, determined entirely by his mood, which is usually bad. His attention span is so tiny and his memory so occluded that he can say two contradictory things with equal conviction repeatedly, and have no idea there might be any inconsistency at all.
This pathology is also why no one should spend any time at all following Trump’s vomiting on social media. It nearly always is incoherent, a lie, a projection, or a panicked attack on something he saw on Fox News. His supporters eat it up because they, too, want to live in the President’s imaginary reality. However, the problem with imaginary realities is that the real world doesn’t go away because it’s inconvenient. COVID-19 is not going away. Hundreds of thousands of people are dead and dying because reality finally smacked the orange manbaby in the face. He is desperately trying to change the narrative, but again reality has its own narrative, and it’s one a vast majority of people are seeing for the first time. No amount of spin, pivoting, or “other blaming” is going to work when more than 100,000 Americans are dead, millions are out of work, and a vote to remove this cancer is a few short months away.
Of course, who knows what will happen over the summer. Unfortunately, one thing you can be sure about is that Trump will say something ridiculously stupid. And I’ll be doing my best not to pay attention.