Storm Front

Everyone's talking about Trump, just as he planned. Including me, I guess.

Storm Front

If you are utterly sick of reading about ex-President Donald John Trump, I don’t blame you in the slightest. Here is the TL;DR version of this post - a keen and bracing analysis of the Trumpian psyche.

Trump is, as I write this, running for President. Trump is, also as I write this, most likely about to be indicted by the district attorney of New York for election fraud. Both of these can be true (and in fact is not even that unusual worldwide — see my previous post on Israel’s current crisis sparked by a similar dilemma involving Benjamin Netanyahu — but what makes this unusual, if not (at least yet) a full-blown crisis, is Trump’s very peculiar circumstance.

First off: Trump is a criminal. He’s been a criminal all his life; he learned the craft from his father, and made a career of being several varieties of con man, including gleefully refusing to pay people who work for him (a habit which eventually resulted in the spectacle of an ex-President of the United States who has to search widely for an attorney who’ll take him as a client), pretending to be a glamorous celebrity for the New York tabloids, manipulating his taxes so that he paid virtually none for decades, playing someone named Donald Trump on television, and finally playing someone named President Donald Trump, also on television. Not all of these are crimes (although “The Apprentice” was certainly bad enough to count as one) but enough are to make the point. Trump, like most wealthy people in America, firmly believes rules are for other people.

In fact, weirdly, that was part of his campaign platform in 2016. “Vote for me - I’m the guy who benefited from the crooked system his whole life, and I’m on your side now. Only I can fix it.” Trump was one of the first avatars of the new populism shaking up nations across the globe, a reaction to what many saw as emotionless “globalists” who saw nothing wrong with industrial zones depopulating and wealth shifting towards the upper elite. An intelligent, adept politician could have ridden such a backlash to a complete deconstruction of the American experiment in democracy.

Thankfully, Trump was neither an adept politician nor particularly intelligent, and as his omnishambles of an administration stumbled from wound to self-inflicted wound, it became ridiculously clear that Trump only cared about one thing: what people thought — and were they thinking — about Donald Trump. Trump’s obsessive self-absorption is pathologically all-consuming; briefers quickly learned to include his name in presentations to keep his attention, and the Trump foreign policy became a bizarre exercise in “who is nice to me, Donald Trump” (one North Korea and Russia both essentially won). The whole exercise seemed like a prolonged Al Franken Decade sketch.

Thus the second part of this weird circumstance: Trump will do anything to stay in the public eye, because he honestly seems to believe he is the most important being in the universe and anything that affects him is, by definition, of critical importance to the nation and the world. His 2020 campaign was essentially a pro-forma exercise in using the power of the Presidency to remain there; his 2024 campaign seems to be shaping up to be “vote for me, and I’ll get back at all my enemies! I mean, your enemies. Same thing, really.” Or, as Trump often puts it:

This exact meme was so popular, by the way, it was picked up by at least two other wannabe-autocrats, Benjamin Netanyahu and Narendra Modi. Populism is definitely a thing.

His campaign this year thus far has been restricted, until now, mainly to a few rallies where he can soak up adoration from his fan base (as New York attorney Ron Kuby put it, “I mean, the man is beloved by 20 percent of the American population. Admittedly, they're fascist psychos.”), workshopping nicknames for likely opponent Ron DeSantis, and otherwise staying home and not doing very much. Which, you know, all things considered, that’s great! Keeps him out of the news, which everyone can agree is for the best.

Unfortunately, as noted, Trump is also a criminal, and being a very famous person who is also a criminal means that you might actually run the small, yet real risk of suffering some degree of consequences for your actions. Thus the indictment coming from a New York grand jury, most likely sometime within the next week or so. The story behind that indictment is very typically Trumpy: Trump at some point slept with a porn actress named Stormy Daniels, who when Trump began his 2016 run for office saw the opportunity to monetize what she describes as “the worst 90 seconds of my life”. She approached the National Enquirer, which is very close to Trump thanks to his previous career as some kind of weird tabloid celebrity, and the Enquirer brokered a deal between Daniels and Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen. At the time (2016) he was one of Trump’s strongest supporters in the media, as can be seen here in all his pugilistic and clueless glory:

However, when news leaked out of Cohen’s role in funneling money to Daniels in exchange for her (short-lived) silence, he was prosecuted and sent to prison. Oddly, this resulted in his not being a big fan of Donald Trump any more, and he cooperated fully with the NYC investigation into Trump’s role in what was a pretty clear payoff to influence an election (his own). Thus the current looming indictment.

If you just go by Trump’s increasingly unhinged and ALL UPPER CASE statements on his Mastodon clone,, this is the worst thing to ever happen to America, engineered by Communists, Marxists, Republicans, and Hillary Clinton only knows who else. Don’t take my word for it!

So, reading all this, you’d think that indicting Donald Trump is bad, right? Well, not so fast. He wants to go through the motions of being arrested. He wants nonstop 24/7 news coverage of this “horrible injustice”. Because they’re talking about the most important person in the world, Al Franken.

So, while the NY attorney’s office and the Secret Service are in, let’s just say, delicate negotiations over how to handle the spectacle of a former President being booked in a court of law (no perp walk, because it’s too easy for would-be assassins; no handcuffs, because what’s Trump going to do, choke someone?) no one seriously believes Trump will actually suffer any consequence from this — the charges in question, while absolutely criminal, are barely above the level of a misdemeanor, and even if convicted, the Secret Service will surely have something to say about the logistics of protecting Trump’s life in Rikers lockup. Meanwhile, Trump’s handlers, remaining attorneys, and Lindsey Graham are all gleefully saying that the spectacle itself will ensure Trump’s re-election.

And who knows, it might. We live in strange days, where everything continues to be horrible, most of all because I spent the past hour and a half writing about Donald Trump again.

Trump says disputed GOP memo 'totally vindicates' him in 'Russian Witch  Hunt' - Los Angeles Times
it’s everything he always wanted