Working overtime on Wednesday as a Census enumerator, I caught only a glimpse of the debate. Picking through the analysis the next day, I shook my head.
They still don’t get it.
The best thing about that debate was that the Trump-loving GOP finally confronted the daily reality experienced by those working in the White House. For the last eight years, the MAGA faithful have seen only what Fox News and heard only what Rush Limbaugh wants them to know about Trump. The man at the center of the MAGA cult is a media fabrication.
But the White House staff knows that to get anything done Trump has to be kept away. He doesn’t golf only because the Secret Service costs fund his country clubs, Trump golfs because they won’t give him anything meaningful to do.
Trump’s career was built upon his willingness to project himself into the public sphere. Until his father’s death, he was the public face of the Trump real-estate empire, and government and investors gave Donald access to get access to Fred. They heard Donald out.
But behind the blather was a team of people that prepped Donald with talking points and figured out which of the promises could be made true. Donald was happy to take credit for what worked, and quickly exorcised his failures.
This tendency was amplified on the set of The Apprentice, where he would explode arbitrarily during the meetings, and the producers would write and film a back-story to justify his performance. This is the true Trump: a man who expects that the world will conform itself to his will. The end result of coddling him, however, is a total divorce from reality.
I look at his signature, and feel only pity. He has no internal life, and overwrites himself in every moment while annihilating his past.
To understand Trump, read “The Autumn of the Patriarch.” Unless you are in Putin’s circle, because they recognized Trump’s malleability a long, long time ago.