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Wed Jul 8, 2020, 01:24 PM

WaPo: "Not clueless and hapless. Malevolent." [View all]


Stop saying Trump is ‘in denial.’ The truth is much worse.

Once we dispense with the idea that Trump remains “in denial,” we’re left with a few interpretations. The most charitable is that Trump continues to have principled disagreements with experts over these matters, but there are zero indications he has any substantively grounded views on them of any kind.

A far less charitable interpretation is that he’s merely indifferent to the catastrophic consequences that are resulting from these failures — and will continue to do so — and that he’s prioritizing nakedly self-interested political calculations over any such concerns.

Trump has been steadily wrong in these political calculations, to be sure. At each stage, he has believed not acting was in his immediate interests, only to discover the consequences of inaction proved politically worse.

There may have been a species of denial at play in those faulty political calculations — a misguided faith in his magical ability to re-create his political reality through the force of will and tweet. But we can’t pretend any longer that Trump isn’t perfectly aware of what the real-world consequences of his actions — or inactions — will be.

The press critic Jay Rosen has repeatedly suggested that the effort to obscure Trump’s role in this ongoing fiasco is producing one of the biggest propaganda and disinformation campaigns in modern history. Central to getting this right is dispensing with the idea that Trump is a hapless, clueless actor rather than a deliberate and malevolent one.

The one other possibility that underlies his malevolence is direction from hostile actors - foreign and domestic.

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Reply WaPo: "Not clueless and hapless. Malevolent." [View all]
erronis Jul 2020 OP
soothsayer Jul 2020 #1
spooky3 Jul 2020 #2
Mike 03 Jul 2020 #3
ProfessorGAC Jul 2020 #4
marybourg Jul 2020 #5
Trailrider1951 Jul 2020 #6
gulliver Jul 2020 #7
erronis Jul 2020 #8