The short answer is: no. But I don’t do short answers, so here’s the long one.
In How Dare You, I described the fact that nearly a year into Trump’s presidency, his opposition has yet to come to terms with the fact that he did actually win the election:
The larger issue here is that those who would consider themselves our cultural betters have affixed to their beliefs the status of The Truth, by fiat. What is accomplished by this is the elevation of what really are mere opinions to base maxims of the sort that are the foundation of the country, thus in theory unassailable.
And so when Trump disagrees with this or that leftist talking point, and vehemently to boot, there is a collective shock that permeates the commentariat. How dare Trump express views which aren’t in agreement with the one Truth that is Leftism in all its forms? How dare Taylor Swift not instantly condemn Trump despite having no reason to voice an opinion, and furthermore how dare Taylor Swift disagree when she is declared to be a white supremacist? How dare Sidney Crosby, a white man, turn up to the White House to accept praise from Trump?
The fact that leftism has gone without a real challenge for multiple decades, and in particular through the Obama years, has rendered the nascent Trump era to be nothing short of a hammer blow through the sensibilities of most leftists. Many still haven’t come to terms with the fact that Trump really is the president, and more fundamentally that the Leftist Truth is not held as such by a YUGE swath of America.
The recent excitement over Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury, which bills itself as an exclusive inside look at the Trump White House, is further evidence that the failure to come to terms with Trump 45 is as prevalent as ever. Indeed, it seems that Trump Derangement Syndrome has reached levels that shouldn’t be possible. In the past week, this book has been endlessly covered in the mainstream media, with Wolff himself doing interviews with basically every network and media publication to drum up the hype, bolstered by stories of how the book has been flying off the shelves in record time.
President Trump has unsurprisingly said less than favorable things about the book, and in fairness it does require the reader to suspend logic at regular intervals. For a start, it tries to advance the popular meme that Trump really didn’t want to be president. Wolff’s ‘evidence’ for this is the fact that Trump actually ran the campaign of an authentic outsider.
The Trump campaign had, perhaps less than inadvertently, replicated the scheme from Mel Brooks’s The Producers. In that classic, Brooks’s larcenous and dopey heroes, Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom, set out to sell more than 100 percent of the ownership stakes in the Broadway show they are producing. Since they will be found out only if the show is a hit, everything about the show is premised on its being a flop. Accordingly, they create a show so outlandish that it actually succeeds, thus dooming our heroes.
The Trump calculation, quite a conscious one, was different. The candidate and his top lieutenants believed they could get all the benefits of almost becoming president without having to change their behavior or their fundamental worldview one whit: we don’t have to be anything but who and what we are, because of course we won’t win.
Many candidates for president have made a virtue of being Washington outsiders; in practice, this strategy merely favors governors over senators. Every serious candidate, no matter how much he or she disses Washington, relies on Beltway insiders for counsel and support. But with Trump, hardly a person in his innermost circle had ever worked in politics at the national level—his closest advisers had not worked in politics at all. Throughout his life, Trump had few close friends of any kind, but when he began his campaign for president he had almost no friends in politics. The only two actual politicians with whom Trump was close were Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie, and both men were in their own way peculiar and isolated. And to say that he knew nothing—nothing at all—about the basic intellectual foundations of the job was a comic understatement. Early in the campaign, in a Producers-worthy scene, Sam Nunberg was sent to explain the Constitution to the candidate: “I got as far as the Fourth Amendment before his finger is pulling down on his lip and his eyes are rolling back in his head.”
Almost everybody on the Trump team came with the kind of messy conflicts bound to bite a president or his staff.
In short, Wolff is perplexed at the fact that Trump was genuine, a trait foreign to those who work in journalism and politics. According to Wolff’s logic, the measure of Trump as a ‘serious candidate’ would have been his reliance on hundreds of so-called experts, who would have run every word he was to utter in public through carefully curated focus groups so as to craft the message which had the highest possibility of winning according to BIGDATA analysis.
A ‘serious candidate’ should have done what Romney or McCain or any of the interchangeable milquetoast GOP candidates would have done – spout a bunch of platitudes attempting to pander to this or that identity group, making sure to stay within the boundaries dictated by leftist social orthodoxy – and then suffered a graceful defeat to the rockstar progressive candidate.
Because Trump didn’t do this, explicitly eschewing the GOP playbook which had proven to be a guaranteed loser in favor of the polar opposite approach, Wolff’s logic dictates that somehow Trump must not have wanted to win. So what was his endgame? Well, Wolff has the answer:
He wasn’t going to win! Or losing was winning.
Trump would be the most famous man in the world—a martyr to crooked Hillary Clinton.
His daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared would have transformed themselves from relatively obscure rich kids into international celebrities and brand ambassadors.
Steve Bannon would become the de facto head of the Tea Party movement.
Kellyanne Conway would be a cable news star.
Reince Priebus and Katie Walsh would get their Republican Party back.
Melania Trump could return to inconspicuously lunching.
That was the trouble-free outcome they awaited on November 8, 2016. Losing would work out for everybody.
Shortly after eight o’clock that evening, when the unexpected trend—Trump might actually win—seemed confirmed, Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he called him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania, to whom Donald Trump had made his solemn guarantee, was in tears—and not of joy.
There was, in the space of little more than an hour, in Steve Bannon’s not unamused observation, a befuddled Trump morphing into a disbelieving Trump and then into a quite horrified Trump. But still to come was the final transformation: suddenly, Donald Trump became a man who believed that he deserved to be and was wholly capable of being the president of the United States.
According to Wolff, Trump was after fame, despite already having reached the pinnacle of it. He had already been a worldwide celebrity for nearly 40 years, and indeed it was his 100% name recognition and media savvy that played a huge role in getting exposure for Trump the Politician.
According to Wolff, Ivanka and Jared were destined to become ‘international celebrities’ (although Ivanka already was one) and brand ambassadors – for a brand which, at least in the short run, Trump knowingly sacrificed on the altar of Political Correctness by virtue of his campaign highlighting Ugly Truths in a world which is addicted to Pretty Lies.
According to Wolff, Trump ran so that Steve Bannon (who was a Ted Cruz guy until Trump brought him on board in August of 2016, after Trump had won the Republican nomination) could lead the Tea Party movement. But thanks to being the head of the largest Tea Party-influenced media outlet in Breitbart, Bannon was already a de-facto Tea Party thought leader before Trump had even announced his candidacy.
According to Wolff Trump ran so that Kellyanne Conway (who like Bannon was a Cruz supporter until late on) would achieve media superstardom, despite having consistently been in the political media for 20 odd years at that point.
In other words, Donald Trump spent two years of his life and millions of his own money, flying endless miles around the country to give rally after rally (including 24 stops in 10 states over the final week of the campaign, which featured a 6 rally 6 state last 24 hours in which each 90 minute speech seemed to have more energy than the last), all the while enduring incessant bad press from the chattering classes which incited hatred against him from huge parts of the electorate… all so he could lose.
But alas, fate would not let him lose. The narrative Wolff advances of Trump’s campaign being so bad and inept that it could only be understood as trying to lose must then make the campaign of Hillary Clinton look that much worse. It also renders the idea that a man trying to lose would then conspire with Russia so that he could win to be a bit absurd. More on that later. These basic discrepancies in logic mean little to those with an anti-Trump agenda, for whom the book is seen in good standing simply because it is written in the right spirit, as opposed to being factually accurate.
With respect to Clinton, the majority of those in the media and political class kept telling us that Hillary Clinton was the most qualified candidate in the history of mankind. Surely, then, she should be capable of defeating all ‘serious candidates,’ let alone a man who was actively trying to lose.
However, this is the same class which, in recent days fell for an exquisite troll which advanced a fake excerpt from Fire and Fury. It detailed Trump’s wishes to have ‘The Gorilla Channel’ installed on White House television so he could indulge in his pastime of marveling over gorilla combat for hours on end.
That so many were fooled by this highlights the eagerness of Trump’s opposition to believe anything that paints Trump as a bumbling idiot. Furthermore, the plausibility of such an excerpt being real highlighted the fact that Fire and Fury is little more than a dispenser of fantasy pills for the willing consumer.
The Russian collusion conspiracy is one such fantasy pill Wolff puts forth. In recounting Trump’s transition period, Wolff writes:
On the verge of Trump’s ascendancy to the presidency, the media, with its singular voice on Trump matters, was propounding a conspiracy of vast proportions. The theory, suddenly presented as just this side of a likelihood, was that the Russians had suborned Donald Trump during a trip to Moscow with a crude blackmail scheme involving prostitutes and videotaped sexual acts pushing new boundaries of deviance (including “golden showers”) with prostitutes and videotaped sex acts. The implicit conclusion: a compromised Trump had conspired with the Russians to steal the election and to install him in the White House as Putin’s dupe.
Taken out of context, this passage seems as though it is merely an objective recollection of events which happened. Taken in the context of the whole book, it is presented as, at minimum, a highly plausible explanation of what actually happened. Indeed, in his media interviews, Wolff has been triumphantly claiming the book will be one of the final nails in the coffin of the Trump presidency.
To wit, we are supposed to believe that Trump did not want to win, and indeed was actively trying to lose by running the most ‘incompetent’ campaign ever. But the Russians really, really, I mean really wanted him to win, so they presented him with blackmail which forced him to stay in the game.
This makes no sense for a few reasons. First, without even leaving Wolff’s writings, if Trump was in on some election-stealing plot with the Russians to prevent unsavory tapes from seeping into the public domain, shouldn’t he have been overjoyed on election night, as opposed to being scared shitless as Wolff claims? If, by election night, Trump had already made the calculation that winning and thus avoiding publication of the dossier material was paramount, why would any of the alleged ‘gains’ of losing, like being the most famous man in the world and starting a TV network, still have been relevant?
Wolff both contends that right up until the tide had turned in Florida on election night, Trump had actively planned to lose, but also, as evidenced by his collusion with Russia, actively planned to win. This delusion is made to look even more idiotic by the fact that by all official accounts, the first time Trump was made aware of the dossier was by then FBI director James Comey in early January 2017, after the election. And in the subsequent weeks and months, we would come to find out that the dossier was really little more than opposition research conducted and financed by political opponents. This made its elevation to the level of key evidence in an intelligence investigation look more like a retroactive attempt to manufacture dirt on a Trump who was now, finally, taken seriously as a threat to the political class.
Mind, all of this mind-scrambling absurdity is contained in just the first two chapters of Fire and Fury. Admittedly, I’ve not read any further than that, but if it continues on in that vein it would take a post longer than the book itself to highlight the hypocrisies and logistical inconsistencies within. But the bits I’ve read so far do a good job highlighting the acuteness of the Trump Derangement Syndrome among our supposed intellectual betters.
As I wrote in How Dare You, a lot of the consternation over Trump stems from the fact that he not only does not subscribe to Cultural Marxist dogma as The One Truth, but actively promotes the Ugly Truths which expose the Pretty Lies favored by those cultural Marxists. A recent example is his promotion of the term ‘chain migration’ into the cultural lexicon, as well as exposing the absurdity of the visa lottery system to the public at large.
The Russia collusion story is another example. The collusion theory originally gained traction in the media owing to the fact that candidate Trump wanted to work with Putin’s Russia towards common interests as opposed to wishing to see Russia wiped from the face of the earth in nuclear conflict. To many, what is merely a difference of political opinion became tantamount to suspect behavior that could only be explained by the fact that Trump is a Russian operative.
If Trump’s unwillingness to accept the political and social orthodoxy of the last few decades as though it had been written on stone tablets carved from Mount Sinai’s cliffs makes him an uneducated rube, his unabashed, blatant, in-your-face unwavering conviction in those badthoughts makes him mentally unstable. At least, according to the political orthodoxy.
And since everyone has become an armchair psychiatrist with respect to the President, I feel no compunction relaying my own diagnosis of the media, made last July when discussing one of the various media conniptions which have characterized the Trump era:
For the shitlibs who pack the offices of America’s mainstream media outlets, this dynamic that they thought had been extinguished by the sound of Pomp and Circumstance is rearing its head again as Trump metaphorically gives them wedgies before stuffing them into their lockers on a regular basis.
See, this wasn’t supposed to happen. The saving grace for The Dweeb in high school was always that his intellectual superiority would render him the winner at life when it was all said and done. The Cool Kid maybe had a ceiling of ending up as the manager of the local auto parts store. The Cool Kid’s ultimate relationship to The Dweeb was destined to be the guy who gave some middling advice as to which snow tires The Dweeb should put on his Mercedes, which he had earned through his lawyering, banking, computering, or doctoring, and would cost three times as much as The Cool Kid earned in one year.
In the case of Trump, not only did The Cool Kid end up on top of the totem pole in terms of The Girl, The Money and The Career, he did so from within the very institutions which were meant to catapult The Dweeb into that position of superiority, such as the Ivy League. In his latest performance, he went from a real estate billionaire to the President of the United States with no political experience, again thwarting the rule-playing, convention-adhering Dweeb.
The constant media lash-out against Trump is thus on one level indicative of a deeper existential crisis. The Cool Kid, armed with little more than a Dweeb-created Twitter account, is winning again, and this time there is no positive future scenario in which The Dweeb will win to look forward to.
Trump clearly understands this dynamic. His enemies are largely composed of journalists and political ideologues of average to slightly above average intelligence, all of whom rely on the inflation of said intelligence to advance themselves up the food chain. These are the exact sort which are triggered by tweets such as these:
These Tweets are classic Trump. He makes a real, substantive point, which is surrounded by multi-layered trolling designed to inflame the chattering classes. His writing style, unorthodox use of quotation marks, awkward syntax, run-on sentences, well placed and not-so-subtle jibes like “(on my first try),” typos, catchy alliterative insults, boasts, taunts and brags, all serve a purpose.
Namely, to infuriate the serious, polite class of pundits and observers who all believe themselves to be the President’s intellectual superior, owing to the ‘wrongness’ of the actual substantive point embedded within his tweets.
These pundits are further compelled to show this ‘intellectual superiority’ in order to prove to the world that despite the election, in which the Cool Kid yet again bested the Dweeb-proxy that was Clinton, it is actually they who won at life and not that imbecile Trump. So they invariably focus on the ‘buffoonery’ in Trump’s tweets, spending endless hours of media coverage talking about how ‘moronic’ this or that aspect of the Tweet was.
And in so doing, they amplify the very views they oppose oh so much well beyond Trump’s tens of millions of Twitter followers. Smart.
The frequency with which this pattern repeats, with the media continually playing the part of outraged megaphone for the President’s message, suggests that it is not he who is the rube in all of this. And in the background, a YUGE swath of ‘normies,’ who maybe agree with the gist of Trump’s messaging but not necessarily his style, nonetheless end up viewing the media in an even worse light. It only takes an inkling of social intelligence to recognize in the Trump-Media relationship as that between Lucy and Charle Brown. Casual observers may roll their eyes at Trump for never letting the media kick the ball, but find the media ridiculous for overzealously trying the same thing time and again.
Described differently, Trump is a political version of Mohammed Ali. Trash talking and self-praising to the max, before, during, and after fights, Ali’s opponents would wind themselves up in a rage trying to lunge at this ‘idiot’ trash talker who wasn’t defending himself properly. That was exactly what Ali wanted though, as he would take advantage of winded opponents who flailed at his butterfly before getting stung by his bee. There was even a gif created acknowledging this, superimposing Trump’s head on Ali’s body as he dodged an onslaught from a young Michael Dokes:
Or maybe it’s even simpler than that – perhaps Trump’s detractors are just run of the mill totalitarians. After all the advancement of the ‘he disagrees, he must be mentally unstable’ line of thought is straight from the communist playbook:
A new category of schizophrenia, “sluggish schizophrenia,” was created in the USSR. Sluggish schizophrenia was categorized under latent schizophrenia in the modified Soviet version of the ICD-9, and it was presumed to start with indiscernible symptoms and progress slowly with a devastating long-term prognosis.11,12 Soviet psychiatrists asked to be trained to uncover the hidden psychopathology of sluggish schizophrenia, which was thought to involve the thoughts or behaviors of political dissidents, called philosophical intoxication5 or delusions of reformism.12 In China, overt opposition to the Communist Party was regarded as a persecutory or a political delusion associated with paranoid schizophrenia.7
In the USSR, psychiatry was used for political reasons. Political dissidents in the USSR were hospitalized in psychiatric hospitals, where security agents could intervene with the diagnosis, treatment, and admission of patients.18 About one-third of political prisoners were hospitalized with physically disabled or mentally retarded patients.48 The World Psychiatry Association raised awareness of the political abuse of Soviet psychiatry, which resulted in decreased psychiatric admission of political dissidents.18,48 The political abuse of psychiatry also took place in Romania, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Cuba, and East Germany.8,20 The political abuse of psychiatry interfered with the development of rapport between patients and psychiatrists,8,12,17 which resulted in long-term complications.40
The irony of those pushing the Russian collusion delusion ultimately adopting the methods of those same dastardly Russians (albeit their forefathers) should not be lost here.
In the end, what I’ve read of Wolff’s book reads like a trumped up (pun intended) version of the Russian Collusion dossier, with the book intending to succeed where the dossier failed in removing the president from office. Whereas the dossier was supposed to lead to impeachment on grounds of collusion and treason, the book is supposed to lead to impeachment on the grounds of mental instability and unfitness for office.
The impeachment march on these grounds will fail as well. For the simple fact that:
Declaring one’s own political opinions to be Gospel
Then chiding those with different opinions as being mentally unfit
Then treating what amounts to a #Resistance fan fiction novel as though it were legal evidence
All the while requiring a suspension of any kind of logical or critical thought
..and then from there proceeding to expect imminent impeachment hearings to take place reeks of, dare I say…mental instability on the part of our esteemed press.