236. The Troll President

I just had the thought that Donald Trump is like one of those kids with ADHD I’ve looked after in earlier years, in various special kindergartens.

He doesn’t mind anger and outrage as attention as long as it is attention. Because everything is about Donald Trump, it was never about America – much less the Republicans (a party he has not supported until recently).

Trump has found what he has desperately sought all life, while swimming through scandals and courtrooms due to his failed and illicit businesses: Unwavering loyalty.

There are about 36 percent of Americans who support the president no matter what, his so called ‘base’. I saw some of them on TV the other day, gathered for a group interview. A woman dismissed the recent revelations about collusion with Russia as “fake news”, just like Trump likes to twitter.

Fact-resistance. No matter what.

Trump could fuck a goat in public, burn kittens alive and take away their Medicare and these people would – somehow – blame it all on Barack Obama or the fake news media.

I once read a commentator on Politico likening Trump to Chavez in Venezuela who also ran the country into the ground and behaved more than a little dictator-like, much like other Latin American¬†caudillos – ‘strongmen’. His supporters didn’t care because he was good at pretending he listened to them and giving them a story about their lives and a vent for all their anger about whatever they had to be angry about.

Like Trump.

So what will happen now, I predict, is that he is likely impeached after 2018 because by now ‘only’ the 36 percent can believe he did not collude with Russia – along with a series of other crimes. (It depends on the Congress majority, of course.)

If he is not impeached then he might very well lose 2020. But no matter what happens, except perhaps jail – if that is even possible – Trump will win.

Because his loyalists will never leave him. They will go down with him, in flames, blaming all their world’s ills on everything else but Trump – or themselves.

For Trump a destructive end to his presidency might even strengthen him personally post-presidency, which is what he cares about, I’m sure, more than anything else. I’m sure he could easily revel in all the (bad) attention that his chaos-management has spawned. After all, he did in the past with other scandals and is doing so now.

He doesn’t care about the outrage of the political establishment now. He doesn’t care about the majority of voters who will eventually – even with the skewed US election system and Russian manipulation – boot him out in 2020 (I do hope). He could use all those failures and all that outrage from ‘the others’ to fire up his base again.

Even an impeachment would be great fodder for endless new talk-shows on TV and social media with him as the star + an ever-adoring crowd of die hard-fact resistant loyalists (although maybe for their own reasons entirely): “I was robbed of the presidency – of my chance to make America great again!”

What do you do to stop a man who doesn’t care about anything but adoration from his own die-hard fans and is willing to destroy anyone and everyone else to get it? Even if he looses things that seemingly are very important – to the rest of us? Like: The presidency … good press … maybe even his freedom?

I think first of all you really, really have to accept that this man cannot be touched by those normal mechanisms of power that you are used to, in politics and media. He doesn’t care about being loved by YOU – who has questioned him most or all of the time. He only cares about being loved by those who will never, ever question him – his loyal rally-fans. The constant 36 per cent.

Then ignore him. Trump is an internet troll, and people don’t understand why internet trolls like to be proven wrong again and again. They like it because of the attention and the chaos they create and the likes they get from a few die-hard supporters. That’s what they like. They want you to argue with them and prove them wrong again and again. Because to them your proof does not matter. And since it has no consequences, it really doesn’t matter.

In a scary way, Trump is an internet troll who is actually ruling the (still) most powerful nation on Earth and his actions matter – for millions of people. Just not for himself.

Impeachment, bad press, outrage, bad polls, election loss … nothing of that matters, only attention from the loyalists. The unwavering lovers he has sought his entire life and finally found. The 36 per cent who will never vote for anyone else, no matter what.

I can’t do anything about Trump, except perhaps write this and hope somebody will find a more constructive way to stop him from doing bad with his present power, than writing a 25 column scathing op-ed about his latest tweet. (For that will only make him stronger!)

I can remind myself, though, not to feed other trolls whenever I see them, especially on the Internet. And that the best way to starve those trolls to death is to starve them of their most basic nourishment: Attention.

And so I will stop now.