Over the weekend Trump held two fundraisers, one hosted by Stephen Ross, whose Trump boosterism led to calls to boycott his companies Equinox and Soul Cycle, the other by rich guy Joe Farrell. They were the sort of well-heeled affairs that the Hamptons is known for, get-togethers for America’s most out-of-touch imbeciles and families whose well-honed sociopathy has been passed on through generations, and the only news to come out of them is that malignant narcissist and king of the sociopaths Donald Trump, and this cannot be overemphasized, is still not right in the head. His contempt for the rest of the world is boundless; his attempts at a few minutes of dignity invariably end with a new burp of spite. He has complaints and grievances when in a bad mood, and is full of sneers and bullying when he is in the best of moods, and none of this is normal or normalizable or anything but transcendently shameful, a condemnation of our national psyche and evidence of a malignancy in our own culture that has metastasized beyond plausible hope of extraction.
Let’s go down the list of speech lines in this New York Post report of his antics amongst the fat-wallet class. Let us translate this leader of the free world, rather than once again brushing it all aside as meaningless word-chaff from an orifice that produces nothing else. Dear God, this is not normal.
• On going with his rich father to collect rents from his tenants: “It was easier to get a billion dollars from South Korea than to get $114.13 from a rent-controlled apartment in Brooklyn, and believe me, those 13 cents were very important.”
All right, ha ha, we’re starting out with a joke about an impossibly privileged little snot learning at a young age how to squeeze his poorest customers for every last cent. This is Donald Trump bonding with his fellow real estate tycoons with a story that they will no doubt identify with and find humorous. And that little boy grew up to be, the story goes, prednisdunt.
• “There’s Don Jr., I didn’t think he liked politics, but actually he’s really good at it. And so is [Trump Jr.’s girlfriend] Kimberly [Guilfoyle]. Don Jr. is my gun expert, he knows more about guns than anyone I know.”
Donald Trump has the resources of the entire American government at his disposal. He has the FBI, the ATF, the CIA, as many military generals as he can stuff into a room, nearly a half-million U.S. Army soldiers to choose from, 200,000 reservists, 350,000 national guardsmen, the Secret Service, and any National Rifle Association lunatic he requests be catapulted from their headquarters into his den, and it is Junior who is, more than any of those people, the Gun Expert.
• On South Korea, again: “[Trump] mimicked the accent of the leader Moon Jae-in while describing how he caved in to Trump’s tough negotiations.”
Nothing to see here, just the buffoonish national leader doing Asian accents for laughs like a racist lounge act. When speaking of our nation’s allies, of course.
• On North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Murderpants: “People say he only smiles when he sees me.”
Do they? Do they say that? Has anyone, anywhere, honestly come up to you to tell you that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un “only smiles” when graced with the presence of a Florida golf-course-owning reality show host with shady ties and the skin tone of an October pumpkin? Despite there being clear photographs of Kim smiling in other appearances, on his own state media. Do people further mention that birds suddenly appear, every time you are near? How much, quantified, does your smiling face brighten the dictator’s day? Eleven? Pineapple? Baritone sax? I would like an hourlong documentary on this claim. I want the History Channel to serve this up on a plate, between ancient alien mysteries and the search for the Loch Ness monster.
• “If I hadn’t been elected president, we would be in a big, fat, juicy war with North Korea.“
This is an official speech by a sitting president. If it were any past leader, or even a Joe Biden, this one sentence about big, juicy war would be dissected for three weeks by baffled television hosts fretting over the decaying dignity of the office. It barely rates anymore, because we’re off to racist Asian accent-land before we can catch our breath.
• “Turning to Japan, Trump then put on a fake Japanese accent to recount his conversations with Shinzo Abe over their conversations over trade tariffs.”
The hell, you say.
• “Trump spoke about his friendship with Abe and how fascinated he was with Abe’s father, who had been a kamikaze pilot. Trump asked Abe if the kamikaze pilots were drunk or on drugs. Abe said no, they just loved their country.”
The hell, you say. Nothing to see here, just the pretzeldent noting to the leader of Japan that he heard his dad maybe died young or was an addict or something? No, just a soldier fighting in the last desperate days of an already-doomed effort, thanks for asking.
• “Imagine they get in a plane with a half a tank of gas and fly into steel ships just for the love of their country!”
Donald Trump has had his entire life to absorb this information, to have heard it and to reflect on it, and the concept of anyone dying for their country still baffles him. He is the commander in chief of our armed forces, and cannot grasp it. Neither, he cannot help but assume, can anyone in Trump’s pay-to-attend audience. It is a mystery, the machinations of these pauper minds. Could not the pilots simply have faked a case of bone spurs?
• “We got rid of two nasty ones.”
Here he’s talking about Republicans, apparently. He’s talking about Republicans who didn’t hug him tightly enough, in the midterms, and how pleased he is that they got what-for?
It is not that the man is a boor. It is not that he is uneducated, or dimwitted. He is simply … malignant. There is nothing good about him. He cannot not be racist, not even for a day, not even in the most supposedly dignified of company. He cannot fathom that there is any information in the world that exists if he or his three favorite offspring do not know it. He is a writhing mass of sneering contempt or of impatient fury waiting to hurl itself at any target that passes by, and damn proud of it. He is the only source of joy to dictators, by his own telling, and our allies’ greatest thorn and tax collector, and he is equally proud of those.
I swear, we cannot become immune to this. The odds are nearly nine in 10 that the next Republican president will take each of these things and improve on them by making them still cruder, and still blunter, on the now-proven theory that what the nation needs and deserves from its leaders is mean-spirited idiocy spoken with the mannerisms of a teen ski movie villain. The bar is not likely to be raised again without a herculean effort, and at least so far there seems to be no stomach for even attempting it.