The only certainty is that, in all things, Trump’s only real interest is Trump.
President Donald Trump is an unstable, erratic sociopath and a pathological liar which makes him impossible to figure out. I am not even sure that Trump understands Trump because he is so impulsive. Trump is also immune to details. He still has the understanding of a third-grader when it comes to how government works. Trump doesn’t care that he doesn’t know because he seems to think that he is smarter than everyone else. Why get mired in specifics, analysis and planning?
The point is that nothing Trump utters is really thought through and we really have no idea why he does what he does. Trump’s personality disorder keeps us off balance to the point where we doubt our own sanity. We are continually gaslighted (gaslighters are often narcissists). Trump adds to the toxic swill what Bloomberg News refers to as anonymous validators. These include the supposed government employees who supposedly support the shutdown.
Everything that we think about Trump is just speculation. The only certainty is that, in all things, Trump’s only real interest is Trump. Patriotism and the good of the country mean nothing to him.
Rod Dreher at The American Conservative writes (emphasis per original):
…Republicans and the Republican president could have done whatever they wanted for the past two years about the border barrier. They did not. For this they’ve now shut down the government? I think about all those federal workers who are living paycheck to paycheck, and are now hurting because Trump realized that he was on the verge of his base figuring out that he never really cared about the wall in the first place.
While I usually disagree with Mr. Dreher I read him every day because he is intellectually honest and his writing demonstrates his intellectual curiosity. In this case I think that Dreher is partially correct. The wall was a campaign device which appealed to his white nationalist base. He was never very serious I suspect and sure as hell Trump knew that Mexico was not going to pay for Trump’s enduring monument to himself — and white nationalism.
However, I do not think that is the key driver. Trump wanted a shutdown to occur. He even said that he would take responsibility for a government shutdown. I think that Trump figured that the public would blame Democrats for not funding a wall that he claims is crucially necessary. Trump wanted this fight and right now he is losing. The question that remains is just how long a fickle citizenship will see that they are being played.
Day after day Trump will sow seeds of doubt. Trump is never going to relent. At least that is what he wants us all to think. Trump might think that he is in a no lose position. If the Democrats cave, he wins. The longer the shutdown lasts the more opportunity Trump and his abeters at Fox News have to sway public opinion his way. He wins again. Expect more caravans — barbarians at the gate — in your future. Every unauthorized immigrant who gets a parking ticket will be portrayed as Ted Kaczynski.
Rod Dreher and I agree on two things for sure:
- Donald Trump is inherently dishonest and;
- Donald Trump is a self-serving cynic.
Ultimately the American citizens are walled in.