I didn’t make that title up. In the comments in a recent article about Trump and his idiot lawyers and sycophants, a reader posed the question. Was Trump some kind of a diabolical Rasputin who rook over his followers, or were his followers, who should have known better, dumb enough to turn themselves heart and soul over to Trump? That question intrigued me, especially since I had long been pondering the same damn question myself. And I finally think I’m ready to take at least a semi intelligent crack at it.
To put it bluntly, It’s both. With the saga of the Trump campaign, the Trump presidency, and his closest allies, we had a rare but perfect storm. But to make a little better sense of the Trump phenomenon, I’d like the license of a little historical perspective.
Adolf Hitler was not a rich man, and not a well educated man, The son of an Austrian customs border agent and maid mother, Hitler was a lazy and sporadic student. He mistook his failures as a sign of creative brilliance, and was a failed street painter in Austria. But he had a skill.
Hitler had natural oratorical skills. He instinctively knew how to speak to the disgruntled lower class masses. And after Germany’s defeat in World War I, pretty much everybody was disgruntled. As a result, he rose to power, and used that power to ensure compliance from university graduate advisors who were loathe to disagree with him because they wanted to retain their proximity to that power.
Charles Manson was a pure nobody. The victim of a broken home, Manson had a grade school education, and by the time he was 25, he had spent more stretches in Juvie hall and prison than most hardened criminals. But like Hitler, Manson had that rare gift, he could speak to the lower educated and disenfranchised.
And he put that skill to good use. At the age of 34, Manson preyed on the plentiful street youth of San Francisco and Los Angeles, spewing rich bullshit, and portraying himself as the second coming of Christ. He even lied to his followers. Although his birth name was Charles Milles Manson, he told his impressionable followers that it was Charles Willis Manson. Read that as Charles Will Is Mans Son. As the older man, nobody in the group would ever defy him.
Thanks for bearing through that. Now let’s look at Trump. Trump is another mental and emotional anomaly. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, started at third base and thought he had hit a triple. He was never truly disciplined as a child, and even when he was sent to military boarding school, managed to find a way by with a combination of toadying to authority, bluster, and bullshit.
Once he graduated from the Wharton School of Business, thanks to his sister who did his homework for him, Trump set out on his own. I don’t doubt that he started out with a small loan of $1 million from daddy, but he didn’t turn it into billions. Trump went through money the way kds go through Chicklets. And because every time he fucked up, and Daddy bailed him out, he was able to carefully craft the persona of a real estate magnate, one which his shallow soul demanded in order to survive.
There’s a good reason why Traitor Tot never took his company public. Trump is a total control freak. If he had gone public, he would have made millions, but would have to answer to a board of directors. This he would never do, he has to maintain complete control.
But now lets look at Trump’s slavish minions, especially the better educated ones, and look at the dynamics in their relationships. Start here. Trump is a total control freak and micromanager who requires two things, total obedience as well as total compliance. There’s your baseline right there. Now, let’s look at some of the highly educated people who should have known better.
Let’s start with treasonous, disgraced General Michael Flynn. Here I must admit, President Obama made a fatal mistake if he wanted to save us a national nightmare. His only piece of advice to Trump in his Oval Office meeting with Trump was, Whatever you do, don’t give Michael Flynn a job, the guy is totally unqualified. What Obama should have said was, If you want a real power player, give General Flynn a try. The guy takes no shit from anybody and runs a tight ship! Trump’s obsessive hatred for Obama meant that he would do the opposite of whatever Obama said, plus Trump would never want a strong personality that could oppose him.
Now let’s look at Sidney Powell. Sidney who?! Who the hell is Sidney Powell? A 3rd rate Texas lawyer with a head full of conspiracy theories, which is just the way Trump likes them. Powell reminds me of the character Ernie Hudson played in Ghostbusters. In response to a job interview question about his belief in a whole plethora of psychic phenomena, he replied, Lady, if there’s a steady paycheck in it, I’ll believe whatever you say. That’s crackpot Sidney Powell to a T.
Now let’s look the The Ghoul Man. In reality Giuliani cuts a tragic figure. A totally self possessed figure, Giuliani, in his tenure as the US Attorney of the Southern District of New York had the nasty habit of letting talented underlings make the tough cases, and then sprinting to the microphones to take the credit.
And as Mayor of New York Giuliani actually laid out the playbook for Trump’s January 6th insurrection, although unwittingly at the time. Giuliani was being termed out of office when the 9/11 tragedy occurred. But Giuliani, ever the opportunist sought to delay the Mayoral election to allow him to remain in power while he cleaned up the mess. Exactly what Trump tried to accomplish with the Capitol Riot.
One more should do. Let’s try Kellyanne Conway. Conjob was a proficient conservative lawyer and strategist, who happened to be married to a more prominent GOP lawyer named George. Conway wanted her moment in the sun, eclipsing George, and Trump was the way to do it. She’s the one who coined the nonsensical term alternative facts when Trump was caught in a lie, and I’ve already written about how her shenanigans could land her in a defendants chair for either federal or New York state campaign fraud violations.
All of them share two things in common. First, all of them are intelligent and college educated, and should have known better! And second, all of them craved power and prominence, and all of them were willing to subjugate themselves to Trump, because he was the seat of power and prominence. They all knew that the way to Trump’s heart was to tell him what he wanted to hear, and when the shit finally came down, there was no way they could stop telling him. A classic case of the quest for power leading to a fall from grace.
And now a purely personal aside. In an article several months ago, I warned all of you to not lose track of the name Boris Epshteyn. I have had Epshteyn on my radar from the first days of the Trump presidency. He’s barred lawyer, and a nasty piece of work. The last I heard, he was a high programming mucky muck at the Sinclair network.
He caught my attention because, like Kellyanne Conway and Kayleigh McEnaney was so obnoxious that both MSNBC and CNN refused to p0ut them on the air. But reporting last week indicated that Special Counsel Jack Smith wants to talk to Epshteyn regarding the alternate elector scam in Michigan. This is going to be hard for Epshteyn to rebut, since he told Ari Melber on MSNBC that he had contacted Michigan legislators about the scheme, upon the assurances of Rudy Giuliani that the whole thing was totally legal. What could go wrong? Don’t touch that dial.
Bravo, Murph. And you could add 100 more Trump apparatchiks to this analysis if you had the space.
MY gut reaction was “Why not both?” and I saw pretty quickly that you cane to the same conclusion.
To me it’s fairly simple – no one gets to that stage od apouting lies unlless there is something wrong with them – be it narcissism, or some other condition in (or not in) the DSM. A lot has been said about his need for attention, but I think that’s a flourish – what I see is the need for power – the need to control everything, including everyone. I actually see that as the root of all evil. Yes, I know, that’s suposed to be money, or the love of money – but what is money if not power coupons?
Amd the MAGAts – we all have a desire to believe what we want to believe. But the majority of us, when we do that, are capable of accepting evidence to the contrary. His people are not. I don’t know whether they were born with that lack, or whether theywere taught it, or whether they have just done itto themselves. I think they want the same things youand I want – the stuff that Masklow soelled out – but because their version of reality is so far wrong, they find it impossible to achieve them – and it’s never their fault. So they lash out like a terrified or wounded animal (except that a terrified or wounded animal generally has more sense – at least after healing. I’ve had my hands bloodied by a kitten whose mother had been killed – it was quite a sight to see – but once he was inside with his siblings (he was the last one I could catch) he calmed down fast – and spent the rest of his life making it up to me.) You can’t even help them – nything good you do for them they think comes from their idol,not from you, and that you are the ne who wants to take it away.
I am constantly hearing or reading that Democrats are terrible at messaging. But I don’t think that’s really true. It is not really possible to message people who WILL NOT see or hear the truth. At least I don’t see a way. Any truth you tell them, they will twist to fit their idea of reality – and that’s if they even hear it at all.
I want to thank you underwriter505, I always have to look up something I don’t understand, and I always learn something new when you respond. Thank you 🙂
“What is money if not power coupons?” A true statement, Underwriter! Money and power go hand in hand. I think your analysis of the situation is a good one, well thought out and helpful in understanding what’s going on with tRump’s followers. I just think it’s terribly sad that some people in our country (both the poorly educated, whom tRump said he loved! and the learned) can be duped by this fat fake fascist. Some say the only way forward is to constantly present the truth, and “they” will come around. I think what might make “them” come around is for them to see the head of the snake get cut off, indicted tried, convicted and sent to prison for a good long time. The threat of violence if that happens, is real. But I think we’ve seen that the defenders of that criminal snake are being held accountable for their violence on January 6th! And that is NOT an “alternative fact!”
Murfster35 Thank you too. I am always learning on this site and I am thanking every contributor to this site. Everyday I learn something new. Thank you all for keeping me young!