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Notes From an Extreme Centrist – Trump’s Katrina?

| Opinion | March 19, 2020

According to Psychology Today, “while most sociopaths may not be literal outlaws, however, they can share certain traits with them. This includes a lack of remorse, a propensity for untruthfulness, and a tendency toward behavior that benefits the sociopath at the expense of others. Ultimately, the defining characteristic of the sociopath is a profound lack of conscience—a flaw in the moral compass that typically steers people away from breaking common rules and toward treating others decently. This internal moral disconnect, however, is often masked by a charming demeanor.” Does this remind you of anyone?

Even the most devoted sycophantic cultish Trump supporters, if they have any rationality remaining in their political consciousness, must acknowledge that at least until this past weekend, the time of this writing, President Trump’s response to the coronavirus crisis has been erratic, ineffective and even dishonest. While talking “happy talk” and contradicting the warnings of his own experts, he has attacked the media and the Democrats, imposed travel restrictions on one-fourth of the world’s population, criticized other nations’ response effort, refused to meet with Speaker Pelosi and attacked his hand-picked Federal Reserve chairman. His responses are driven more by how he calculates their impact on his re-election and the vagaries of the stock market than on the actual health and economic impact on most Americans. Trump’s approach reflects his us-against-them mindset, tendency to assign blame, narcissistic propensity for making everything about himself, egocentric claims that only he can solve everything and his combative view of geopolitics.

For me, the defining moment, his ““Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job” moment, came when he publicly admitted that the Grand Princess would not be admitted into the USA because he didn’t want to double his national numbers of Americans testing positive. In other words, he cared more about his numbers than actual fellow Americans. Was it a slip of the tongue? Probably, but it was also a window into how this president actually thinks. When his disastrous Oval Office message, reportedly written by Miller and Kushner, failed to calm the markets and resulted in the worst day on Wall Street since 1987, he was forced into a “do-over” speech from the Rose Garden and ultimately capitulate to Pelosi, abandoning his until-after-the-election payroll tax give-away, which was exactly the wrong response, for an economic package targeted to help those Americans most vulnerable to the crisis.

Will any of this affect the election? Will it be ancient history by November? Will all those folks who say they hate Trump’s tweets but love their 401Ks blame Trump if the market doesn’t bounce back by then? Is it fair to blame Trump for the economic consequences of the coronavirus and his erratic performance as president during the early days of the crisis?

My father, may he rest in peace, used to say, “If you take credit for the rain, don’t be surprised if you are blamed for the drought.” Fred Trump should have shared that insight with little Donny.

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