SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2023
Donald J. Trump and Us: Lawrence O'Donnell started Thursday night's Last Word in a highly informative way.
He started the program by reporting a manifestation of The Crazy.
In this case, The Crazy had been given voice by one Donald J. Trump. As Lawrence explained, Trump had posted this analysis on his oddly named Truth Social site:
TRUMP (1/12/23): Page 1. The Special “Prosecutor” assigned to the “get Trump case,” Jack Smith(?), is a Trump Hating THUG whose wife is a serial and open Trump Hater, whose friends & other family members are even worse, and as a prosecutor in Europe, according to Ric Grenell, put a high government official in prison because he was a Trump positive person. Smith is known as “an unfair Savage,” & is best friends with the craziest Trump haters, including Lisa Monaco who runs “Injustice.” The Boxes Scam is a HOAX...
For the record, that was just the first page of a three-page screed by the overwrought former president.
We won't bore you with the second page, though you can read the text of all three pages thanks to this Mediaite report. That said, Trump's Page 3 went like this:
TRUMP: Page 3. Fire a man who may very well turn out to be a criminal, Jack Smith. His conflicts, unfairness, and mental state of derangement make him totally unfit for the job of “getting Trump.” Go after Biden and the Biden Crime Family instead. Like Bill Barr, the U.S. Attorneys in Delaware and Illinois are weak, ineffective, and afraid to do what must be done. The Election was RIGGED, and we are now losing our Country. We can’t let that happen. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
We've long suggested that Donald J. Trump seems to be deeply disordered, in a way which might best be discussed by appropriate medical specialists.
Is he (severely) "mentally ill" in some diagnosable way? Is he (severely) cognitively impaired? We aren't equipped to answer those questions. But it seems to us that his behavior should be understood and critiqued within some such framework, rather than by screaming and yelling, in pleasing ways, about his endless "lies."
As it turned out, Donald J. Trump wasn't done with The Crazy that day. As O'Donnell explained, he'd gone on "a right-wing radio show" and expanded on his analysis.
Inevitably, the gruesome radio program in question was The Mark Levin Show, whose home stations are WABC in New York and WMAL in Washington. Thanks to this second Mediaite report, you can hear Trump offer these remarks on that highly influential program:
TRUMP (1/12/23): My prosecutor is Jack Smith. I wonder what his name was before Smith? I don't know, maybe it was Smith, but it seems like such a nice name, Jack Smith. He is a terrorist. He is a Trump hater. His best friends are [Andrew] Weissmann and all of these characters. Lisa Monaco at the Justice Department, one of the top officials. This is a disgraceful situation. He should resign. His wife hates Trump, probably even beyond him. And his wife—and his wife has a sister who openly hates like, a level that you can’t even believe.
In those remarks, Trump went beyond his earlier claims about Smith's wife, expanding his field to comments about the sister of Smith's wife.
(We assume that Trump's comments about Smith's name are meant to suggest that Smith may secretly be Jewish, though of course we can't say that with certainty.)
In short, Donald J. Trump seems to be deeply in thrall to The Crazy. Given the limitations of human cognition; given the reach and the power of certain modern technologies; these manifestations of The Crazy—whether from Trump or from various other red tribe players—may be quite hard to confront.
It would help if we, over here in our tribe, stayed away from similar nuttiness of the kinds to which our own tribe seems ineluctably drawn.
It would help if we could stifle such instincts! That said, inconsolable major experts have told us, again and again, that this is unlikely to happen.
More on these dangers next week. Our tribe is confronting a very serious political / cultural challenge. In our view, it would help if we reined in our own unfortunate inclinations in various obvious ways.
We like to believe that we're morally great. On the whole, all in all, we just aren't!