Don­ald Trump’s vic­tim men­tal­ity

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OPINION - Leonard Pitts Jr. The Mi­ami Her­ald Leonard Pitts is syn­di­cated by Tri­bune Me­dia Ser­vices.

“Why’s ev­ery­body al­ways pickin’ on me?” — The Coast­ers, from “Char­lie Brown”

If the term sounds fa­mil­iar, it’s be­cause it has long been the pre­ferred con­ser­va­tive ri­poste when black peo­ple com­plain of be­ing stran­gled by hous­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion, eco­nomic in­jus­tice or po­lice bru­tal­ity. The likes of Bill O’Reilly and Rush Lim­baugh of­ten use it to be­lit­tle and dis­miss African-Amer­i­can con­cerns.

But re­ally, who has ever had a greater sense of them­selves as a vic­tim than Don­ald Trump? Who has ever been a big­ger whiner, ex­cuse maker and all­out cry­baby? Who has ever been more in need of lectures about per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity than the Repub­li­can can­di­date for pres­i­dent? If that were not ob­vi­ous be­fore, it be­came ex­cru­ci­at­ingly clear last week as the Trump Train left the rails and ca­reened head­long into the gorge. Trump has long claimed the elec­tion was “rigged” against him, ap­par­ently by state of­fi­cials who in­sist on let­ting peo­ple vote and then count­ing the bal­lots, and by me­dia, who keep stub­bornly re­port­ing things he has said and done.

In last week’s de­bate with Hil­lary Clin­ton, Trump went even fur­ther in knock­ing out the pil­lars of Amer­i­can democ­racy. He ex­plic­itly re­fused to say he would re­spect the re­sults of the elec­tion. “I will keep you in sus­pense,” he said, mak­ing in­stant fools of sur­ro­gates who had promised he would abide by the will of the vot­ers.

For the first time since 1860, we are left to won­der what the re­fusal to abide by the re­sults of an elec­tion would look like. Are we talk­ing street ri­ots? Armed mili­tias?

These are the un­set­tling (but no longer un­think­able) ques­tions we are now re­quired to ask be­cause of the right wing’s in­fat­u­a­tion with a tow­er­ing baby­man who serves, and can con­ceive, no cause higher than his own grat­i­fi­ca­tion. For Trump, even the sta­bil­ity of the na­tion is sub­or­di­nate in im­por­tance to his ego.

Faced with a loom­ing blow to that mas­sive ed­i­fice, he ra­tio­nal­izes by as­sur­ing him­self and the rest of us that it isn’t re­ally hap­pen­ing, that he is the vic­tim of pow­er­ful, un­seen forces cheat­ing him out of vic­tory. But as Clin­ton noted, this is a pat­tern for Trump. When­ever things don’t work to his sat­is­fac­tion, he claims to have been treated un­fairly

Faced with a loom­ing blow to that mas­sive ed­i­fice, he ra­tio­nal­izes by as­sur­ing him­self and the rest of us that it isn’t re­ally hap­pen­ing, that he is the vic­tim of pow­er­ful, un­seen forces cheat­ing him out of vic­tory.

or con­spired against.

Mul­ti­ple women ac­cus­ing him of sex­ual as­sault? It’s a po­lit­i­cal plot.

A fed­eral judge might rule against him? The judge is bi­ased. The polls show him way down? The polls are a scam.

The FBI finds no crim­i­nal wrong­do­ing in Clin­ton’s miss­ing emails? The FBI is cor­rupt.

His TV show fails to win an Emmy? The Em­mys are un­fair.

He’s about to lose the elec­tion? The elec­tion is rigged.

He whines, he whines, he whines. And he ac­cepts re­spon­si­bil­ity for noth­ing.

It is im­por­tant to note that Trump did not spring from nowhere. Rather, he is the log­i­cal byprod­uct of a GOP that has spent the last quar­ter-cen­tury telling its acolytes they were vic­tims: of “me­dia elites,” Hol­ly­wood val­ues and science, to name just a few. And if you’re look­ing for elec­tion rig­ging, look no fur­ther than the party that has thrown up ar­bi­trary le­gal bar­ri­ers de­signed to make vot­ing harder for African-Amer­i­cans and other non-Repub­li­can con­stituen­cies.

Trump, in all his preen­ing in­famy, is the end re­sult of the GOP’s years of hypocrisy and re­al­ity avoid­ance. Shame on any­one who takes se­ri­ously his piteous moan­ing about the vast forces con­spir­ing against him.

Amer­i­can democ­racy is the only vic­tim here.

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