Saturday, May 12, 2018

Trump flagellates homeland security secretary - in public.

Back in October of 2016, I posted on a quote from an interview with then candidate Donald Trump: “you can’t respect people because most people aren’t worthy of respect”.

Over a year later, then President Donald Trump had changed little. But worse, his party, the GOP, shared his disrespect for the common man (and woman): Disrespect for workers binds Trump and the GOP.

The Times reported:

Who earns his respect? “For the most part,” he said, “you can’t respect people because most people aren’t worthy of respect.”

That contempt for others, the lack of respect particularly for workers, is shared by Trump and the GOP. And that is a deep psychological reason why the GOP will not abandon Trump.

And they have not. But the newest revelation is that members of the GOP keep joining the self-flagellating circus formerly called the White House. Trump does not stop at disrespecting “most people” - because he can’t. He demeans members of his cabinet in front of other members to the point that those cabinet members have figured out that self-flagellation hurts and writing letters of resignation is easier and more cathartic.

The latest such case is homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen who reportedly wrote a letter of resignation in response to a Trump tirade that pushes DHS chief toward possible resignation. She’s not the only one to be treated so badly. Trump has taken his verbal whip to AG Jeff Sessions and Chief-of-Staff John Kelly. Steve Benen (MSNBC/MaddowBlog) observes:

The emerging pattern is one in which an ill-tempered president, struggling with the pressures and responsibilities of a job he was unprepared for, angrily embarrasses and upbraids some of the top officials in his administration – not for cause, but because he sees them as underlings who deserve his disrespectful ire.

And remember: this is a guy who thinks that “most people aren’t worthy of respect.”

“It’s a miracle the White House’s staffing crisis isn’t more severe,” Benen concludes. Why indeed?

Wikipedia defines self-flagellation as [the act of hitting oneself with a whip as part of a religious ritual], perhaps an act of debasement demanded by Trump the King. Alternatively, we might speculate about cognitive dissonance reduction. Cognitive dissonance, according to Wikipdeia, is “the mental discomfort (psychological stress) experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values.” Scriber thinks it applies to Nielsen and maybe others. She was/is one of Trump’s fiercest loyalists according to the New Yorker essay on her rise to power, How the D.H.S. Secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, Became One of President Trump’s Fiercest Loyalists. So Nielsen must believe that Trump can do no wrong - even to herself. Sure enough, last night on the Rachel Maddow show, we learned that Nielsen was still on board with Trump because they both believe, inaccurately, that our southern border is a pump spewing into the U. S. more unsavory people not deserving of respect.

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