A grand unified theory of Trump
For a long time I’ve been arguing against the idea that Trump is stupid and a bad businessman. He has been very successful in the things that he’s actually been trying to do — become famous, chase women, borrow money, become President, and cause trouble.
There are creatures called extremophiles which live 2 miles deep in the rocks, or 2 miles deep in the ocean near boiling steam vents where they never see light, or suspended in the air and water free of gravity with perception of up and down. Trump is a human extremophile. He lived in a world where normal human standards do not apply.
Dr. Watson was boggled to find that Sherlock Holmes did not know the names of the visible planets, but Holmes explained that a detective has no need to know about that kind of thing. What he needs to know about are footprints, tobacco ash, slowly cooling cadavers, etc. Trump is like Holmes doesn’t know anything he doesn’t need to know. He knows what he has needed to know worlds which are not ours, and he has been successful in them. And his world dominates ours.
What are these extreme worlds? The slush fund world of dark money and billion-dollar credit lines. The world of business law. The world of publicity, celebrity, media, and pop culture. And finally, alas, the world of electoral politics. These are worlds in which the ordinary rules most of us live by do not apply, and Trump has spent his whole life in them, without ever seeing ours.
Few of us are functional in even one of his worlds, and he is at home in all of them. If you want you can call him shrewd or cunning instead of intelligent. Trump’s main talents are deception, manipulation and distraction , and for him words are just tokens to move around the board for these purposes and have nothing to do with “reality”. Trump’s crassness, cruelty, dishonesty and nihilism is the crassness, cruelty, dishonesty, and nihilism of those dominant toxic worlds. And the bitter truth is that while we do not know or understand these worlds and are not players there, we live in them, because they are America.