I went over the letter again and I see that I did say that Trump's a victim in part because he's hated by billions of people. Indeed, this makes him the greatest victim, which is the downside of celebrity.

But I meant to be grappling with the conundrum I raised, because I add in the next sentence that those critics are right to loathe him. And Trump's a victim also because he's among the least capable of understanding what a horror he is.

Just on the general question, though, I think that those who are punished for their misdeeds by being imprisoned are punished also by the contempt and the stigma that go with being caught and convicted of a crime.

Does punishment make someone a victim? Not in the sense that the punished person is thereby rendered innocent of the misdeed, but the punished guilty person does become the subject of force, the preyed upon individual rather than the aggressor. This is indeed a definition of "victim": "a person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action or agency."

Doesn't the hating of someone by billions of people count as a destructive or injurious act? Granted, Trump can't feel shame, but he still suffers the consequences. He couldn't walk publicly in many parts of the country or the world without being openly despised.

Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store