That Washington Post article is an opinion piece, so it doesn’t speak for the whole newspaper. Also, if you read past the link bait title, you find the author says in the second sentence: “Don’t get me wrong, Trump lies all the time.” Don’t take that author’s word for it, though. The Washington Post found that he lied over sixteen thousand times in his first three years in office, which agrees with numerous other fact checkers (Politifact, Factcheck, Toronto Star, etc.).

Politicians want to win elections, but as Tony Schwartz said (the author of Trump’s book), Trump wants to win in narcissistic, solipsistic fashion every minute of the day. Like other con artists and malignant narcissists, Trump wants to win at the expense of everyone else. Life is a zero sum game for him.

You say malignant narcissism is a “nonsense far left narrative.” Sociopathy and narcissism are personality disorders that are found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. So can you go ahead and show that psychiatry is a nonsense far left narrative? I know, I know, I’m not a psychiatrist. I’ve dealt with the question whether Trump is mentally ill, here.

Here’s Wikipedia on the Hunter Biden-Ukraine thing (my emphasis): ‘In 2015, Viktor Shokin became the prosecutor general, inheriting the investigation. The Obama administration and other governments and non-governmental organizations soon became concerned that Shokin was not adequately pursuing corruption in Ukraine, was protecting the political elite, and was regarded as “an obstacle to anti-corruption efforts”. Among other issues, he was slow-walking the investigation into Zlochevsky and Burisma, to the extent that Obama administration officials were considering launching their own criminal investigation into the company for possible money laundering. Shokin has said he believes he was fired because of his Burisma investigation, where Hunter Biden was allegedly a subject; however, that investigation was dormant at the time Shokin was fired. In December 2015, then-vice president Biden visited Kiev and informed the Ukrainian government that $1 billion in loan guarantees would be withheld unless anti-corruption reforms were implemented, including the removal of Shokin…At the time, corruption in Ukraine was a matter of bipartisan concern in the U.S., with Republican senators Rob Portman, Mark Kirk and Ron Johnson co-signing a Senate Ukraine Caucus letter in February 2016 urging then-President Poroshenko to implement reforms, including “to press ahead with urgent reforms to the Prosecutor General’s office”. Biden was not alone in targeting Shokin for anti-corruption reasons; he was joined by other European and U.S. officials. U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt and the Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland both said in 2015 that Shokin’s office was failing to root out corruption.’

Here’s Wikipedia on Biden and the credit card company: ‘Biden was a sponsor of bankruptcy legislation during the 2000s, which was sought by MBNA, one of Delaware’s largest companies, and other credit card issuers. Biden allowed an amendment to the bill to increase the homestead exemption for homeowners declaring bankruptcy and fought for an amendment to forbid anti-abortion felons from using bankruptcy to discharge fines.’

Here’s Wikipedia on the bill that got passed: ‘The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act (BAPCPA) made changes to American bankruptcy laws, affecting both consumer and business bankruptcies. Many of the bill’s provisions were explicitly designed by the bill’s Congressional sponsors to make it “more difficult for people to file for bankruptcy.” The BAPCPA was intended to make it more difficult for debtors to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy — under which most debts are forgiven (or discharged) — and instead required them to file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy — under which the debts they incurred are discharged only after the debtor has repaid some portion of these debts.’

Ask the many contractors whom Trump screwed over when he filed for bankruptcy multiple times to avoid paying his debts, if they would have been unhappy with a law that prevents the abuse of bankruptcy protections.

Even if that nepotism counts as immoral rather than just an elitist exploitation of an opportunity, and even if we include the credit card-bankruptcy bill connection, can you go ahead and show that the list of Biden’s immoral misdeeds adds up to a trillion misdeeds? Because that’s where Trump’s at. If you can’t see the difference between Trump’s immorality and that of the average American politician, I’ll mark you down as a garden-variety troll.

You say Trump’s removal of some government regulation means he has no interest in fascism — as if Trump’s a regular Republican free-trader rather than a transformational figure who’s turned the Party into a personality cult that now supports tariffs (the opposite of free trade), xenophobia, scapegoating of immigrants, tribal warfare between Democrats and Republicans (rather than a centrist perspective that rhetorically unites the country), cozying up to the authoritarian regimes (Russia, North Korea), and the breaking of ties with US allies (NATO).

You know what else was kind of crucial to fascism? Authoritarian demagoguery. Are you aware that Trump’s rallies make him sound like Hitler and Mussolini? Are you aware that Trump’s enlisting rogue states to help him cheat and “win” his elections? Are you aware that he’s turned the White House into an extension of the Trump Organization?

I understand the appeal of Trump, since it’s similar to that of Bernie Sanders. People who are tired of petty corruption want a radical leader who’s not a regular politician and who’s not afraid to make systemic changes. Trump certainly doesn’t act like a regular politician and he’s happy to engage in vulgar trolling, which is enough for many of his supporters. The big difference between Sanders and Trump, though, is that Sanders is an ideologue whereas Trump is a con artist who cares only about himself.

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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.

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