The Guilty Pleasure of Hating Trump

An open letter to my fellow Trump-loathers

Benjamin Cain


(Image by History in HD, from Unsplash)

Pseudo-President Donald Trump has proven himself to be deranged. In the language of psychiatry, he’s a malignant narcissist, which means he’s unable to love anything but himself and he has contempt for everyone else, including his family and his many loyal, duped followers. These character traits aren’t strategic or transactional; they’re delusional, pathological, monstrous.

The pieces of evidence that support those accusations I just levelled are abounding. Think of massive pillars, their bases dug deep into the earth and their crowns towering miles above the landscape, holding aloft the judgment against Trump, a judgment carved in diamond tablets that are untouchable by the tribe of blind or disingenuous naysayers. The denunciation of Trump’s farcical reign as a man-child-who-would-be-king is an impregnable fortress.

As a result, for four years I’ve attacked Trump verbally, writing numerous articles explaining the nature and scale of his malignancy and mocking the travesty of his political reality TV show. If you’re reading this, chances are you, too, actively condemned the spectacle of Trump.

But if a mentally handicapped man couldn’t help but spew gibberish on your street corner, would you write reams of derogatory letters denouncing him as evil scum? Would you spit on him and kick his legs out from under him like a bully in public school? Yet we’ve done this or wished it done to the subhuman Trump. We cheered on Robert Mueller’s investigators, hoping the unfit president would be led away in chains.

The trouble is that Trump’s virulent antisocial disorder is the real essence of human evil, as Erich Fromm said when he coined the term “malignant narcissist” in 1964.

Thus, a side effect of this leviathan’s rising above the waves is that the revelation of monstrousness drives the witnesses to madness. In the face of such obscene inhumanity, we fear that our lives have been pointless all along, that our mores and pastimes are just foolish conceits, since a monster came to sit as president in the Oval Office.

We vent our anguish on Trump, on the real-life supervillain who’s simultaneously the greatest victim in the Trumpian era. For who else…