Tuesday, September 18, 2018

"You'll Miss Trump One Day"

I'm in love with this hilariously funny and deeply insightful short Windsor Mann piece for The Week: "You'll miss Trump one day" that elegantly makes a few of the points I've been grasping at here all week.

It's never been so easy to make fun of a president. All you have to do is quote him. "It's tremendously big and tremendously wet," Trump said last week, referring to Hurricane Florence. On Twitter, you can correct his grammar and call him a racist. If you're a grammar Nazi who hates Nazis, this is a busy and wonderful time for you.

Trump's presidency has been a tragedy for America and an ego boost for Americans. If you're an average human being, you are superior to the president — mentally, morally, and many other -lys. ...

Sanctimony, I've discovered, is intoxicating. I don't want to give it up. This may be our only chance to exhibit moral superiority without doing anything to earn it. Simply by opposing Trump's lying, venality, and subservience to Vladimir Putin, I stand for what Superman stands for — truth, justice, and the American way. I'm just like Superman: a fake hero.


Scolding bad people makes us feel better about ourselves. In his essay "On the Pleasure of Hating," William Hazlitt wrote, "There is no surfeiting on gall: Nothing keeps so well as a decoction of spleen. We grow tired of every thing but turning others into ridicule, and congratulating ourselves on their defects." We hate other people as a way to love ourselves.

In the 1990s, William Bennett warned about the death of outrage. We are witnessing its resurgence. I'm not talking about faux outrage, the kind that ensues after a celebrity says something insensitive. I'm talking about real outrage, the kind that ensues after a husband betrays his wife or after a president betrays his country, both of which Trump has done.

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