Friday, June 10, 2022

Jan 6 Hearings: We All Know it Wasn't Power Trump Was Grasping At

I'm configured for honesty. I can't say I'm a 100% honest person - no one is - but I choose truth even when it makes me look bad, or lowers my position, or creates impediments. Show me truth and I'll click to it like a light switch.

It's not because I'm virtuous. It's because I configured myself this way as a child. I fully recognized back then that the child is father to the man, so I had a responsibility to set myself on a good track. Adults seemed like lying liars so conditioned for untruth that they lied even when they didn't need to. The aggregated weight of falsehood was a pressurizing, toxic burden leaving them unable to see straight. I wanted to see straight, so I locked in a robust propensity for honesty.

So I find it cognitively unpleasant when the good guys - e.g. the congressmen bringing Jan 6 instigators to justice (or, at least, to public exposure) fudge the truth.

Trump wasn't desperately hanging onto power, as they framed it last night. Trump didn't even like being president. If we'd made him a cool outfit and propped him up in a regal chair and appointed him king - a constitutional monarch with only ceremonial power - he'd have loved it. Trump was no more interested in presidenting than Chauncy Gardiner (Peter Seller's character in "Being There") would have been. Hell, he's not even interested in real estate, which is why, after several bankruptcies, he changed his business into mostly a licensing bureau for his name and image (self-elevation, his sole interest, being a malady that could be leveraged into remunerative commerce).

Everyone in America, from these Congressmen, to you and me, and to the MAGA faithful, understood that Trump would never accept defeat. All his turmoil, division, noise, and propaganda is 100% about saving face from the loss. It's not grasping at power, it's grasping at feeling like a winner.

But the Jan 6 committee chose to cast this as a power grab rather than a petulant child stomping over the game board and setting fire to the house, the neighborhood, and the nation, after being defeated by other kids.

If you're configured for honesty, the above will hopefully soothe you and help inoculate you from the colliding waves of expedient truth buggery on both sides. I'm no fan of confirmation bias; I normally fight against it here, where I present counter-intuitive notions and endless observations of how we all do it all wrong. But in a moment where one side lies and gaslights shamelessly, and the other side seems dementedly incapable of recognizing that the truth is bad enough - a bit of confirmation isn't a bad thing.


Unknown said...

Funny, I knew he would not accept defeat-he said so himself in 2016 and 2020-yet I forgot this with all the hullabaloo that went down, post election. Thanks for the reminder!

James Leff said...

But, c'mon, regardless of what he said, or what others said, could you seriously imagine him ever saying "Ok, fair enough, I lost fair and square" and gracefully getting out of the way? I don't think there's a person on planet earth who could conjure that in their imagination.

And his bullshit tornado, being his #1 go-to tool all along, was obviously going to be applied here, at the ground zero of everything that most grievously upsets him, i.e. the prospect of "looking like a loser."

Anonymous said...

I think you’re making too much of what seems like a semantic difference. “Power” is what he’d have maintained if his plan had worked. Sure he was having a tantrum like a 5 year old. A 5 year old just sees it as getting what he wants. I don’t see any difference between that and maintaining power if you’re the president. It’s just being in control either way.

Jim Leff said...

I’m talking about motive, you’re talking about end result.

For the record, I’m able to grok that whatever your reasons for plotting to overturn an election, if you succeed, you get to be president. I do get that. I also get that plotting to overturn an election, for *any* reason, is super bad. So bad, in fact, that we don’t need to lie to paint a more cliched, easily-digestible picture. I don’t appreciate being manipulated, even if I very much agree with the overall thesis. Hence this posting.

Anonymous said...

So you think he just wanted to stay President to feed his ego? I’d agree, but I think his ego just sees it as power and/or control. Really don’t see how they’re substantively different. Maybe I’m missing something.

Jim Leff said...

It dismays me when people generalize my thoughts into some convenient cliché, like a kid hammering a puzzle piece into the wrong receptor. Just for one thing, it implies that my laborious arguments and explanations (which I try to make readable, even entertaining) are self-indulgent folderol. I'm just saying some standard shit with logorrhea. Just boil that talky bullshit down to a quick manageable upshot, and move on to the next web site.

No, I don't think he wanted to "feed his ego". Either I wrote bad or you read bad (I'm frankly open to both possibilities). Maybe try harder to read good, just in case. Give it multiple seconds (perhaps even a full a minute) of consideration. Flatter me by remaining marginally receptive to the possibility that all the words matter, and that sensitive consideration - rather than expedient synopsis - is called for. Show me way more respect than I deserve, just as an experiment.

If you come up empty, that's ok, at least you gave it a shot. But I just reread it, and honestly don't think it's all that opaque.

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