Adventus

"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Monday, May 01, 2017

"Words are less important to me than deeds"


Well, that would explain a lot:

Dickerson asked Trump if Obama had given him advice.

“He was very nice to me, but after that, we’ve had some difficulties. So it doesn’t matter. You know, words are less important to me than deeds, and you saw what happened with surveillance,” Trump said in response.

Dickerson pressed the president on whether he still stood by the wiretapping claim. Trump wouldn’t say, but claimed “our side has been proven very strongly.”

“You can figure that out yourself,” he said. “I don’t stand by anything. You can take it the way you want. I think our side has been proven very strongly, and everybody has been talking about it.”

The highlighted sentence is the one I'm interested in.  Does he know what he just said?  What does he mean by that, because what I hear is:  "My word is not to be trusted, 'I don't stand by anything.' "

It simply appears the President of the United States doesn't use words the way the rest of us do.  I heard a report the other day on his concept of "extreme vetting."  Experts in the field, people who's job it is to run programs to evaluate refugees for entry to this country, said the phrase is never used by them, that no one knows what it means.  Donald Trump seems to have invented it, so it means what he wants it to mean, but what is that?

When someone says "I don't stand by anything," that means something to me:  it means you are a mendacious weasel and not to be trusted even when standing in front of me.  In fact, the whole exchange disavows responsibility for what Trump says or does:  "You can figure it out for yourself....You can take it any way you want.  I think our side has been proven strongly, and everybody else has been talking about it."  As if "talking about it" meant they agreed with Trump; as if "Everybody else" was the totality of America, or at least the Americans who "count".   There's something dismissive in "you can take it any way you want," too.  You have your facts; I have mine.  You disagree with me?  Fine; but you don't count.  "Everybody else has been talking about it."

It's the vindication of a five-year old.  If you challenge him, he just sulks:

“I just wanted to find out. You’re the president of the United States. You said he was sick and bad,” Dickerson said, referring to Trump’s tweets on his allegation against Obama. “I want to know your opinion.”

“I gave you my opinion,” Trump said.

After several more refusals to answer, Trump dismissed Dickerson and ended the interview, angrily walking back to his desk.

“OK, it’s enough. Thank you. Thank you very much,” the president said.
Facts don't matter; only opinions matter.  And Trump notoriously conflates the two, always to what he thinks is his advantage.  During the White House Correspondents' Dinner, he left town to hold a rally for himself.  He claimed the attendance broke records for the hall.  Well, not at all, really:




We've seen this before, starting with his inauguration.  Trump lies about things important to him all the time, and when challenged, he continues the lies.  He won't let go of his lies.  His "side" "has proven it strongly," and that's all that matters.   It is, as I say, the attitude of a child.

That child is the President of the United States.  And just as in his other interviews he is not ashamed to reveal who he really is, because he has no understanding of who he should be.  He seems to lack the critical self-awareness of an adult in a world of adults.  He's a child in a world where the only thing that matters is the child:  himself.

So, how long do we allow this adolescent to remain in the most powerful office in the world?

Adding:  Holy Crap!

I mean had Andrew Jackson been a little later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person but he had a big heart. He was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War, he said “There’s no reason for this.” People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?

1 Comments:

Blogger The Thought Criminal said...

And here I thought no one had thought of what would happen if he took the money and said what they wouldn't want to hear. I think the expression is I owe you a coke, or something.

It's been kind of a back to front day for me.

6:12 PM  

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