Friday, February 17, 2017

"The Madness of King Donald" -- Andrew Sullivan

Andrew Sullivan, former editor of The New Republic, has a PhD from Oxford and is author of several books.  He is a highly regarded political commentator.   He writes occasional articles like this one, "The Madness of King Donald" for  New York magazine.   Here are some excerpts from one section of that article.

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". . . . all politicians lie. . . .  [but] Trump’s lies are different. They are direct refutations of reality. . . .  They are attacks on the very possibility of a reasoned discourse . . . .

"How are we to respond to a president who . . . declared that the 'murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in . . . 47 years,' when, of course, despite some recent, troubling spikes in some cities, it’s . . .  half what it was in 1980?

"None of this, moreover, is ever corrected.  No error is ever admitted.  Any lie is usually doubled down by another lie — along with an ad hominem attack.

"Here is what we [journalists] are supposed to do: rebut every single lie.  Insist moreover that each lie is retracted — and journalists in press conferences should back up their colleagues with repeated follow-ups . . . . Do not allow them to move on to another question.

"An interview with the president himself should not leave a lie alone; the interviewer should press and press and press until the lie is conceded. The press must not be afraid of even calling the president a liar to his face if he persists. . . .

"Then there is the obvious question of the president’s mental and psychological health. I know we’re not supposed to bring this up — but it is staring us brutally in the face. . . .  [If anyone else behaved this way] . . . here’s what I’d think: This man is off his rocker. He’s deranged; he’s bizarrely living in an alternative universe;   he’s delusional. . . . .

"I think this is a fundamental reason why so many of us have been so unsettled, anxious, and near panic these past few months. It is not so much this president’s agenda. That always changes from administration to administration. It is that when the linchpin of an entire country is literally delusional, clinically deceptive, and responds to any attempt to correct the record with rage and vengeance, everyone is always on edge.

"There is no anchor any more. At the core of the administration of the most powerful country on earth, there is, instead, madness. . ."

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That's what Andrew Sullivan thinks.   So do I.


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