“And her hair, what’s up with that?”
Are Trumps insane projections a strategy, or just an insight into his lack of character, and is there a difference?
Of all the insanely maddening things about the Trump campaign, his ability to project is certainly one of them. We talked about that a few weeks ago, saying
(Trump calling Hillary a bigot, beside being part of a “strategy”, is also a normal Trump projection, where whatever he is he labels his opponent. It’s why he, an entirely truthless human, called Cruz “Lyin’ Ted”. He was lucky in that case because Cruz is, in fact, a fantastic liar.)
At Slate today, Jamelle Bouie tackles the subject, pointing out another teeth-grindingly outrageous example of the genre (even more than Trump calling Hillary a “grifter” and “scam artist”).
On Tuesday, at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, he fed the audience red meat with a full-throated attack on the Democratic nominee. “Hillary Clinton is running a policy-free campaign. She offers no ideas, no solutions, and only hatred and derision.”
This is an echo of a new line, opened by the “basket of deplorable” truth. He said something similar the other day in Asheville, adding on a much fuller lie.
Our vision of hope stands in stark contrast to my opponent’s campaign of hate. Hillary Clinton has been running a hate-filled and negative campaign, with no policy, no solutions and no new ideas.
By contrast, I’ve been going around the country offering very detailed plans for reform and change. All of these reform plans are available on our website, and they’re extensive, but we have no choice.
Policy-based? Detailed? Extensive? His website is barely populated, just scattered with half-thoughts and vague concepts of strength. He has zero policy, and obviously, anyone who spends eight seconds listening to him knows that he has no interest in learning
Bouie briefly asks if this is a strategy, and I think the answer is yes, inasmuch as anything in this bitter joke of a campaign is a strategy. Everything they do is an extension of Trump’s own loathsome personality, and being the most childish one on the room is part of it.
It goes a little deeper than being a child, though not much. Like all children, Trump lives in a world in which he is the only actor whose feelings matter. He’s too sociopathic to see outside himself, and so he is a relentless creator of mythology. It serves him well in “making deals”, because he has no problem saying anything he wants, and tearing anyone down, and spouting things that are the opposite of truth. He could walk up to LeBron James and say “I’m better at basketball and everyone says so” and he would mean it. He is entirely truthless.
This works, as a strategy, because it requires explanation, and more so, because it makes the other person seem childish. What can you say when Trump says that he’s running a policy-based campaign, and Hillary isn’t? You either say “Well, actually, Hillary has released 120,000 words of policy papers, to Trump’s 9000, as per the AP
“, but then you lose people. Boring! Or you are reduced to spluttering anger: “No, you’re
the one who is fact-free and hateful!” It somehow makes the other person seem like the smaller one, and puts them on the defensive, which in politics is a terrible place to be.
I think the only strategy is to keep grinding, keep pointing out that he’s a hateful idiot who knows nothing about the world, but not to engage him in the daily tit-for-tat, which is where he thrives. His awful personality is perfectly suited for today’s braindead political/media climate, so you can’t engage him there. Someone as smart as Hillary has to just keep being smart, embarrass him in the debates, and hope against hope that the country can see through him enough. I don’t know if that is enough to win, but I think it is the only strategy against the forces of Trumpism.