People with grandiose and fabricated realities will do everything and anything they can to keep that reality in place. If you want to understand what Donald Trump says, when he says it and why he says it, this is the only lens you need for doing so.
Trump’s tirade (based entirely in falsehood) against the recounts being pursued by Jill Stein and joined by Hillary Clinton’s campaign, is a textbook example. Yes, he previously said the election process is rigged. Yes, he won the electoral college (though not by a landslide under any definition of the word) and that’s all that matters in terms of January 20, 2017. No, the recounts aren’t likely to change the outcome. Yes, the recounts are provided for as part of the election process that elected Donald Trump. Ezra Klein does a nice job unpacking what’s going on today in his post, “Donald Trump is now questioning the legitimacy of the election he won”.
But ultimately, none of these explanations matter. To Donald Trump, they never did. And he let us know that years ago.
The bottom line is: Anything – any action, any result, any statement – that Donald Trump perceives as undermining his greatness, his superiority, his having excelled, becomes fair game for illogical, unknowable allegations of impropriety, of rigged-ness, of dubiousness.
If ever you find yourself at a loss for understanding why he does such illogical things, just remind yourself: Donald Trump imagines how great he is and then, everything he promises, everything he believes about how others should see him, like him, speak to him, be subservient to him is judged by him based on his idea of just how great he is. To question, indict or contradict that idea is to tempt the tweets.
If you can’t make sense of how Reince Priebus or Kellyanne Conway have become his enablers, just ask yourself – are they people you see as likely to launch a torpedo into Trump’s reality distortion field, as Micah Sifry called it, or are they people you see as likely to enable the continued existence of Trump’s reality, especially now that, for the moment, it places them in very powerful positions?
The personal cost of being an enabler is extremely high. Perhaps they imagine they’ll escape it. They should probably talk with Melania, Marla and Ivana about that.