“Trump Is Making Us All Live in His Delusional Reality Show,” by New York‘s Andrew Sullivan, posted on 6.15: “The president believes what he wants to believe, creates a reality that fits his delusions, and then insists, with extraordinary energy and stamina, that his delusions are the truth.
“His psychological illness, moreover, is capable of outlasting anyone else’s mental health. Objective reality that contradicts his delusions is discounted as ‘fake news’ propagated by ‘our country’s greatest enemy,’ i.e., reporters. If someone behaved like this in my actual life, if someone kept insisting that the sea was red and the sky green, I’d assume they were a few sandwiches short of a picnic. Almost no one else in public life is so openly living in his own disturbed world.
“This past week was a kind of masterpiece in delusion. It was a long version of that surreal video his National Security Council created for Kim Jong-un. It was crude, crass, and absurd. I can’t begin to unpack the madness, but it’s worth counting the bizarre things Trump said and did in such a short space of time.
“Trump clearly believes that Canada’s milk exports are a verifiable national security threat to the United States. He thinks Justin Trudeau’s banal press conference, reiterating Canada’s position on trade, was a ‘stab in the back.’ And he insists that the nuclear threat from North Korea is now over — ‘Sleep well!’ — because he gave Kim the kind of legitimacy the North Korean national gulag has always craved, and received in turn around 400 words from Pyongyang, indistinguishable from previous statements made to several presidents before him.
“For good measure, he took what was, according to The Wall Street Journal, Vladimir Putin’s advice –I kid you not — to cancel the forthcoming joint military exercises with the South Koreans. More than that, he has offered to withdraw all U.S. troops from the peninsula at some point, before Pyongyang has agreed to anything. He regards all of this as worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize, his Reagan moment. And he is constructing a reality-television show in which he is a World Historical Figure.
“This, in fact, is the poignant and quite bonkers script in Trump’s head: that the economy was in free-fall until he took office, after which it soared; that he alone has brought black and Hispanic unemployment down; that his administration has accomplished more than any other at this point in its term; that the Democrats colluded with the Kremlin to try to rig the election; that Robert Mueller is a closet Democrat; that climate change is a hoax; that the American-created international trading system was designed to hurt the U.S.; that you can borrow over a trillion dollars in a full employment economy with no consequences in inflation or debt; and that sabotaging the ACA will lead to lower premiums, greater choice, and better health outcomes for all.
“Each one of these assertions is what he wants to be true. And so they are true.”