For people who have suffered from cancer or another dreaded illness, there is often a few hours – or even days – between diagnostic tests and meeting with the doctor to get the official news.
In my experience, patients read or pray or take long walks until they feel completely exhausted. Then reality becomes official and flips it over.
The recent presentation of the House Special Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 riots in the US Capitol reminded me of this sequence. We thought we braced for the reality of a raging mob screaming for blood as the President spurred them on. Finally, we knew in real time that Donald Trump stirred up the angry crowd with his unsubstantiated claims of a stolen election, then sat silent for hours apart from a tweet inciting hatred for his Vice President Mike Pence.
But I wasn’t ready to learn that Secret Service officers deployed to protect Pence urgently contacted loved ones to say goodbye forever as the rioters closed in. I’ve seen a lot of Secret Service agents, and they don’t seem the panicked type. These communications were monitored and noted by White House officials.
The President was informed that an armed mob was chanting “Hang Mike Pence” and did not express concern.
We say hand it to me straight, doc, but then a flagpole crashed between our eyes. Only then, only in hindsight, do we see how habitually optimistic Americans are.
We believe that “straightforward” news will most likely have a silver lining. Yes, it’s cancer – but there’s a promising treatment. It’s multiple sclerosis – but researchers are making progress. The January 6 committee told us directly that the President sat mesmerized in front of his television while the Capitol defaced, the Secret Service terrorized, the Vice President threatened, the Capitol police beaten — all because Trump’s insatiable narcissism didn’t allowed him to spit out the words “The election is over.”
At the deepest moment in the history of the presidency, there was not a silver lining. However, there was a hint about the pathology of this disease. A witness at Thursday’s hearing, Sarah Matthews, described the hours during which she realized her decency and self-respect would no longer allow her to work in Trump’s press office. She had the foresight to ensure that someone would be held accountable for the President’s outrageous behavior – and he wouldn’t be, because that’s never the case. She would not defend the untenable.
Before reaching that pass, Matthews joined the small army of West Wingers trying to get the President to call off the mob. And a press office colleague (whom she too kindly called) said no — that after Trump instigated the riot, he could not end it without “giving the media a victory.”
Such thinking is clearly disturbed. A leader doesn’t lose by doing the right thing or win by making a wrong decision. But the thought pattern didn’t come out of nowhere. Every president I’ve covered has felt unfairly treated by the media, sometimes with good reason. In the Trump era, this sometimes hostile relationship hardened into a win-lose contest of sorts.
Excess and recklessness on the part of much of the media – I am thinking in particular of the gullible and lascivious reporting of baseless rumors in the Steele dossier – would have been widely condemned had they not targeted the egregious Trump. And Trump’s comfortable recourse to his “fake news” fortress would have sounded more hollow if the news had been more conscientious. President vs. Press became a sick symbiosis that provided both sides with a business model and a storyline. power and purpose.
Millions of Americans were drawn into the melodrama and felt compelled to choose sides.
Often lost in the smoke of battle is the human insight that neither a failed president nor a discredited press is in the nation’s best interests
Many media outlets reached unprecedented audiences, while Trump achieved a level of devotion rarely seen (thank God) in US politics.
Often lost in the smoke of battle is the human insight that neither a failed president nor a discredited press is in the nation’s best interest.
This unnamed publicist accurately diagnosed America’s cancer. We cannot get rid of Trump no matter how bluntly and overwhelmingly the January 6 corruption is exposed. Too many of his followers will never give that “win” to the other side.
I recently noticed a new sticker on a pickup truck: “Trump 2024 / [F—] Your feelings.”
There the struggle is reduced to its nihilistic essence, nothing positive, just contempt for the other. Yet the end of Trump will surely come because what happened on January 6 was desperately sick. We must choose whether the end is death or healing. (©Washington Post)
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/nobody-was-prepared-for-the-cancer-that-is-donald-trump-41866603.html No one was prepared for Donald Trump’s cancer