Letter 2 America for March 18, 2017

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The "wiretapping" controversy involving Donald Trump and his staff, Sean Spicer and Kelly Ann Conway in particular, but even Donald, Jr. to some extent, is discomfiting.  Of course, the unseemly...tawdry actually...nature of it all is its most obvious attribute.  But Donald Trump's lack of taste, not to mention judgment, has been long lived.  I was born in New York City and raised on Long Island, to which I returned periodically until I was in my forties, and thus, I heard of Trump's exploits early and often in his dubious career as a public figure.  Trump and I were born just a couple of months and a couple of miles apart, so his distasteful self-promotion and gauche taste and behavior have been on a television near me way too often.  I started hearing and seeing him in my thirties, and at first, I wondered, who is this guy.  But as time passed, his m├ętier became obvious and in the final analysis, I realized that he was just another fairly rich guy--apparently there are about 2,700 billionaires in the world now and he probably isn't as rich as 95% of them, so he's nowhere near the pinnacle he claims to be at, rich as he is--who was "born 0n third base but thought he had hit a triple," as I heard it said of George W. Bush once.  Braggadocio and tacky opulence aren't crimes, offensive as they may be...though some of what he did to workers on Trump Tower and to investors in his casinos may have been.  Still, in New York City hustlers like him are a dime a dozen, and such conduct is even to be expected, but in a president, it isn't just offensive, it is odious...unless...

The question I am going to raise may sound at first like just an ad hominem rhetorical device, much like the ones that Trump himself uses, but in this instance, I would be ashamed if it were.  I raise this issue out of genuine consternation.  This fixation on his predecessor suggests something when conflated with the tactics he is using to undermine our emeritus president's stature, and that is what Trump seems to be attempting.  It is a strategy, probably preconscious in light of Trump's apparent lack of impulse control and forward thinking ability, that suggests clinical--not figurative, but clinical--paranoia in the form of a delusion of grandeur.  Trump believes that he is superior to everyone, and thus, when Obama looks good in retrospect, which really means by comparison, Trump cannot allow it.  If Mr. Obama looks better than he does people might think that Trump isn't the demigod that he claims to be...or alternatively that Trump is merely playing Narcissus to Obama's Zeus.  Either way, as the "The Dude" says, in Trump's world, this aggression will not stand.  I know, I have digressed into what I said I wouldn't; this isn't about satire.  I am actually concerned that our president is mentally ill.  Consider the recent past.

This most recent twitter embarrassment started with a 5:00 a.m. tweet accusing former president Obama of "wiretapping" Trump Tower.  From there, the story evolved until there was an alleged FISA warrant, and eventually when no such warrant was found, wiretapping by a British intelligence agency at Mr. Obama's behest.  That last bit was a function of a rumor started by a Fox "consultant" who used to be a low-level judge in New Jersey but now reports such things on Fox News and wherever else he can gain someone's ear.  This erstwhile judge, one Joe Napolitano, claims to have friends in the intelligence community who are informed on such things, but the fact that he was never in intelligence himself should suggest that reservations be held about anything he says in that regard.  Forget about the fact that he is a tenant of Trump's in one of Trump's Manhattan properties and just concentrate on his credentials.  This is the kind of thing that any sycophant of Trump's knows he would relish, and thus could be used to curry favor.  My guess is that that is what Napolitano had in mind, and Trump should have had suspicions about the claim on that basis alone, if not on the basis of the preposterousness of the idea that an American, president or not, could prevail upon British intelligence to commit illegal surveillance on American shores for some third party's political gain.  But Sean Spicer gave credence to the canard, and Donald Trump didn't disavow it except to point out that Fox and Spicer said it, not he.  It is so bizarre that I cannot believe that a sane man would have countenanced the whole affair, which failure to disavow it constitutes, nor would he have initiated it with an unfathomably ill-conceived emission--and I use the term emission advisedly--on a social medium that is known for facilitating the dissemination of dubious claims all the time.

As the saying goes, the proof will be in the pudding.  Trump now says that within the next two weeks, a lot of information will be coming out to validate his claims and those of his surrogates.   So far, what passes for proof by Trump's standard is that he read that there was surveillance of Trump campaign personnel incidental to presumable wiretaps and/or other surveillance of the communications of suspect Russian officials, none of which points to wiretapping Trump Tower.  If the "proof " he adduces to support his claims is nothing more than right wing palaver or innocuous traditional reportage no less general than that on which he has relied so far, we have a problem as a nation, because as Trump himself might say, this is only going to worsen into a disaster, believe me.  This truly is "so sad." 
 
Your friend,

Mike

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Wolf published on March 18, 2017 2:03 PM.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Wolf published on March 18, 2017 2:03 PM.

Letter 2 America for March 8, 2017 was the previous entry in this blog.

Letter 2 America for March 21, 2017 is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

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