When you are onto something, the object generally becomes to peel away the facades, cover stories and fake diversions and to get to the gist, to the essence.
In all the efforts over the last years to get to the heart of Trump, to what really makes him tick, behind what may have been the superficial motives and claims, we never got close to the essence the way we did earlier this month.
Of all his crimes, including twisting the arm of the Georgia’s Secretary of State the way the audio tape makes so clear, this week’s New York Times expose of his collusion with the Justice Department flunky stands out. To use that department as a witting tool in Trump’s relentless effort to find a way to override the fact he lost the November election by more than seven million votes, none matches the unveiling of the true heart and spirit of Trump more than the riot at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
It must not get lost on us that January 6, 2021 was the very essence of Trump.
The invasion, the physical assaults on people, the raging, stampeding violation of the Capitol, the grotesque and ugly degradation of the sacred monument of our democracy, the vile spreading of defecation there, the denigration of core symbols and representations, the contemptible raging shouts and chants calling for the lynching of elected political figures, like Vice President Pence and House Speaker Pelosi, this obscenity against everything civil and decorious, much less democratic and meritorious, all was the real Donald Trump.
You want a look into the inner workings of the mind and soul of Trump, this was it.
Yes, of course he incited this. He authored and orchestrated it, and the best proof is not only his behavior on that revelatory day, but everything that has been documented that he instigated surrounding it. His criminal coercion against the Georgia attorney general, all on audio tape for the world to hear, his collusion to turn the Justice Department into an agency of his sedition to overthrow the rightful outcome of the November 2020 election, were all entirely consistent with what he unleashed on January 6.
And, yes, it goes back to the earlier attempt to coerce the prime minister of Ukraine to manufacture fabricated dirt against Joe Biden that was the basis for the first impeachment of Trump a year ago. It will come out that there were many other instances, as well.
In fact, it was the relentless obsession of Trump since he was first elected to be re-elected, to become ruler for life. He devoted more time and energy to that effort than any other, including his time on the golf course. It was in his core nature, that every “win” is only a prelude to a subsequent “win.” For his genuinely tortured soul, this is a grinding, persistent governing principle of his inner life.
This aspect of his clinically sociopathic personality is what drove him, more than any other single motive, to subordinate anything having to do with respect for the democratic institutions of the nation to this obsession. He didn’t have any grand plan for turning the U.S. into an fascist authoritarian state. He just wanted to stay in power for life, himself, and to grow his influence the way a man obsessed with “winning” would.
It is instructive to learn that, in polling, only six percent of Americans viewed the January 6 riot as favorable. So, we must realize that six percent represents the real base of support for Trump that exists in America today, because that riot was the essence of the real Trump.
Elected Republicans who are still supporting Trump must also realize that in the coming months, support for Trump will begin to erode down to that six percent core group.
While lots of people had their reasons, personal and otherwise, to back Trump up to now, the level of support for the January 6 riot is more like an accurate picture of what support for Trump will be like going forward.
It’s the main reason why Democrats must push ahead aggressively with their latest impeachment offensive against Trump.
Nicholas Benton may be emailed at [email protected]