Trump’s Leverage in the Shutdown Fight: His Own Nihilism
By Eric Levitz
[…] Trump has repeatedly indicated that he sees his own insensitivity to human suffering as a vital source of leverage over Democrats. He explicitly framed his administration’s sabotage of the Affordable Care Act as a strategy for forcing Democrats to cooperate with the law’s repeal and replacement. He has repeatedly suggested that he doesn’t want to make a deal on Dreamers while a court order protecting them from the threat of deportation remains in effect — because he believes he’ll be able to secure larger concessions once that population is thrown into peril. […]
In a nutshell: The man is evil. And seemingly the present US society is providing him with an environment in which being evil helps him.
[Trump] Hey, he’s the head of a country — I mean he’s the strong head, don’t let anyone think anything different — he speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.
[FOX NEWS] Well, just before you met with him, he cleaned house. Three of his top generals, some of the hardliners, he fired. Then you go over there. You took some heat over saluting one of the generals.
[Trump] I think he fired at least —
[FOX NEWS (didn’t get Trump’s joke attempt)] Three do we know of.
[Trump] — may be “fired” “at least”. “Fired” may be a nice word.
In his exercises in sarcasm, Trump actually made fun of Kim Jong Un. As Trump later didn’t dare to crack such “jokes” about Mohammad bin Salman, Trump probably takes the prince more serious than the North Korean “strong head”. Also Trump’s courage has limits, and experimental irony isn’t always good for business.
Then again, was Trump joking? In order to be on the safe side, Trump’s people did sit and stand in attention. For some of them it wasn’t safe enough, therefore the image of Trump with his people is outdated. (In the end perhaps only Pence will remain).