Donald Trump's victimhood complex

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump --accompanied by his wife, Melania, and his daughter and son-in-law -- ...

Posted: Oct 31, 2018 9:20 PM
Updated: Oct 31, 2018 9:20 PM

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump --accompanied by his wife, Melania, and his daughter and son-in-law -- traveled to Pittsburgh to offer condolences to the victims of a shooting at a Jewish synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood. He did so despite urgings from the city's mayor to postpone his trip until the funerals for the 11 victims could be completed. And despite the fact that no members of Congress joined him on the trip.

And then, on Wednesday morning, he tweeted this:

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"Melania and I were treated very nicely yesterday in Pittsburgh. The Office of the President was shown great respect on a very sad & solemn day. We were treated so warmly. Small protest was not seen by us, staged far away. The Fake News stories were just the opposite-Disgraceful!"

Clearly the President has a victim mentality here. He was performing his presidential duties of mourning with those who lost loved ones and visiting with the injured but the protesters -- and the media that covered them -- had treated him very, very unfairly.

It's a remarkable bit of myopia. And a revealing reminder that Trump not only sees absolutely everything through the lens of himself first, second and last, but also that the way he sees himself is as the unfairly maligned victim. Always.

Remember the context here. Over the weekend, 11 people were gunned down in a synagogue. It was the single most deadly attack on American Jews in history. But, for Trump, the key is that some people are criticizing his visit -- and covering people who protested his divisive rhetoric.

His capacity to make any story about him -- and to turn it into a grievance -- is truly startling. And telling.

The key to Trump is this: He has always viewed himself as an outsider, scorned by the "in" crowd but, secretly, better -- smarter, richer, cooler -- than all of them. Growing up, his father, Fred, was a big-time developer but in Queens, not Manhattan. Trump went into Manhattan as a developer but the established, old money crowd wouldn't let him into their clubs. (In the words of President Kanye West: "I know they don't want me in the damn club/They even made me show ID to get inside of Sam's Club.") He came to Washington in 2011 amid speculation about him entering politics and the insider DC crowd laughed at him.

"I meet these people they call them 'the elite,'" Trump said at a campaign rally this summer. "These people. I look at them, I say, 'That's elite?' We got more money, we got more brains, we got better houses, apartments, we got nicer boats, we're smarter than they are, and they say they're elite? We're the elite. You're the elite. We're the elite."

That grievance-based view of the world found remarkably fertile ground among primarily white voters barraged by almost-constant economic anxiety and a growing sense that the culture in which they grew up was being eroded in front of their eyes. So great was their grievance -- and sense of victimhood -- that they were willing to overlook (or look past) the fact that Trump was a billionaire, who had come from significant wealth, and was living very high on the hog in New York City and Florida. Not exactly someone who shared their worries about ends meeting or paying for their kids to go to college.

As President, Trump has kept up his insistence that the elites are out to get him. The best example is his ongoing battle with the so-called "deep state" -- Trump's conceit that there is a coordinated effort within the federal bureaucracy (focused on the Justice Department) to undermine his presidency. He has repeatedly insisted that he is the target of a "witch hunt" being run by special counsel Robert Mueller, a probe pushed by Democrats who can't accept the results of the 2016 election. (The special counsel was created by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Mueller himself is a Republican.)

This tweet from Trump is indicative of his broader view of how he is being persecuted in all of this:

"'Clinton campaign & DNC paid for research that led to the anti-Trump Fake News Dossier. The victim here is the President.' @FoxNews"

That victim complex has also led him to take the side of high-profile men accused of sexual assault or misconduct -- from Bill O'Reilly to Roger Ailes to Brett Kavanaugh -- all while bemoaning the allegations leveled against him by more than a dozen women over the course of the 2016 campaign.

"Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign," Trump said in 2016. "Total fabrication. The events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over."

(Sidebar: He never sued any of the women.)

The Point: Despite being a child of privilege, a billionaire and a man who was elected president on his first run for public office, Donald Trump always always always sees himself as an aggrieved victim. Even when 11 people were gunned down in a place of worship just days ago.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 516486

Reported Deaths: 10299
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison35042558
DeSoto33463432
Hinds32797643
Jackson24926392
Rankin22593405
Lee16523245
Madison14978283
Jones14191248
Forrest13852260
Lauderdale12326323
Lowndes11387193
Lamar10713140
Pearl River9759244
Lafayette8881143
Hancock7848132
Washington7561169
Oktibbeha7234138
Monroe7091179
Pontotoc7060110
Warren6892178
Panola6807135
Neshoba6753210
Marshall6735142
Bolivar6472151
Union645699
Alcorn5950108
Pike5947157
Lincoln5544136
George511080
Prentiss510185
Tippah497983
Itawamba4903107
Scott479499
Tate4786118
Adams4784125
Leflore4756144
Yazoo458492
Copiah458395
Simpson4577117
Wayne443772
Covington435395
Sunflower4331106
Marion4311112
Coahoma4259110
Leake414491
Newton396182
Tishomingo388894
Grenada3796109
Stone366466
Attala341690
Jasper341566
Chickasaw319167
Winston318892
Clay313978
Clarke301995
Calhoun288950
Holmes273389
Smith270852
Yalobusha245847
Tallahatchie232653
Greene225449
Walthall222166
Lawrence220842
Perry214656
Amite210357
Webster206748
Noxubee188843
Montgomery182757
Carroll175841
Jefferson Davis174643
Tunica163939
Benton153439
Kemper145541
Choctaw137827
Claiborne134839
Humphreys132339
Franklin126630
Quitman107928
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson97334
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 848779

Reported Deaths: 16185
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1164582005
Mobile744601384
Madison53563738
Shelby38454371
Baldwin38215589
Tuscaloosa36172644
Montgomery34573782
Lee25690264
Calhoun22636520
Morgan22548411
Etowah20075520
Marshall18865318
Houston17795426
St. Clair16968359
Limestone16206220
Cullman16170306
Elmore15952295
Lauderdale15093307
Talladega14267302
DeKalb13095271
Walker12180380
Blount10791193
Autauga10562157
Jackson10221196
Coffee9440192
Colbert9376210
Dale9049192
Tallapoosa7287202
Russell711465
Chilton7098170
Covington6973197
Escambia6969144
Franklin6369108
Chambers5810142
Marion5446132
Dallas5306210
Pike5135109
Clarke486086
Lawrence4852130
Winston4804110
Geneva4656136
Bibb436495
Barbour370880
Butler3445101
Marengo342993
Monroe338566
Randolph338067
Pickens335090
Fayette332285
Henry321266
Cherokee320564
Hale319589
Crenshaw261878
Washington256852
Cleburne255460
Lamar253555
Clay253169
Macon246367
Conecuh193562
Coosa186048
Wilcox178538
Lowndes178468
Bullock152845
Perry141940
Sumter139841
Greene130745
Choctaw94628
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