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: 295675

Reported Deaths: 6743
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19690230
Hinds18812389
Harrison16722280
Rankin12725265
Jackson12603228
Lee9691160
Madison9466203
Jones7978147
Forrest7217138
Lauderdale6836226
Lowndes6031140
Lamar588480
Lafayette5736113
Washington5218130
Bolivar4612123
Oktibbeha441493
Panola430894
Pearl River4174130
Warren4130115
Pontotoc409771
Marshall403392
Monroe3990126
Union395674
Neshoba3817169
Lincoln3544103
Hancock347975
Leflore3376118
Sunflower318986
Tate302974
Pike300796
Scott293970
Alcorn291862
Itawamba290075
Yazoo289963
Tippah278965
Coahoma278668
Copiah278158
Simpson275879
Prentiss269858
Wayne254241
Marion252778
Leake252671
Covington248980
Grenada247578
Adams234678
George231845
Newton229952
Winston221777
Jasper213445
Tishomingo212365
Attala206569
Chickasaw201152
Holmes182370
Clay179251
Stone172429
Tallahatchie170939
Clarke169371
Calhoun157928
Smith152832
Yalobusha144836
Greene127733
Walthall124240
Noxubee122831
Montgomery122639
Perry121734
Lawrence120421
Carroll118425
Amite111734
Webster110631
Jefferson Davis101931
Tunica99023
Claiborne98429
Benton93524
Humphreys92827
Kemper90223
Quitman77214
Franklin76119
Choctaw69617
Jefferson62727
Wilkinson62426
Sharkey48917
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 494421

Reported Deaths: 9991
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson711451374
Mobile36184735
Madison32457458
Tuscaloosa24213412
Montgomery22636517
Shelby22020214
Baldwin19790284
Lee14980154
Morgan13693251
Calhoun13307287
Etowah13192320
Marshall11269209
Houston10102261
Elmore9408185
Limestone9376134
Cullman8903181
St. Clair8839224
Lauderdale8601212
DeKalb8465175
Talladega7552164
Walker6538258
Jackson6503103
Autauga630391
Blount6106127
Colbert5993119
Coffee5254102
Dale4648107
Russell405233
Franklin399478
Covington3970106
Chilton3883100
Escambia378172
Tallapoosa3596143
Clarke343753
Chambers3421111
Dallas3412141
Pike293372
Lawrence283684
Marion283495
Winston247368
Bibb245460
Geneva240270
Marengo236557
Pickens224555
Barbour212451
Hale210668
Fayette200957
Butler197566
Henry182641
Cherokee177139
Monroe166339
Randolph163840
Washington156635
Crenshaw145254
Clay145054
Macon142343
Cleburne137841
Lamar133133
Lowndes131251
Wilcox122525
Bullock117136
Conecuh106724
Perry105827
Sumter98632
Coosa89224
Greene88232
Choctaw55123
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