One of Donald Trump’s core personality traits is his resistance to acknowledging when he’s wrong. He will make brazenly false statements that are easily proven to be lies, but when challenged he will stand firmly by them no matter how ridiculous he looks.
For example, despite that fact that there is no evidence that “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey were cheering the fall of the World Trade Center on 9/11, Trump continues to insist that he saw it on a TV news broadcast. Also, he feverishly denied that he had mocked a disabled journalist, even though there is video of him doing so. [There are dozens more examples of Trump’s affinity for lying in the Donald Trump Bullshitopedia] It is due to his affinity for fabrication, even when facts are readily available to expose his deceit, that Bernie Sanders said this about Trump Sunday morning:
“I think you have a pathological liar there. Pathological, I really do. I mean, I think much of what he says are lies or gross distortion of reality.”
Trump’s aggressive defensiveness extends beyond the substance of his lies to the accusations that he is a liar. On Fox News’ MediaBuzz, host Howard Kurtz asked him if it’s his strategy to deliberately make “controversial” statements in order to get more media attention, Trump responded saying that “I have no strategy. You know what my strategy is? Honesty.” Of course, the record shows that that statement is just another helping of hogwash.
However, there was a more important revelation in the MediaBuzz interview. Kurtz questioned Trump about his adversarial relationship with media. He gave several examples of editorial opinions that hammered Trump for his frequently outrageous remarks, including Campbell Brown who referred to his “hateful and harmful demagoguery,” or Ben Smith (Buzzfeed) who called him a “mendacious racist,” or this exchange:
Kurtz: The Daily Beast executive editor Noah Schactman says people should boycott your businesses because he thinks you’re a racist and a neo-fascist. What do you make of this combined artillery?
Trump: I’m the only one that speaks my mind and tells the truth. And everybody knows I’m right.
Really? The man who is best known for his pugnacious self-defense; who viciously attacks anyone who is remotely critical of him; who has banned reporters from his public events because they held him to account for his crackpot rhetoric; that man failed to deny the charge that he is a racist and a neo-fascist? He simply explained that he’s speaking his mind – his a racist, neo-fascist mind.
Anyone else accused of such awful things would very likely lash out at the accuser, deny the scurrilous charges, and demand an apology. Trump, however, appears to take it as a compliment that acknowledges his open and candid expressions of hate. There was nothing in his reaction that indicated that he considered being regarded as a racist, neo-fascist an insult. Which is consistent with his campaign rhetoric that is veritably dripping with fascistic fervor.
Trump has already called for making Muslims wear ID badges, and for loading boxcars with Mexicans to ship them out of the country. He has essentially the same view of gays as his new BFF, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.
This isn’t even the first time that Trump has virtually adopted Nazi ideology. Two weeks ago George Stephanopoulos asked him whether it bothered him to be compared to Hitler. Once again the notoriously bellicose candidate was given an opportunity to stand up against a harsh invective, but rather than pushing back he merely said “No, what I’m doing is no different from FDR.” And with that he was not only embracing the Hitler comparison, but he was aligning himself with one of the most shameful episodes of American history, the Japanese internment camps, which Trump refused to say he would have opposed.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
When someone with the personality of Donald Trump declines to fight back, it can only be because he doesn’t regard the attack as offensive. Being compared to Hitler, or accused of being a racist, neo-fascist, just doesn’t bother him because it’s true and, in his view, flattering. What’s more, he doesn’t want to alienate his supporters, many of whom are affiliated with America’s white supremacists. And by standing with Trump, the Republican Party is latching on to the same affiliation.