Donald Trump Is No Victim

Donald Trump on Tuesday informed the 5.71 million unfortunate souls who wittingly subject themselves to his stream-of-consciousness-style musings on Truth Social that he’s likely to be indicted. Again.

“WOW!” he exclaimed, in a lengthy diatribe published as a “statement” on the platform. “On Sunday night, while I was with my family… HORRIFYING NEWS for our Country was given to me by my attorneys,” he went on.

That news: Trump received another target letter from special counsel Jack Smith, this time in connection with the January 6 investigation. Trump was, of course, federally charged in June with more than three-dozen criminal counts related to his handling of classified documents.

If Trump is, in fact, indicted in the coming days or weeks, it’d be the third time. In March, he was charged in Manhattan following a five-year probe into hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Trump won’t likely accept Smith’s invitation to appear before a grand jury in the January 6 matter. Jared Kushner appeared last month, according to media reports, and Rudy Giuliani was recently interviewed by prosecutors. It wasn’t immediately clear what part of Trump’s efforts to remain in power might lead to charges.

I won’t feign anything like sympathy for Trump. As someone who spent the last seven years embracing an uncompromising approach to personal responsibility, I find the former president’s victimhood narrative disingenuous to the point of absurdity and borderline insulting. Bear with me. It’s important, I think, to assess this situation from outside the political realm.

In all but the most extreme cases of abhorrent human behavior, I’m skeptical of normative assessments — suspicious of the idea that people’s words and deeds can be neatly and unequivocally categorized as “right” or “wrong.” Given that, I don’t demand remorse from my fellow human beings when they say or do something that results in a suboptimal outcome for themselves or others. Nor do I expect apologies from them. I’m not remorseful for much and I haven’t apologized for anything.

However, I have come to terms with the fact that words and actions usually have consequences. Those consequences are mostly, if not entirely, predictable. People who make a habit of skirting responsibility for the predictable consequences which stem directly from their own words and actions tend to accumulate a credibility deficit with the rest of humanity. In extreme cases, that deficit can lead to a kind of non-financial bankruptcy.

Whatever you want to say about the 2020 election, one thing is incontrovertible: Trump wanted to stay in power and he tried very hard to do so. When he ran out of options in that regard, he invited his supporters to Washington D.C., where he held a rally and said all sorts of things that any reasonable (or, in this case, unreasonable) person might be expected to interpret as a call to action. That’s particularly true given that the words emanated from the then President of the United States. It’s exceedingly difficult for me to countenance the notion that somehow, Trump bears no responsibility for what happened next. And what happened next was against the law in many respects.

I’m not asking for an apology from Trump, nor do I expect any remorse. But I do expect the man to own it, and that means more than just paying lip service to the “patriots” who stormed the Capitol and promising pardons. A lot of regular (if irascible and perhaps psychologically troubled) Americans are in jail because of what happened that day. If anybody has a claim on skirting responsibility for January 6, it’s them, not the man we all saw encouraging them to “fight like hell.”

Any charges that may be brought against Trump in connection with January 6 wouldn’t be “hoaxes” or “scams” or examples of a “witch hunt.” They’d be the entirely predictable consequences of one man’s slapstick, and ultimately violent, attempt to hold onto power after a contested election. He availed himself of all traditional avenues for disputing the results, then he resorted to a series of increasingly risky gambles, culminating in a last-ditch effort to stop Congress from certifying the results.

Do note: Nothing I’ve said above constitutes a comment on the validity of the election itself. It’s no secret that I find the “rigged” vote narratives just as cartoonish as many of the characters who perpetuated them. But my point is that you don’t need to pass judgment on that to be offended by Trump’s refusal to accept responsibility for something he did. He’s indignant at the notion that he should have to face the predictable consequences of his own words and actions.

I suppose you could argue that if the election was invalid, he was justified in doing whatever he could to reverse the outcome. But if that’s your position, the simple reality is that he lost a power struggle. If you resort to extreme measures to retain your grip on the levers of government during a political transition, you better win. If you lose, some kind of retribution is coming. Call it an “indictment,” a “hoax” or whatever you want to call it, but please, spare everyone the aggrieved victim act.

There are indeed a lot of victims in the tragicomedy of modern American life. But Trump, who fundraises off every indictment, most assuredly isn’t one of them.


Speak your mind

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

9 thoughts on “Donald Trump Is No Victim

  1. I am not aware of any instance in which Trump has taken responsibility for any felony, failure, mistake, inconsideration, oversignt or even minor shortfall. It’s always a hoax, witch hunt and/or some fundamental unfairness that is wholly to blame. He is the oaf than can cry wolf without limit or fatigue or even loss of credibility (at least among his supporters). It’s one of the oddest pathological displays I’ve ever witnessed and brings to mind an equally curioius analog — the person who demands a forced apology from someone who would never freely offer one that is actually genuine. Trump seems like that guy too.

    1. You are so right, Trump is no victim. The only victim are the poor people he continues to dupe to giving him money. I do talk to conservatives who lament that he is the only ex president who has been charged with a crime and I respond that the only reason he is not in jail right now is because he was president when he encouraged those people to interrupt congress.
      I thought he would be arrested immediately, then I thought he would be arrested as soon as Biden took office. But I realize now that even if that should have happened, it would look like political retribution.
      I usually use the example that if you were pulled over by the police for going a little over the speed limit and you don’t have any previous tickets and the cop asks you why you were pulled over. You can be honest and apologize and it is possible you might get out of ticket.
      But if you yell at the officer , call his wife a whore, not only will you get a ticket but you’re likely to get arrested.

      Trump is the latter person who intentionally thumbs his nose at all law enforcement, he clearly thinks he is above all consequences for his abhorrent behavior.
      Unfortunately for our country there are many people who base their political opinions on ignorance. Because of this they will believe Trump’s lies that he is a victim.

  2. Apart from Trump himself and the MAGA crowd (i.e. people who self disqualify from any serious consideration), no one thinks he’s a victim.

    Indeed, the “establishment” has been generous with Trump for decades. Earlier, when he was just a real estate mogul/con artist, it was because prosecuting white collar crime is seen as difficult. After his rise to prominence, it was out of fear/respect for his political pull with the MAGA crowd.

    But, at some point, the establishment has got to stand up to the 20% of the population that feels like losers in the modern world and are willing to resort to violence (or look the other way) to restore their sense of self worth.

  3. Being that Trump is a malignant narcissist, I’m sure that he does view himself as the victim (or hero) always. While those of us who have the capacity to self-evaluate might think he’s just spinning more yarns for his followers, I think he actually does think he’s never done anything wrong and that anytime he’s attacked, he’s the victim. He probably also does actually believe that he won the 2020 election, that all women he’s assaulted are secretly attracted to him, and that everyone loves him (who isn’t a “hater”). These are all traits of narcissistic personality disorder. People with NPD are incredibly toxic and dangerous to those that are close to them. There are far too many people like Trump running around wreaking havoc and causing trauma. However, Trump is truly dangerous at this point, to American society and government. He’s still shouting about stolen elections, and fake Biden crimes. And just because he’s incapable of self-evaluation doesn’t mean that he can’t learn from his mistakes. If that man were to ever be given a 2nd shot at running the executive he would correct those mistakes and ensure he had unilateral power until he died. That reason alone is why these indictments are so important and why these cases must proceed to conclusion BEFORE he has another crack and manipulating enough people with foreign assistance to get back into the White House.

  4. I’ve only known two individuals in my life who I am certain Diogenes would have found on one of his nightly quests to find an “honest” soul. One was my late wife of 53 years, who as far as I know, never lied to me once, not even a “little white lie.” She just didn’t know how to do it. The other honest soul was the first man with whom I shared an office 50 years ago. He was a fellow prof who soon turned his hand to entrepreneurship … 14 times. Three of those 14 went bankrupt (each undeclared) and in all three cases every dime my friend owed was repaid, even the stockholder contributions he had received were returned whole. The rest of his ventures were all sold to the benefit of all involved. His current venture is a lifesaving one and all the profits and all patent rights to his latest inventions will be donated to charity.

    I also know two people who I strongly suspect have never actually told the truth. Both acquired this propensity shortly after birth, and both with the help of the same people, their daddies, who were pros. One of course was Trump, who I know only from frequent reports, who could not be honest and tell the truth, but was constantly bailed out by his father first, then by his gullible “subjects.” The other person was my cousin, a fellow who was as close to a brother as one gets. A smaller liar than Trump, my cousin was at least a mostly honest type. Honesty is hard for most people these days. The shade of old Diogenes must be very tired and frustrated.

  5. Also, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel gets sick and tired of waiting for United States Attorney General Merrick Garland to do it and announces charges against ‘fake electors’ in 2020 election plot.

NEWSROOM crewneck & prints