Trump's Bizarre Persecution Complex and Dangerous Nationalism
... It is when the powerful feel threatened and vulnerable that things get dangerous, often very dangerous.
... Hyper-nationalism is often innocuous or even salutary for states which know mostly oppression and degradation. In powerful states, it’s a source of immense danger.
All of this plays out in an almost comic, though possibly tragic, form in President Trump’s view of America’s role in the world. Trump imagines a US which is a revisionist power amidst its own global imperium. The US is the dominant military power in every corner of the globe. The global economy revolves around the dollar, providing huge benefits to the US economy. One can debate the benignity or rapaciousness of US power. But no one can deny that the current world order and its foundational institutions are built to make the United States at least the first among equals of all the nation’s of the world.
And yet to President Trump we are laughed at and tricked by all the nation’s of the world, taken advantage of at every turn. We’ve been humiliated for too long and we’ve had enough. The consistency with which Trump has talked for decades about the US being ‘laughed at’ and humiliated by other countries is remarkable. This represents a deep, though minority strain of American politics on the right. But for Trump it clearly grows mostly out of personal experience and character. The mix of intense insecurity couple with a need for dominance and aggression is too central to his own personality not to be the driver of this vision of the world and America’s role in it.
Nor is it a coincidence that Trump is the doyen of white Americans who feel they are discriminated against in America, despite the fact that whites remain the dominant group in almost all sectors of American life. Both internationally and domestically these are pre-existing and intermingled strains of American political culture. But Trump embodies both because through some unhinged alchemy his own life trajectory and damaged psyche made that possible...
And of course:
At the UN yesterday, Trump threatened to exterminate 25 million people in North Korea, also wants to cut peacekeeping funds.
Most ridiculously Trump said-- “In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather, to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch.” Says the president of the country that has repeatedly attacked, bombed, invaded countries around the world since WWII. And Trump didn't act as though he would stop exerting US force, as he threatened to attack North Korea, Iran and Venezuela in his speech.