A few thoughts on Trump and self-victimization.

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BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI | Credit: AFP — Getty Images

“We’re all victims, everybody here, all these thousands of people here tonight,” a rambling President Trump told his supporters in Georgia recently. “They’re all victims, every one of you.”

Has there been a more accurate and concise breakdown of how Trump — and by extension, his supporters — view themselves?

The newspapers, the scientists, Hollywood, his own government, the media (both liberal outlets and recently even Fox News), the international community, the military…everyone is out to get Trump, all of the time, for any number of reasons. In the “Get-Donald Sweepstakes,” there are no breaks or respites, only relentless assault.

My word, what has happened to the American right? The tough-on-the-Soviets fighters, the pick yourself up by the bootstraps crusaders, and the speak truth to power defenders have been replaced by something sinister and unrecognizable. Something weak and, in the right light, even pathetic.

Victims.

Has there ever been a four hour stretch of time over the last few years where Donald Trump hasn’t complained about something? Hasn’t whined into the internet? Oh, the newspapers write bad headlines? Welcome to the American presidency, Donald.

The reason this messaging has never politically seduced me is very simple. Donald Trump is not a victim. He is the most powerful person in the world. He is a white man who inherited his wealth, and he never seems to face the consequences for his own actions.

How can I look at this particular man and think wow, the system is rigged against him.

Trump never acknowledges his mistakes, so playing the victim is less his favorite game as much as it is the only game he can play. If he’s the semi-religious hero he claims to be, out to save America or “the world from killing itself,” then how could he explain away embarrassing defeat? Not through reflection, that’s for sure. Victimhood and system-rigging it is.

The president may play a different instrument, but the melody sounds awfully familiar. Faced with waning cultural power and diminishing numbers, the core constituencies of the GOP (white, rural, social conservatism, etc.) have become increasingly emboldened over the threat of extinction. Trump is just the culmination of a many decades old reckoning over demographics.

Historically, the left has been victorious in the victimhood wars of who-can-be-the-most-oppressed. Republicans are acting like real Democrats, and I don’t mean that as a compliment.

So yes, remember this next time a disgruntled person corrects your “Happy Holidays” as “Merry Christmas.” Or when a powerful billionaire complains about life.

Remember who is a victim. And more importantly, who isn’t.

Written by

political science researcher. former valedictorian. reader/writer. host of “Politics Mostly” podcast.

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