Trump is dangerous because he ignores societal norms

Published 5:40 pm Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Society operates on “norms” that, in many cases, are not written down because Americans understand them implicitly. There are many things that “normal people” will not do because violating them would be detrimental both to society at large and the honor of the individual who violate them. 

The problem with Trump is that he has no compunction about violating those norms at every level. He simply does not recognize that any of society’s norms apply to him.

He lies because in his life he has paid no penalty for lying. He “grabs women by the p***y” because he has done so dozens of times and gotten away with it. He stiffs contractors because they are too small and financially weak to stand up to him and he has paid no penalty for doing so. His businesses declare bankruptcy seemingly at will even though by so doing he avoids repayment of millions of dollars to banks and other lenders and throws thousands of people out of work. He enriches himself by steering both foreign government officials and members of our own military to his resorts and hotels. He hires his own family members to high-level jobs in the administration even though they are manifestly not qualified and cannot pass required security clearance checks.

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In short, this man operates outside the established norms of a civil society. In Trump’s world other people are meaningful only to the extent that they advance his own interests. He requires absolutely fealty and loyalty from others although he does not extend any loyalty to them. That is what makes him so hard to rein in; the fact that he neither lives by nor is bound by society’s governing norms. He does not consider himself to be a “normal” member of society and, as such, does not think that he himself bound by the norms and strictures of American society. This is what makes him so dangerous. He does not think it possible that he can be wrong and he sees himself as being above the laws and customs of the United States. Rather he thinks of himself as the anointed leader of the country. 

Various Reich wing evangelicals have “laid hands” on him and assured him that he was “selected by God.” So he considers himself to be dictator or president for life and he will not willingly leave office under any circumstances.

Jim Porter