For crying out loud

Palmer Report has the smartest and savviest audience in all of politics. If you each contribute $5 or $25 now, we can win it all in 2024: Donate now!

Those of you with exposure to narcissists will recognise what I, through years of bitter and sometimes amused experience, came to refer to as “the story.” Narcissists like to tell stories involving themselves in which they (who else?) are the heroes.

The stories are of a particular formula. The stories usually comprise a challenge of some kind that Our Hero overcomes, in characteristically heroic fashion. The other people in the story, mere peasants by comparison, stand in awe of Our Hero. Lessons are learned, apologies are made, at the denouement Our Hero humbly basks in the adulation he or she so richly deserves. Many people (except Our Hero, of course) have tears in their eyes. The End.

Donald Trump’s stories frequently involve tears, often uttered by people who refer to him as “Sir!” A curious number of people in Trump’s stories wind up bursting into grateful tears in Trump’s presence. Or people come up to him “with tears in their eyes.” Recently we were treated to a story about how Ron DeSantis came up to him and begged Trump for his endorsement — “with tears in his eyes,” of course.

In a recent interview Trump told Tucker Carlson a story about the staff in the New York courtroom where he was arraigned. It, too, involved tears. “They were incredible. When I went to the courthouse, which is also a prison in a sense, they signed me in and I’ll tell you people were crying,” Trump claimed. The trouble with this particular story is it was filmed. The real truth is no one was crying. One man in front of Trump did let the courthouse door slam partly shut in Trump’s face, however.

Trump’s penchant for telling lies about people crying in his presence probably has its roots in his childhood. No doubt the most devastating moments of his infancy involved tears, as is true of most of us. The difference is Donald never completely matured, never really grew up, and he’s carried forward weeping as a metaphor for great pathos ever since. A man of his limited imagination and vocabulary will use that metaphor over and over to artlessly convey some great emotional moment. Since he himself never cries he has other people do it for him.

Needless to say, Trump’s silly claim of people crying in the courtroom has led to howls of mockery and hilarity on Twitter. “People who worked at the courthouse were crying because they were happy to see the conman from Queens being arrested,” one user tweeted. And another added, “I’m telling you this guy has a strange life. Whole time just walking around people openly weeping when they see him.” And yet another added: “Dude, if they loved you so much, why did they let the door slam in your face?”

Trump will continue to use tears to convey profundity about stories in which he is the hero. He will continue to use it because he has no mechanism for introspection, no means for self-correction, because not only is he a narcissist he’s also a simpleton.

It’s one of the many “tells” that makes Trump so tediously predictable. Since his base is composed of tediously predictable fools it’s a match made in heaven. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

Donate to competitive House races 2024 (click here)
Donate to Palmer Report 2024 (click here)