Things are awful in America these days, and they keep getting worse. Considering how warped things have become, there’s an understandable tendency to think of Donald Trump as a cartoon villain who’s simply pulling a lever that lets him torture us all for fun, free from consequence on his end. But if you step back and look at things objectively, that’s simply not what’s going on.
Donald Trump is sadistic. But he doesn’t have the luxury of being able to measure his own success based on how much damage he can do to the rest of us. He’s facing an election in a few months. He’s on track to lose, and if he does, he’ll spend the rest of his life alone and penniless in solitary confinement. That’s not some pipe dream. It’s simply what will happen if he loses.
Each time we’ve faced yet another nightmare this year, Donald Trump has either caused it or made it even worse. And each time he’s played the villain, his poll numbers have gotten even uglier for him. We all wish none of this were happening. But the reality is that none of this ugly stuff is working in Trump’s favor. Instead it’s all making his weak odds of reelection even weaker.
Considering what a deranged and increasingly incoherent place Donald Trump’s mind is, we don’t know for sure if he thinks that all this chaos and carnage is a win for him. But objectively speaking, it’s easy to look at the big picture and see that none of this is going his way. Things can change. Five months is a long time. We have to remain vigilant against whatever Trump will try next. But the reality is that while this is all an ugly blow that America will take a long time to recover from, it’s also a blow to Trump – and the kind that he has a good chance of not surviving.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report