I’m not a medical professional, but in the time since I began covering Donald Trump, I’ve had to spent a fair amount of time discussing him with medical professionals. I’ve had it explained to me that in layman’s terms, a sociopath is someone who harms others for his own gain without any remorse, while a psychopath is someone who enjoys harming others so thoroughly, he doesn’t care if it harms himself in the process. Tonight, Trump reminded us that he truly is a psychopath.
Donald Trump’s entire foray into politics has consisted of lying every time he opens his mouth, in the most confusing ways possible, forcing the media to spend its time unraveling his lies instead of investigating his criminal scandals, and yelling “fake news” at the media whether they end up being able to accurately get to the bottom of his lies or not. As a self-interested sociopathic strategy, it’s worked surprisingly well.
Trump has told thousands of documented lies, journalists have had to waste millions of collective hours exposing those lies, and yet his idiot supporters choose to believe those lies anyway. But tonight was a reminder that even when Trump’s strategy works, he still finds a way to screw it up for himself. For instance, Trump has constantly and bizarrely lied about crowd size his inauguration and his rallies. The media regularly has to report on those lies. Over the weekend, respected reporter Dave Weigel of the Washington Post swung and missed on crowd size while trying to do his job in good faith.
Trump posted a tweet demanding that Weigel apologize, so Weigel did precisely that. Trump won. He caught a reporter’s inaccuracy about him, and he got that reporter to admit it, too. Trump’s overall “fake news” mantra is garbage, but for once he scored. So what did he do? He responded to Weigel’s apology by suddenly demanding that Weigel be fired.
In so doing, Donald Trump blew his opportunity. Instead of the story being that he caught the media making a mistake in its reporting about him, the story is that Trump went completely berserk even after his initial demands were promptly met. It wasn’t enough for Trump to win at the expense of someone who hadn’t really done anything wrong. He was so desperate to harm this reporter, he ended up harming himself in the process. He’s not just a sociopath. He’s a psychopath. It’ll help bring him down in the end.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report