2017-04-06 – Folks have tried to find a philosophy behind Donald Trump’s actions as president. Some have looked for treasonous reasons. Some have looked at personal and corporate greed. And they may all be right—as far as it goes.
In my mind, however, Donald Trump has taken dozens of position that make no sense under those lenses, or any other rational lens that I can think of. But I think I’ve found the answer.
Deliberate contrariness. In Yiddish: aftselakhis*. It means “for the sake of spite.” (אויף צו להכעיס)
He’s pretty much laid it out:
I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct. I’ve been challenged by so many people and I don’t, frankly, have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time, either.
In other words: he wants to piss you off. He doesn’t care if his policies are enacted—and his followers don’t care either. They just want you to fall out of your chair with outrage, day after day after day.
That’s it. Suddenly it all makes sense. And the program has been wildly successful. You probably can’t even sleep for rage. Consider some of his actions.
- Issue an executive order barring immigrants from countries that no terrorist ever came from—Aftselakhis.
- Issue a second (watered down) executive order barring immigrants from countries that no terrorist ever came from after the first one was struck down by a court—Aftselakhis
- Support a health care bill that not even Republicans like—Aftselakhis.
- Propose a budget that defunds Meals on Wheel—Aftselakhis.
- Nominate as cabinet secretaries billionaires who have made it their life’s work to destroy or undermine the very cabinet department they were named to head—Aftselakhis.
- Reduce funding intended to benefit depressed rural areas where Trump supporters live—Aftselakhis.
- Rejection of the Paris Climate Agreement contrary to the wishes of the worst corporate violators—Aftselakhis
Out of spite.
And the list goes on and on. It’s not a coherent list at all except for one thing: every single one of them pisses you off. Trump and his followers thrive on your rage. And, by “you,” I mean liberals. They hate you very much.
Spiting liberals is such a central doctrine to our president, that I could see him giving up racism or sexism if he could spin it in a way to get your goat.
Of course aftselakhis works both ways. We do stupid stuff out of spite, too. That’s why they hate us so much. And their stupid stuff is why we hate them.
What a merry realization!
* Aftselakhis is pronounced with a gutteral kh, like you are clearing your throat. But you’ll probably pronounce it like a gentile just out of spite.
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