Comes a time when the right mind comes to the right topic at the right time. That happens in the essay that follows from the current Harper’s magazine. Enjoy (at least from the standpoint of giving concrete, critical form to what we are watching, dumbstruck, upon the political stage …)
DON THE REALTOR
The Rise of Trump
By Martin Amis, Harper’s August 2016
Discussed in this essay:
Trump: The Art of the Deal, by Donald Trump with Tony Schwartz. Ballantine Books. 384 pages. $16.99.
Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again, by Donald Trump. Threshold Editions. 208 pages. $25.
Not many facets of the Trump apparition have so far gone unexamined, but I can think of a significant loose end. I mean his sanity: what is the prognosis for his mental health, given the challenges that lie ahead? We should bear in mind, at this point, that the phrase “Power corrupts” isn’t just a metaphor.
There have been one or two speculative attempts to get Donald to hold still on the couch. Both Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders have called him a “pathological liar,” but so have many less partial observers. They then go on to ask: Is his lying merely compulsive, or is he an outright mythomaniac, constitutionally unable to distinguish non-truth from truth — rather like those “horrible human beings,” journalists (or at least spiteful, low-echelon journalists), who, Trump claims, “have no concept of the difference between ‘fact’ and ‘opinion’ ”? PolitiFact has ascertained that Donald’s mendacity rate is just over 90 percent; so the man who is forever saying that he “tells it like it is” turns out to be nearly always telling it like it isn’t.