Fully Expect that AG Barr has Joined Forces with Trump in the Cover-Up…Big breaking news tonight Team-Trump with the assistance of AG Barr are likely hiding some big things in the Mueller report!  Welcome to the mid-week edition of The VORACS Part 2, featuring reports on threats to our democracy & the deceitful delusions coming from the evil far-right echo-chamber.  And oh, by the way, our president is still an incompetent & clueless con man.  That’s why it’s so important to keep an eye on him & call him out frequently.  We also need to refute the constant garbage spewed from the evil echo, so please do share this information.  It’s Wednesday night as I post this & today was a very big news day!
 
The big story that broke tonight is some on Mueller’s team are not happy with the way AG Barr provided a mischaracterization of their report with his inadequate 4-page summary.  How can a measly 4 pages even begin to explain 400 pages written up from a 2-year investigation?  It can’t!  In calling out AG Barr, this might be the first leak coming from anyone on the Mueller team in the nearly two years they were conducting their investigation.  So much for the clownish claim by the prez that the report exonerated him.  Ridiculous!  And Mueller’s team now says they wrote their own summary which Trump’s handpicked AG Barr has kept under wraps.   
 
What is AG Barr hiding?  He needs to turn the whole Mueller report over to Congress ASAP!  It’s been almost two weeks since Mueller released his final report, yet Congress & the public still have not seen what’s really in it.  I smelled a rat from the moment we got Barr’s sugarcoated guilt-free proclamation trying to clear Trump.  The AG Barr is looking more like a political hack, doing his duty of corrupt obstruction just the way Trump appointed him to do!  Trump demands of his henchmen to stoop to any depths in protecting him.  It was AG Barr who claimed there was no Trump obstruction among his attempts to bury the bad stuff.  Let’s see the actual report & we can decide for ourselves!  Posted here is the beginning to the big NY Times story that broke Wednesday night from some-on-muellers-team-see-their-findings-as-more-damaging-for-trump-than-barr-revealed:
 

Some of Robert S. Mueller III’s investigators have told associates that Attorney General William P. Barr failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry and that they were more troubling for President Trump than Mr. Barr indicated, according to government officials and others familiar with their simmering frustrations. At stake in the dispute — the first evidence of tension between Mr. Barr and the special counsel’s office — is who shapes the public’s initial understanding of one of the most consequential government investigations in American history. Some members of Mr. Mueller’s team are concerned that, because Mr. Barr created the first narrative of the special counsel’s findings, Americans’ views will have hardened before the investigation’s conclusions become public.

 

Mr. Barr has said he will move quickly to release the nearly 400-page report but needs time to scrub out confidential information. The special counsel’s investigators had already written multiple summaries of the report, and some team members believe that Mr. Barr should have included more of their material in the four-page letter he wrote on March 24 laying out their main conclusions, according to government officials familiar with the investigation. Mr. Barr only briefly cited the special counsel’s work in his letter. However, the special counsel’s office never asked Mr. Barr to release the summaries soon after he received the report, a person familiar with the investigation said. And the Justice Department quickly determined that the summaries contain sensitive information, like classified material, secret grand-jury testimony and information related to current federal investigations that must remain confidential, according to two government officials. Mr. Barr was also wary of departing from Justice Department practice not to disclose derogatory details in closing an investigation, according to two government officials familiar with Mr. Barr’s thinking. They pointed to the decision by James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, to harshly criticize Hillary Clinton in 2016 while announcing that he was recommending no charges in the inquiry into her email practices.

 

The officials and others interviewed declined to flesh out why some of the special counsel’s investigators viewed their findings as potentially more damaging for the president than Mr. Barr explained, although the report is believed to examine Mr. Trump’s efforts to thwart the investigation. It was unclear how much discussion Mr. Mueller and his investigators had with senior Justice Department officials about how their findings would be made public. It was also unclear how widespread the vexation is among the special counsel team, which included 19 lawyers, about 40 F.B.I. agents and other personnel. At the same time, Mr. Barr and his advisers have expressed their own frustrations about Mr. Mueller and his team. Mr. Barr and other Justice Department officials believe the special counsel’s investigators fell short of their task by declining to decide whether Mr. Trump illegally obstructed the inquiry, according to the two government officials. After Mr. Mueller made no judgment on the obstruction matter, Mr. Barr stepped in to declare that he had cleared Mr. Trump of wrongdoing. Representatives for the Justice Department and the special counsel declined to comment on Wednesday on views inside both Mr. Mueller’s office and the Justice Department. They pointed to departmental regulations requiring Mr. Mueller to file a confidential report to the attorney general detailing prosecution decisions and to Mr. Barr’s separate vow to send a redacted version of that report to Congress. Under the regulations, Mr. Barr can publicly release as much of the document as he deems appropriate.

 

A debate over how the special counsel’s conclusions are represented has played out in public as well as in recent weeks, with Democrats in Congress accusing Mr. Barr of intervening to color the outcome of the investigation in the president’s favor. In his letter to Congress outlining the report’s chief conclusions, Mr. Barr said that Mr. Mueller found no conspiracy between Mr. Trump’s campaign and Russia’s 2016 election interference. While Mr. Mueller made no decision on his other main question, whether the president illegally obstructed the inquiry, he explicitly stopped short of exonerating Mr. Trump. Mr. Mueller’s decision to skip a prosecutorial judgment “leaves it to the attorney general to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime,” Mr. Barr wrote. He and his deputy, Rod J. Rosenstein, decided that the evidence was insufficient to conclude that Mr. Trump had committed an obstruction offense.

 

Mr. Barr has come under criticism for sharing so little. But according to officials familiar with the attorney general’s thinking, he and his aides limited the details they revealed because they were worried about wading into political territory. Mr. Barr and his advisers expressed concern that if they included derogatory information about Mr. Trump while clearing him, they would face a storm of criticism like what Mr. Comey endured in the Clinton investigation. Legal experts attacked Mr. Comey at the time for violating Justice Department practice to keep confidential any negative information about anyone uncovered during investigations. The practice exists to keep from unfairly sullying people’s reputations without giving them a chance to respond in court. Mr. Rosenstein cited the handling of the Clinton case in a memo the White House used to rationalize Mr. Trump’s firing of Mr. Comey. Though it was not clear what findings the special counsel’s investigators viewed as troubling for the president, Mr. Barr has suggested that Mr. Mueller may have found evidence of malfeasance in investigating possible obstruction of justice. “The report sets out evidence on both sides of the question,” Mr. Barr wrote in his March 24 letter.

 
 
For support articles on this potentially pivotal story, you could copy/paste any of these titles into a search engine:
 
vox/mueller-barr-leaks-new-york-times
 
motherjones/kevin-drum/2019/04/did-william-barr-whitewash-the-mueller-report 
 
thedailybeast/mueller-report-worse-for-trump-than-barr-reported-investigators-say-nyt
 
businessinsider/mueller-team-final-report-trump-barr-summary
 
thehill/mueller-team-members-say-final-report-more-damaging-to-trump-than  
 
slate/does-the-mueller-team-agree-with-barrs-dismissive-conclusions-on-its-report 
 
alternet/members-of-robert-muellers-team-believe-the-report-is-worse-for-trump-than-the-public-has-been-led-to-believe-report 
 
inquisitr/muellers-team-suggests-that-the-final-report-is-more-damaging-than-barrs-summary-indicates
 
rawstory/special-counsel-investigators-believe-ag-mislead-summary-mueller-report-damaging-barr-claimed 
 
rawstory/ag-barrs-team-frustrated-special-counsel-mueller-ended-probe-report  
 
dailykos/Leaks-Have-Begun-NYT-Mueller-Team-Says-Report-More-Troubling
 
dailykos/Mueller-s-prosecutors-start-to-push-back-on-Barr-s-pro-Trump-cover-up-report 
 
 
Trump probably instructed AG Barr to Hide that Report
 
After gloating about that 4-page letter from Barr presumably summarizing the conclusions from the Mueller report, then claiming (falsely) he’s been exonerated, Trump is now clearly worried about what’s really in the full report.  The pressure is now higher than ever for Congress to see it, & there’ll be plenty of nasty findings in there.  It’s why the prez doesn’t want Congress & the public to see it, found in these excerpts from a-sudden-white-house-change-of-heart-trump-doesnt-want-america-to-see-muellers-report-anymore:
 

As sure as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, we all knew Donald Trump’s dalliance with transparency on Robert Mueller’s findings would come to a screeching halt once someone explained to him the difference between Attorney General William Barr’s 4-page hack job and Mueller’s 400-page-plus report. Now that Trump has learned those other 396 pages aren’t all dazzling pictures of him, he’s turning his ship around. Just two weeks after Trump was arguing for public release—”I don’t mind. … Let them see it.”—Trump minds. Trump has now gone from “it wouldn’t bother me at all” on March 25 to his Monday declaration that Democrats are “crazed” about the report and “it will never be enough.” So now the White House is demonizing Democrats for wanting to see the very report Trump repeatedly said should be made public over the last two weeks. Just wait for it, folks—very soon Mueller will go from having acted honorably, according to Trump, to being a demon worthy of investigation. That is coming just as soon as we start to get some kind of window into what Mueller really wrote. As House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff of California told CNN Tuesday regarding Trump and the Mueller report, “Clearly, he is concerned about that coming out.”

 
 
These next articles offer reviews of Trump’s reactions to the Mueller report with the prospect it will soon go to Congress & be made public, which he should indeed be very worried about as seen here:
 
 
 

 

 
A Subpoena made ready to get the Mueller Report
 
In a busy news day on Wednesday, Nadler’s Judiciary Committee voted to subpoena the entire unredacted Mueller report, which they’ll submit to AG Barr if needed.  Also being prepared are subpoenas for 5 top advisers from the White House or Trump campaign.  The articles on that are here: 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Going After Trump’s Tax Returns
 
In other big news from Wednesday, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee requested from the IRS all Trump’s personal & business tax returns from the past 6 years.  We’ve previously seen plenty of solid evidence the Trump business committed massive tax fraud throughout the 1980’s & 90’s, so if Congress can get their hands on recent tax returns, they’ll likely find numerous illegalities contained within.  But this is bound to result in intense court battles as Trump is desperate to keep his returns hidden.  Dem members of Congress will also want to find out if those returns are under audit as Trump keeps claiming.  Articles on that headline story are here:
 
 
 
 
 
 
More Investigations based on Strong Evidence
 
Other big news on Wednesday has the House Intel Committee taking a real close look at that suspicious inauguration funding: alternet.org/2019/04/house-intel-committee-is-now-digging-deep-into-trumps-shady-inauguration-fundraising & also see vanityfair.com/news/2019/04/stephanie-winston-wolkoff-inauguration-congress.  There’s also news the Feds are probing the case of the Chinese woman who snuck into Trump’s palatial resort at Mar-a-Lago, apparently up to no good as reported inside these links:
 
 

 

 
Short Bits on Probing Trump’s Wrongdoings
 
The judiciary & intelligence committees are entitled to the unredacted report, since Congress has a right to view classified materials as part of their oversight responsibilities:
 
There is partisan disagreement over what the Mueller report means for Trump, but there is (or was before) bipartisan agreement the report should be released: 
 
Collusion did exist & really hasn’t stopped:
 
In times like these with our nation under duress, we should always turn to Rubin for clarity, the first step recommended from her is to wipe out the party which has been thoroughly corrupted:
 
And Rubin points out with his mental stability under question as his decision-making becomes more erratic, the prez does seem to be unraveling before our eyes: 
 
The next article begins with this: Donald Trump is the most dishonest and most ignorant president in living memory, perhaps in American history. With his disdain for fundamental elements of democratic practice, such as freedom of the press and separation of powers, he is a danger to our American democracy.  The rest of it you can read by clicking on this: 

 

 
Kompromat as the Russians say
 
Even if collusion couldn’t be proven beyond a reasonable doubt from a legal perspective, the more risky reality of Trump perhaps being compromised has yet to be determined, as seen posted here in excerpts from my-article-saying-trump-was-compromised-by-russia-was-right:  
 

I am not a reporter and have not broken any of the stories Trump’s defenders are now trying to discredit. But I did write a long feature last summer tying together the body of reporting as it stood at the time into a narrative exploring the Trump-Russia relationship. That story placed me among Trump’s targets for revenge. But just as Trump’s defenders barely managed to discredit any of the reporting on the Russia scandal, they have not debunked the major conclusions in that piece. Having reread it in light of the ten months’ worth of revelations that have followed, I believe the story holds up extremely well. Indeed, subsequent events have vindicated its most important predictions and claims.

 

The story argued that the breadth and depth of connections between Trump and Russia suggested the scandal was probably worse than most reporters and pundits perceived at the time. The media was giving too much weight to the unlikely outcomes on one side of the distribution — that Trump’s relationship with Russia was completely innocent — and discounting unlikely outcomes on the other side — that Trump was very deeply compromised. “The media has treated the notion that Russia has personally compromised the president of the United States as something close to a kook theory,” I wrote. The most likely possibility, I proposed, was that Russia was exerting some kind of hidden leverage over Trump. The conclusion has proven completely correct. We now know that during the campaign, Trump was pursuing a building deal in Russia worth several hundred million dollars in profit, according to an indictment by Robert Mueller that Trump has not disputed. This deal created two forms of secret leverage for Vladimir Putin. First, the money was a powerful incentive for Trump to stay in Putin’s good graces. And second, since Trump was publicly denying that he had any dealings with Russia, Putin had access to secret information that he could use to embarrass Trump if he so desired.

 

The data we have seen since my story ran has largely bolstered its conclusion. Shortly after the piece ran, Trump flew to Helsinki and appeared strikingly and uncharacteristically submissive alongside Putin. The Washington Post reported that Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to keep his meetings with Putin secret from his own government, barring national-security experts and even personally confiscating notes on one discussion. Trump also made a series of oddly Russophilic comments, ranging from repeated attacks on NATO to calling Montenegro a “very aggressive people” who might attack Russia to justifying the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In my story, I wrote, “It is possible that the current list of known campaign contacts accounts for most, or even all, of the direct cooperation. But that is hardly a safe assumption.” Indeed, Mueller’s indictments since then have added more incriminating evidence. Mueller found that Roger Stone was coordinating with WikiLeaks to exploit the value of Russia’s email hack, and that Paul Manafort passed detailed polling data on to a suspected Russian intelligence asset. (Neither man has cooperated with Mueller, and both appear to be banking on presidential pardons, a fact pattern that hardly puts all suspicions about their activity to rest.)    

 
 
The Dangers of Impugning Our Security/Intelligence Agencies
 
It’s so disingenuous this absurd messaging that is causing the conservative base to lose trust in the DOJ/FBI.  This is perhaps the most hideous lie coming from Trump & his evil echo, a patently-ridiculous conspiracy claiming the FBI organized some sort of cabal inside the Bureau out to get Trump.  The real cabal is this asinine propaganda concocted as a unifying message designed to smear the FBI, part of their relentless mission for protecting a corrupt demagogue in the White House, from which that false narrative has caught on with their base since way too many Americans aren’t savvy or discerning enough to see through the lies.  Such nonsense is doing tremendous damage as our nation faces increasing risks from law enforcement & security protocols being undermined by the very people they’re tasked to protect.  This conundrum is being seen quite clearly by federal prosecutors as revealed in excerpts from mueller-report-fbi-reputation-trump-russia:  
 

For nearly two years, Republicans stuck with their mantras: Robert Mueller was on a witch hunt. The FBI was some sort of liberal resistance haven. The Russia investigation shouldn’t have even begun. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions were part of the “deep state.” Everyone was out to get Donald Trump. The law enforcement community worries that the sudden shift in Trump’s rhetoric won’t soon erase the long-term consequences of Trump’s attacks on the Justice Department and the FBI. Trump ran on law and order but unleashed an extensive campaign against the nation’s premier law enforcement organization. Republicans’ trust in the FBI plummeted as Trump and his supporters convinced the GOP base that the conservative-leaning FBI was biased against Trump. Federal prosecutors now contend with jury pools full of Republicans who think the FBI is corrupt. “It has been tough to watch,” said Greg Brower, who stepped down as the FBI’s congressional liaison last spring. “The FBI has taken some hits, mostly undeserved. It’s not good.”

 

Nevada’s top federal prosecutor under George W. Bush, said the FBI was generally a conservative organization “with a very small ‘c’” and that attempts to characterize the bureau as Republican or Democratic were “very misplaced, potentially very misleading, and just not accurate at all in my experience.” Trump’s attacks on the FBI “never made sense,” even for Trump’s own interests, Brower said. Had Trump taken the normal political approach to the Mueller probe ― saying two years ago that he welcomed the investigation, that he’s confident there was no inappropriate conduct, and that he looked forward to the investigation’s conclusion ― then he could now be credibly touting the Mueller report’s conclusions, he added. “He just took the wrong approach in every possible way, in my view, but mostly because of the deeply offensive, false accusations and characterizations of Bob Mueller,” Brower said. “It was beneath the dignity of the president. It was shocking.” Brower said he worried about the real-world impact of the president’s attacks when FBI agents testify in court. Even in places with a high level of skepticism of the federal government, judges and juries often take the word of FBI witnesses seriously, he said. “I’m afraid that, whereas FBI agents are able to ignore the background noise and do their jobs, ordinary people ― especially people that support the president ― have been unfortunately sucked into this view as propagated by the president that maybe the FBI can’t be trusted,” Brower said. “That is a very, very negative, destructive thing for the system.”

 

Brower said his own friends and family members have questioned him about the FBI, ranging from “polite questioning” to “flat-out assumptions of the worst” about the bureau’s work. “There’s just so much information, so many erroneous assumptions. Unfortunately, people who watch Fox News, they’ve taken those erroneous assumptions and false facts as true, and it becomes a reality,” Brower said. “It’s a challenge.” Tim Purdon, who served as U.S. Attorney in North Dakota during the Obama administration, oversaw a large body of atypical federal prosecutions: crimes like homicide, rape or child sexual abuse on Native American reservations. He’s worried what the drop in trust in the FBI could do in a red state like his, where a key trial witness is often the lone FBI agent who investigated the case. “Obviously, we’re a state that voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump,” Purdon said. “If you’re asking me if I wonder if the president’s constant denigration of the FBI as an institution and of individual FBI agents, if that might have some really tragic and horrific real-world consequences in courtrooms in North Dakota, I think the answer to that is yes.” Purdon said the view that the FBI is a hotbed of progressivism is completely out of whack with his own experience, echoing the description of the bureau as a “small ‘c’ conservative” organization. “I’ve met a lot of FBI agents. I met dozens and dozens if not hundreds of FBI agents. I don’t know if any of them were Democrats. I know for sure none of them were liberal,” Purdon said. “The idea that the FBI is some bastion of left-wing influence, to anybody who’s worked in the federal criminal justice system, is laughable.”

 
 
Sometimes the Truth leaks out from Fox
 
 
 
Echo/GOP Hall of Shame
 
I don’t want to waste live links on this collection of delusional knuckleheads, but the doofus brigade includes deranged lunatics on Fox fake news like Hannity, Carlson, Dobbs & Judge Jeanine.  There’s also idiot conspiracists like Alex Jones & QAnon, shameless minions in Congress like Nunes, Jordan, Gaetz & Meadows, corrupt cabinet members inside the White House, along with nutty Trumpeters both here & abroad.  There are just too many articles on this topic of nudnik Trump cronies to post the links live, so you can read the titles & search for any that interest you:  
 
Fox nutwings:
washingtonpost/sean-hannity-comes-face-face-with-his-own-corruption
 
mediamatters/On-Fox-Sean-Hannity-delivers-the-show-QAnon-believers-want-to-watch
 
newshounds/hannity_interference_russia_investigation_counseling_george_papadopoulos_not_to_testify_edition  
 
vanityfair/trump-vapid-sean-hannity-interview-reveals-white-house-running-on-fumes  
 
rawstory/white-supremacists-watch-tucker-carlson-fox-news-tips-white-nationalist-talking-points-report
 
washingtonpost/now-we-know-why-tucker-carlson-wont-apologize
 
newshounds/tucker_carlson_hasn_t_changed_since_bubba_love_sponge_days_aoc_chris_hayes_edition 
 
huffpost/fox-business-lou-dobbs-immigration-deaths
 
alternet/fox-host-lou-dobbs-declares-immigrants-will-kill-tens-of-thousands-perhaps-millions-of-americans  
 
mediaite/tv/jeanine-pirro-returns-to-fox-news-calls-for-trumps-accusers-to-face-behind-the-bars-justice 
 
washingtonpost/john-oliver-spotlights-fox-newss-trump-exonerated-brigade  
 
 
The only difference between those Fox lunatics & this echo-nutball, at least this nutball admits he’s psychotic:
thedailybeast/infowars-alex-jones-i-had-form-of-psychosis-while-pushing-sandy-hook-conspiracy-theories
 
nymag/alex-jones-swears-psychosis-made-him-a-sandy-hook-hoaxer
 
mediaite/tv/cnn-legal-analyst-shreds-alex-jones-for-using-psychosis-as-excuse-for-sandy-hook-trutherism-an-insult-to-psychotics
 
thedailybeast/infowars-alex-jones-melting-down-over-sandy-hook-lawsuits  
 
 
These neurotic buffoons are the very worst we’ve ever seen in Congress:
washingtonpost/sorry-trump-fans-here-planet-earth-devin-nunes-is-no-hero  
 
rawstory/unscrupulous-sycophant-conservative-destroys-devin-nunes-bumbling-defense-trump 
 
alternet/gops-jim-jordan-rages-against-reckless-democrats-for-conducting-oversight-of-white-house-security-clearances
 
rawstory/hearing-erupts-laughter-democrat-shuts-jim-jordans-mueller-rant-simple-question  
 
mediamatters/three-ways-gop-members-congress-use-trump-fox-feedback-loop  
 
 
Lying & corrupt cabinet members:
 
Loony Trumpeters in Britain:

 

Trump’s crazy racist base:
 
 
Security Clearance Violations 
 
Yet another attack on the norms that hold our democratic process together that needs to be investigated.  A whistleblower from inside the White House reveals security clearances were being handed out like candy to those who would otherwise never qualify, revealing a genuine threat to our national security.  Reports are the worst offense was in giving sonny-in-law Jared a security clearance despite hordes of conflicts of interest.  The articles on this news story are here:
 
 
 
 
 
We Must Win the War of Words & Principles
 
Us Never-Trumpers persevere & can ultimately win, since we have logic, honesty, integrity & values on our side:
 
The lying from Trump goes on unabated:
 
And trying to explain all the lying:
 
Revealing the true nature of the man, he cheats like a fiend at golf as revealed in the new book Commander in Cheat.  And why not?  He cheats at everything else!:
 
It’s all becoming increasingly clear.  Trump is mentally conditioning his gullible Trumpeter followers to stay subservient to him regardless of his constant lying & despicable actions:
 
Once again Trump raises the issue of voter fraud with zero substantiation or evidence.  Throughout the reelection campaign & especially should Trump lose in Nov. 2020, he’ll ratchet up this type of dangerous rhetoric, which could be interpreted as a call to violence by the more unhinged among his merry band of Trumpeters:
 
 
This era is defined by bitter divisiveness & tribal hatred which could boil over into violence.  Internally we’re tearing our nation apart as written in this conclusion to the-age-of-trumpshevism:
 

Politics is no longer about ideas, but rather about polemics and personality contests. People say horrible things to one another over the most mediocre of difference on social media, whether on principle or “for the lulz.” One can argue whether Trump himself is the cause of this plague or mere symptom. But there is no doubt he is the face of it. The idea of warfare as an extension of politics may be as old as Clausewitz, but the converse—where politics is an extension of warfare—is a dangerous one indeed. If we actually prize moderation and ideas in the public square, and if that elusive word—decency—is ever to return to our lexicon, it might be worthwhile to recognize that our principles are worth arguing for, and might even be worth defending, but they are not worth fighting for. Naturally, to stand apart from the mob is to invite its attentions. Yet above principles exists something better, namely the virtues that actually consist of American greatness. Wouldn’t it be nice if we fostered those values again rather than wallow in the muck of the mob?

 
 
Well Said!
 
We wrap up Part 2 with this very thought-provoking opinion piece, while check back with us probably Saturday for Part 3 on the economy & our song.  This fiction novelist of psychological dramas has switched to political commentary, with Trump being a tragic figure who is all too consequential as the reality-based lead character, stirring up endless drama while presiding over our nation.  This writer’s thoughts offer up important perspectives & warnings, which posted below is the final part to richard-north-patterson-i-quit-novels-cover-trump, as we have to ask ourselves can our nation recover from this bizarre anomaly in our history?  Or will it end in tragedy?: 
 

To me, Donald Trump was more than the prototypical protagonist of a psychological novel—he was a fiction writer run amok, the hero of his own impermeable drama, resentful of editors who would prune his imaginings. He feels little need to heed advice, or to learn anything much from anyone. Most of what he says is provisional, ever subject to change, and based on nothing but his transient and subjective needs. But the crucial difference between Trump and a novelist is that his fancies are not confined to the page, and Americans can’t put them back on the shelf. Like any other best-selling novelist, I had publicists who helped me. But Trump has an army: the media, particularly cable news. In the run-up to his nomination, cable gave Trump $3 billion in free media—effectively, a sustained infomercial consisting of his rallies and rambling press conferences. This open microphone made him unique among all candidates.

 

Trump used it like a novelist would—to re-create himself as a fictional archetype, the lonely sheriff who drives the bad guys out of town. In his acceptance speech, he proclaimed, “I alone can fix it,” then amplified this in an inaugural address in which he portrayed himself as a gunslinger rescuing a cartoon country. He evoked a national dystopia: cities awash in carnage; sclerotic schools; shuttered factories; predatory nonwhites; the crooked denizens of swampland Washington. Like Gulliver amid the Lilliputians, Trump’s America was a helpless giant tied down by tormentors at home and abroad. But at last Donald Trump had arrived, the solitary symbol of salvation. Simply by virtue of his inauguration, the supposed carnage “will stop right here, and stop right now,” and “the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no more.” All the problems of a complex society, however exaggerated, would evanesce overnight. As Ernest Hemingway wrote to climax perhaps his greatest work of fiction, “Isn’t it pretty to think so?”

 

For millions of Trump’s followers, this fantasy world is too pretty to relinquish. Relentlessly, Trump has induced the sine qua non for any successful novelist: the willing—indeed, willful—suspension of disbelief. On some level, Trump’s followers know that he is lying, and choose not to care. For them, his false narrative is so emotionally enveloping that it sublimates truth to what Coleridge called “poetic faith.” He engenders this enthrallment by a classic fictional device: pitting himself, as the protagonist, against an imaginary world filled with pitfalls and peopled by antagonists who evoke fear, hatred, and contempt—the deep state, the media, Muslims, immigrants, minorities, freeloading Europeans—as well as fictionalized versions of real people such as Robert Mueller. In turn, Trump’s blustery pretense of intuitive expertise on subjects as varied as climate change, trade, counterterrorism, and geopolitics licenses the angry and insecure to spurn the expertise of a despised elite, whether they be economists, globalists, environmental scientists, in favor of bogus nostrums that corroborate what they wish to believe. By governing through seductive fictions, Trump has substituted fancy for objective fact as a basis for political discourse.

 

Watching this, I’m reminded of my writing mentor, a very fine novelist who called fiction “a collection of lies which are ultimately true”—by which he meant true to human nature. Trump’s lies are true to his deepest needs and those of his followers. Among them is Victor Davis Hanson, a conservative classicist and military scholar. In a New Yorker interview, Hanson describes Trump as the tragic hero of a classic Western—Shane, High Noon, or The Magnificent Seven. “They all are the same—the community doesn’t have the skills or doesn’t have the willpower or doesn’t want to stoop to the corrective method to solve the existential problem, whether it is cattle barons or banditos,” Hanson explains. “So they bring in an outsider, and immediately they start to be uneasy because he is uncouth—his skills, his attitude—and then he solves a problem, and they declare to him … ‘We don’t need you anymore.’” For millions, Trump’s alternative reality is now a source of comfort and escape, a balm that simplifies a harsh and complex world, the gateway to an America that never was or will be. The question now is who will write its final chapter—and whether Trump’s fantasy of self will end in catharsis or in tragedy.