From the magic box

Richard Wolffe at the Graun points out another cognitive deficit that hinders Trump.

Donald Trump has a problem with reality. To be specific, he has a problem distinguishing reality television from reality. With each passing news cycle, it’s alarmingly clear that he believes in his own character from the fantasy show known as The Apprentice.

Now, most viewers above the age of four have already figured out there’s a certain artifice to the world of TV. There’s the dramatic music and the heavy editing, the make-up and the lights, and of course the word “show”, which gives away the whole game.

But our commander-in-chief sees something else when he stares into the screen during his many daily hours of executive time inside the White House. He sees a window on the world in which he can utter his catchphrase and people just disappear, along with all their problems.

“You’re fired!” worked so well on The Apprentice. Why shouldn’t it work so well with the multiple investigations into all these allegations of collusion with the Russian government, money laundering through his real estate business, obstruction of justice and his chaotic management of the executive branch of government?

Remember that time he got to say the magic words when he was raging about the kneeling football players?

“He’s fired. HE’S FIRED.”

There is a precedent for this kind of presidential delusion: Ronald Reagan. The now-beloved conservative hawk served in the second world war at a motion picture unit in Los Angeles. But he watched the footage of the liberation of the concentration camps, and later told several people that he personally had filmed at Buchenwald.

One of Reagan’s favorite stories, retold multiple times, was about a heroically doomed tail gunner. It was almost certainly ripped from a wartime movie he loved.

Both Reagan and Trump are figures from show biz, not politics or law or government or human rights or any other line of work that involves laboring for the greater good as opposed to self.

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