It is what it looks like

Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight tells the media to quit rationalizing the monster.

I’m happy to acknowledge that Trump’s responses to the news are sometimes thought-out and deliberate. His criticisms of the media often seem to fall into this category, for example, since they’re sure to get widespread coverage and Republican voters have overwhelmingly lost faith in the media.

But at many other times, journalists come up with overly convoluted explanations for Trump’s behavior (“this seemingly self-destructive emotional outburst is actually a clever political strategy!”) when simpler ones will suffice (“this is a self-destructive emotional outburst.”). In doing so, they violate both Ockham’s razor and Hanlon’s razor — the latter of which can be stated as “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” One can understand why journalists who rely on having close access to Trump avoid explanations that portray Trump as being irrational, incompetent or bigoted. But sometimes they’re the only explanations that make sense.

Or, rather, irrational, incompetent and bigoted.

It isn’t complicated. What we see is what there is. He’s stupid, he’s malevolent, he has no impulse-control, he’s grotesquely narcissistic. He acts like an enraged toddler because he thinks and feels like an enraged toddler.


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