Betrayal is a leitmotif for this president’s entire life

Trump betrayed the Kurds; Trump betrays everyone. Peter Wehner writes:

For once, Republicans have forcefully spoken out against Mr. Trump. Graham said our Kurdish allies had been “shamelessly abandoned by the Trump administration.” Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the third-ranking Republican in the House, said Trump’s decision is having “sickening and predictable” consequences. Representative Adam Kinzinger, an Air Force veteran, said on Face the Nation that “leaving an ally behind … is disheartening, depressing.” He added, “The Kurds found out on Twitter, for goodness’ sake. We have left them to the wolves. And the message this is sending to our allies around the world, I think, is really going to be bad.” Senator Mitt Romney, the Republican lawmaker who has been the most willing to speak the truth about Trump, declared on Twitter, “The President’s decision to abandon our Kurd allies in the face of an assault by Turkey is a betrayal.”

Indeed it is. But betrayal is hardly new to Trump, who routinely abandons people who trust in him or the nation he leads. By now, this behavior should come as a surprise to exactly no one.

Indeed not; we’ve been watching him do it for three years and more.

Betrayal is a leitmotif for this president’s entire life. Think of how he cheated on his wives. Think of the infant child of a nephew who had crucial medical benefits withdrawn by Trump because of Trump’s retaliation against his nephew over an inheritance dispute. Think of those who enrolled at Trump University and were defrauded. Think about the contractors whom Trump has stiffed. Think of Jeff Sessions, the first prominent Republican to endorse Trump, whom Trump viciously turned against because Sessions had properly recused himself from overseeing the investigation into whether Russia had intervened in the 2016 election. Think about those who served in Trump’s administration—Rex Tillerson, John Bolton, Don McGahn, Reince Priebus, Gary Cohn, James Mattis, and many more—who were unceremoniously dumped and, in some cases, mocked on their way out the door.

He’s a man for whom self is everything and others are nothing, really nothing.

Individuals like Donald Trump, who chronically betray others, are incapable of authentic relationships or genuine human connections. They view other people solely in transactional terms. For malignant narcissists, they themselves are the alpha and the omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Other human beings don’t have inherent dignity; their worth is determined solely in terms of what they can do for the person who is the betrayer. If the answer is nothing, then others are dismissed, discarded, and abandoned. There is no empathy, no sympathy, no guilt or shame.

I find it’s hard to imagine what that’s like, because if the self is everything…well it’s like a nightmare, isn’t it? How can one single self matter enough to live a whole long life, even if it is one’s own?

President Trump doesn’t interpret his abandonment of America’s faithful and intrepid Kurdish ally as betrayal because he can’t even understand why betrayal is a vice. It’s like trying to explain color to a person born with no eyesight.

And so we elected him president. We should be a pariah state at this point. We are that fucked up.

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