The wounded sufferer

Sidney Blumenthal on DARVO Trump:

Time after time, with predictable regularity, never missing a beat, Donald Trump proclaims his innocence…

Then, he declares himself to be the victim. Whatever it is, he is falsely accused. But his self-dramatization as the wounded sufferer is only half his story: he insists that whoever has accused him is in fact the offender. He emerges triumphant, the martyr, the truth-teller, courageously unmasking the real villain. J’accuse!

Trump’s pattern is textbook manipulation – literally. It has a precise name given to it after decades of academic research. Jennifer Freyd, now professor emerita of psychology at the University of Oregon, developed the theory over her career studying sexual assault, trauma and institutional betrayal. She named the process by which the perpetrator seeks to avoid accountability Darvo – a strategy with the elements of denial, attack, and reversal of victim and offender.

Or in a single word: bullying.

Trump’s instinctive reliance on Darvo goes beyond the mean-spirited tactics he learned from Cohn. Those lessons settled long ago into his pathology, becoming something more pervasive, systematic and fundamental, defining Trump’s behavior in every area of his life.

I think it’s probably even more fundamental than that: I think it’s probably that he just is a poisonous, mean, selfish, sadistic shit. Tragically for all of us he’s a poisonous, mean, selfish, sadistic shit who was able to leverage his daddy’s real estate business into a major cash cow, upon which a brainless tv network decided it would be a good idea to make him a star. It would be nice if he were just a poisonous, mean, selfish, sadistic shit of a minor Queens landlord, but that’s not the world we live in.

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