Hearing About Trump Every Day and ‘Trump Overload’

Hearing About Trump Every Day and ‘Trump Overload’


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Mhm, and you’d better believe that’s intentional.

Part of it is just straight-up narcissism: Donald Trump needs to be perpetually in the spotlight and given to believe that people love him. He’s turned his ongoing battle with the media into a positive for him: it’s the old “If they’re shooting at you, you must be doing something right” approach, and he sees a lot of people gunning for him (metaphorically, of course). Negative attention is still attention, and as is often the case with the extreme Right, they see any reaction by the Left as a positive for them.

Beyond that, though, it’s Trump’s way of staying relevant: in a political arena where he lacks any experience, understanding or competence, the best way for him to stay front-and-center is to comment on everything. This does expose the aforementioned inexperience, particularly since he has a tendency of expressing thoughts that just don’t mesh with reality, but those will be greeted with exasperation by the opposition, and enthusiastic support from his followers. Trump, in that regard, can’t lose.

When you talk about “Trump overload,” that is important: it is, in truth, part of what’s kept him in office. Any singular scandal or inappropriate action on his part would normally be sufficient to put his presidency into jeopardy — but we get so many of them on a day-to-day basis that people have stopped caring. Trump said something racist? What else is new? He offended a foreign ally? Business as usual in the Oval Office then. We ultimately all get afflicted with a sense of resigned apathy: we expect the worst from him, and frequently get it.

Of course, if he weren’t being shielded from the consequences by Senate Republicans, he’d be out of office by now — and that’s frankly only encouraging him. He knows he’s politically bulletproof for the moment, and he genuinely believes that the support of the Republican base is all he’ll need to secure re-election: so he has, in effect, absolutely no reason to act in a presidential fashion, and every reason to continue with his outrageous, ill-advised and childish behavior: because it gets him the attention he craves and doesn’t cost him anything politically.

The downside for him is that I think many Americans are genuinely fed up with the constant controversies and scandals: most of them just want Trump to shut up and do his duty as president. He’s fully opposed by Democrats, but it’s the moderate independents in the middle (which are the largest demographic in the United States) that are going to pull away from him as a consequence of his behavior — and he doesn’t help himself in this regard. It could very well cost him the 2020 election because most would simply prefer a president who doesn’t act like an attention-seeking four-year-old hopped up on sugar.

For the moment, however, it’s worked to give him some protection against scrutiny: at the end of the day, we’re so used to seeing him spout off nonsense that many of us have largely stopped listening or paying him any mind, and that’s when a person of Trump’s nature is at their most dangerous. Complacency and apathy could be a problem…

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