Projection. Many people — not only mental health professionals — have described this pathological instinct Trump displays virtually whenever he speaks. He accuses others of doing or being what he is, what’s stewing in the roiling swamp that is his psyche, as if by flinging it at others, he can cleanse himself.
It’s a pretty simple thing. He is the fake, the liar, not the journalists he accuses. He, not Joe Biden, is the demented, decrepit man who can’t speak a clear sentence, who can’t walk down a ramp. His family, not Joe Biden’s, is so corrupt there is no accurate word in the English language to describe them. (Hm. Maybe I can get something from my German-English dictionary. “Verderbt“- morally corrupt, depraved. “Verdorben” – spoiled, foul. “Bestechlich” – open to bribes. Yeah. Someone should package them together as one long, German word describing Trump. Oh, and add “Lügner” – liar.)
Now that the campaign has entered its final stage, so has Trump. While his administrators, carefully selected for lack of brains as well as absence of integrity, are frantically and obviously trying to produce an October Surprise, Trump himself is producing…projections.
I’ve decided not to get infuriated about anything he says now. I’ll leave that to my betters in journalism and law. Instead, I’m just going to pluck statements Trump makes and label each as an indicator of what he’s doing, being, or plotting.
Today, according to a Times headline, “Trump compares officers who shoot people to golfers who ‘choke’ and floats baseless ‘dark shadows’ theory about Biden.”
The president also floated a vague, baseless conspiracy theory that powerful people in the “dark shadows” were behind Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s campaign as well as protests in Kenosha and other cities, echoing themes struck by his supporters in the QAnon movement.
We didn’t need Trump to tell us that he chokes (and cheats) at golf. As John Cassidy wrote in the April 2019 New Yorker:
In the new book “Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Donald Trump,” the sportswriter Rick Reilly has pulled these stories together and found some new ones. Relying on testimony from playing partners, caddies, and former Trump employees, Reilly pokes more holes in Trump’s claims than there are sand traps on all of his courses combined. It is by turns amusing and alarming. “Trump doesn’t just cheat at golf,” Reilly notes. “He cheats like a three-card Monte dealer. He throws it, boots it, and moves it. He lies about his lies. He fudges and foozles and fluffs.”
And ever since Jane Mayer’s Dark Money and Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains, we’ve known and have had named the “dark shadows” behind Trump and the last 30 years of the GOP. To be sure, Trump, a stupid man, has added violence to the dark shadows behind his campaign. So that’s an innovation.
Still, let’s review what’s what.
Trump is a golf cheat.
Trump has “dark shadows” behind him and his campaign, one of them Putin. Overall, I’d call these “dark shadows” an agglomeration of “libertarian” oligarchs, American fascists, armed white supremacists and at least one murderous autocrat.