Deranged and delusional, Trump rambled for 26 minutes of hateful twisted facts – and it was dull, dull, dull

The former president is not thinking about the next four or five years for America; this is about self-preservation

Sean O'Grady
Wednesday 05 April 2023 17:58 BST
Five bizarre claims from Donald Trump’s misinformation-filled Mar-a-Lago speech

Donald Trump, never a man to shirk an opportunity to get things off his chest, gave Americans and the wider world a showcase of just how much of a crashing bore he can be, and why they really shouldn’t want him back in the White House.

It’s not just that he’s deranged, dishonest, and delusional to the point of psychological diagnosis. It’s not that he’s obsessive and narcissistic, though his post-indictment speech was an extreme manifestation of that customary state of the Trump mind. It’s not even that he speaks of himself in the third person, something known as illeism, which also suggests a detached frame of consciousness. All of those things should disqualify Donald J Trump from high office, and if anyone had forgotten about them, then his latest Mar-a-Lago oration is a stark reminder of a past best left behind.

No. It was the flat, routine, low-energy, repetitive, unimaginative, bitter and twisted nature of it that should really repel the average American floating voter. Trump hasn’t a single original thought in that candy-floss-topped head of his. In its way, it was pure Trump – 26 minutes of rambling negative, hateful, twisted facts. It was dull, dull, dull. World-class dull. The greatest dull speech in the history of the world. It was the Gettysburg Address of tedium.

It’s been called a rundown of his “greatest hits”, and the litany was a familiar one. It actually sounded very much like someone reading out a filmography of movies and sequels that starred Trump, his oddball family, and the collection of misfits that surrounded him during his dismal administration. Impeachment 1. Impeachment 2. Get President Trump. Hunter Biden’s Laptop from Hell. Our Country Is Going to Hell, A Perfect Speech, Hillary’s Emails, and, now on national release after its New York premiere, the crime caper They Don’t Follow the Law.

Trump wanted to seem strong and defiant – like when he really did self-produce the sequences of himself returning to the White House after his case of Covid, looking very much like the strong, powerful, self-confident leader of a superpower that he believed himself to be. Fresh out of a Manhattan courtroom, he looked and sounded smaller without the presidential aura: more like a man beaten, one who knows the game is up.

He’s got nothing new to say about the future of the country, because he knows he’s probably going to have next to nothing to do with that. He’s not thinking about the next four or five years for America; this is about self-preservation. He’ll certainly keep running for president, and he’ll effortlessly attack the lawyers, the “radical Democrats” (they’re always “extreme”), and the other members of the vast, phantasmagoric conspiracy he’s cooked up. He’ll fire up the base, even with his tired slogans and baseless allegations, and he’ll get the Republican nomination.

All he can do with the various investigations against him is claim them as evidence of that conspiracy, and turn them to his advantage, and raise some cash along the way. The more he politicises the situation and aggressively threatens and intimidates the people involved, the more chance, he calculates, that they’ll go easy on him or back off. It’s standard Trump practice.

When Trump gets the Republican nomination, there’s still a chance he might win in November 2024, at which point the danger may pass because law enforcers aren’t supposed to prosecute a sitting president – it’s a real-life “get out of jail free” card. If he loses, then he can always blame the conspiracy, again. He’ll have lost nothing. So there will be much, much more of this stuff.

To borrow some of the more redolent phrases in the speech, Trump is going to be a pain in the ass the like of which we have never seen before.

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