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Sat Jun 17, 2017, 10:40 PM

Rebecca Solnit on the Corrosive Privilege of the Most Mocked Man in the World

This is an extraordinary piece of writing. Long, but well worth the read.

Rebecca Solnit: The Loneliness of Donald Trump
On the Corrosive Privilege of the Most Mocked Man in the World

Once upon a time, a child was born into wealth and wanted for nothing, but he was possessed by bottomless, endless, grating, grasping wanting, and wanted more, and got it, and more after that, and always more. He was a pair of ragged orange claws upon the ocean floor, forever scuttling, pinching, reaching for more, a carrion crab, a lobster and a boiling lobster pot in one, a termite, a tyrant over his own little empires. He got a boost at the beginning from the wealth handed him and then moved among grifters and mobsters who cut him slack as long as he was useful, or maybe thereís slack in arenas where people live by personal loyalty until they betray, and not by rules, and certainly not by the law or the book. So for seven decades, he fed his appetites and exercised his license to lie, cheat, steal, and stiff working people of their wages, made messes, left them behind, grabbed more baubles, and left them in ruin.

He was supposed to be a great maker of things, but he was mostly a breaker. He acquired buildings and women and enterprises and treated them all alike, promoting and deserting them, running into bankruptcies and divorces, treading on lawsuits the way a lumberjack of old walked across the logs floating on their way to the mill, but as long as he moved in his underworld of dealmakers the rules were wobbly and the enforcement was wobblier and he could stay afloat. But his appetite was endless, and he wanted more, and he gambled to become the most powerful man in the world, and won, careless of what he wished for.

Snip

The child who became the most powerful man in the world, or at least occupied the real estate occupied by a series of those men, had run a family business and then starred in an unreality show based on the fiction that he was a stately emperor of enterprise, rather than a buffoon barging along anyhow, and each was a hall of mirrors made to flatter his sense of self, the self that was his one edifice he kept raising higher and higher and never abandoned.

I have often run across men (and rarely, but not never, women) who have become so powerful in their lives that there is no one to tell them when they are cruel, wrong, foolish, absurd, repugnant. In the end there is no one else in their world, because when you are not willing to hear how others feel, what others need, when you do not care, you are not willing to acknowledge othersí existence. Thatís how itís lonely at the top. It is as if these petty tyrants live in a world without honest mirrors, without others, without gravity, and they are buffered from the consequences of their failures.

more:

http://lithub.com/rebecca-solnit-the-loneliness-of-donald-trump/

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Reply Rebecca Solnit on the Corrosive Privilege of the Most Mocked Man in the World (Original post)
Amaryllis Jun 2017 OP
beveeheart Jun 2017 #1
3catwoman3 Jun 2017 #2
N_E_1 for Tennis Jun 2017 #4
muriel_volestrangler Jun 2017 #3

Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Sat Jun 17, 2017, 11:47 PM

1. K and R

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Sun Jun 18, 2017, 12:13 AM

2. Definitely worth reading.

A most accomplished wordsmith. I particularly liked this sentence - But his appetite was endless, and he wanted more, and he gambled to become the most powerful man in the world, and won, careless of what he wished for.



And an exquisite final paragraph -

The man in the white house sits, naked and obscene, a pustule of ego, in the harsh light, a man whose grasp exceeded his understanding, because his understanding was dulled by indulgence. He must know somewhere below the surface he skates on that he has destroyed his image, and like Dorian Gray before him, will be devoured by his own corrosion in due time too. One way or another this will kill him, though he may drag down millions with him. One way or another, he knows he has stepped off a cliff, pronounced himself king of the air, and is in freefall. Another dungheap awaits his landing; the dung is all his; when he plunges into it he will be, at last, a self-made man.

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Response to 3catwoman3 (Reply #2)

Sun Jun 18, 2017, 09:26 AM

4. That last paragraph was my favorite...

Exquisite is the best description.

For a very short time I kinda had a small amount of pity flow through my thoughts.
It faded quickly.

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Response to Amaryllis (Original post)

Sun Jun 18, 2017, 08:40 AM

3. You can tell this section was written before this week

"Surely he must have imagined that more power meant more flattery, a grander image, a greater hall of mirrors reflecting back his magnificence. But he misunderstood power and prominence."

Write this now, and you've have to acknowledge he's assembled a cabinet of wealthy men to provide that flattery he craves.

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