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Donald Trump will destroy this entire country — its institutions and its safeguards, the rule of law and the customs of civility, the concept of truth and the inviolable nature of valor — to protect his own skin.

We are not dealing with a normal person here, let alone a normal president.

This is a damaged man, a man who has always lived in his own reality and played by his own rules. When the truth didn’t suit him, he simply, with a devilish ease, invented an alternate reality. There were no hard and fast absolutes in his realm of rubber. Everything was malleable, and he had an abundance of gall and a deficit of integrity to push everything until it bent.

Also, he didn’t start his run for president believing that he could actually win, or even wanting to win. It was just another show, another act in the carnival. He came slowly, I believe, to the realization that he could win, and more important, that he wanted to.

But again, he didn’t want to win to serve the country; he wanted to win to serve his ego. He wanted to win simply because he hates losing, and to come close and lose was far more injurious than to be able to say early on that a party of traditionalists simply wasn’t avant-garde enough for the radical change he represented.

In the process of turning a vanity campaign into an valid campaign, he had to hurry up and ramp up, and he had to take on some of the only people willing to ally themselves with such a ridiculous, tarnished, vile, scandalous, unscrupulous person. The people he got for his team share many of those same characteristics.

The president won the election, with Russian assistance and against all odds. The win shocked the world, including Donald Trump himself. He hadn’t had to alter his most negative traits; he won with them on full display.

He was working-class white America’s rebuff to an erudite black man and a supremely experienced woman. Trump’s defects had been validated. He was loved among those who hate.

Opinion | Constitutional Crisis in Slow Motion

Trump will never put the country above himself.


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