The madness of Trump’s they-stole-it-from-me crusade grows more obvious every day. And it raises a question that has been asked about him for years: Does he really believe what he says?
When Trump was just a businessman and TV celebrity, the answer didn’t matter. But now it does.
The man who occupies the highest office in the land is traveling the country in Air Force One, bringing along his Secret Service protectors and his presidential seal, and spreading his nutty claims.
It’s all very crazy. It is also dangerous.
As the US death count more than doubled and cases rose nearly five-fold, other nations fared better with stringent shutdowns and mask requirements. One could only conclude that Trump’s continued public call to loosen public health measures was not sincere.
In a similar way, the President’s claims about the outcome of the 2020 election seem more an act intended to inspire the faithful to cheer and donate money than a matter of genuine belief.
Trump’s public denials about the election results will also help him escape the blow to his ego that might come with having to admit he lost fair and square.
Having long established that he thinks that there’s little worse in life than losing, Trump’s image requires that he refuse to acknowledge a genuine defeat. Instead he will proclaim the American election system to be corrupt, and rally his followers to believe him, even though he knows this is not true.
So where does this leave us, as we consider whether Donald Trump believes the outrageous stuff he says? The only answer is that he doesn’t believe it, but he doesn’t care what damage he does to his country. Even if it makes people suffer and die, or leads them to take up arms against make believe enemies, he will keep it up for as long as the cash flows in and the faithful tell him he’s a winner.