The Only Honor Is Corruption

Evan Vucci/AP

I wanted to add a point about Donald Trump’s pretty transparent sexualized attack on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). The attack speaks for itself. But there’s a less disgraceful but also revealing subtext, one which President Trump returns to again and again.

Trump routinely levels attacks like this. Democratic Politician A always came asking for political contributions. Now that I’m a Republican and a conservative President, they’re against me. In other words, they’re clearly shown to be a fraud, hypocrite, disloyal person.

This seems like a fairly major misunderstanding about how our politics are at least supposed to work. If Politician A solicits political contributions from Apolitical Businessperson B or one who gives equally to both parties and then sees Apolitical Businessperson B stake out a public politics that clashes dramatically with the Politician A’s beliefs we’d expect Politician A to opposes formerly Apolitical Businessperson B. If they didn’t, if they continued to support the now President’s extremist politics, which were starkly different from their own, because of past political contributions, we’d rightly consider the politician to be corrupt.

This is clearly not how Donald Trump sees it.

To the President, soliciting political contributions creates a bond of subservience against which any subsequent caviling about mammoth political differences is either sleazy, hypocritical or disloyal.

What it all amounts is that personal loyalty, a kind of mafia-like allegiance, is the only legitimate mode of interaction. Which is to say, in Trumpthink, only corruption has legitimacy.