"Trump Humiliated on Twitter" is among the more common verdicts these days. It has actually been so for a year or more. Maybe two years. It is an easy enough thing to say, given the volume of his tweets which number more than 30K.

More often than not, each tweet has been the occasion for massive news coverage. I use the term "news" advisedly. Trump tweet coverage is front page, not editorial page.

But my quibble is not with the media for rising to the bait. It is novel. It is easy to cover. It gets readers by the millions. Why then is it wrong?

Outrageousness wins

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to come up with the right answer. Trump is never humiliated. That is the first answer. The second is more to the point. Trump knows what the scions of publicity have always known. The winner is the one who gets the views. If you can outrage your way to fame, do it.

But there is an addition to the formula that protects Trump from the fate reserved for losers. You doubtless have forgotten the names of Roman Catholic predators who were in the headlines during the huge assault on sexual abuse in the church. Notoriety alone does not ensure victory. Far from it. The illusion of veracity must also be present.

Just right

It is like those children's stories where mixtures are presented.

One is too hot. Another too cold. But the one in the middle, neither too hot nor too cold. wins. Trump has been schooled all his life in the art of presenting himself as neither too hot nor too cold. His base exults in having a hero whose transgressions are either inconsequential of fake news.

Humiliation is not part of the equation.


So how does one effectively oppose this? The answer is that no one has yet found a way. If hope could win, Trump would be cooling his heels in his Tower. For every outrage, Trump creates a new diversion. It is an endless drama. Spooking those around him is part of the drill. Leaks from the White House concerned for Trump's sanity are no problem.

They are as ineffective as videos that say Johnson killed JFK.

No joke

The problem is that behind these stories of seeming humiliation lie real events where evil in the form of hurt and harm is done. When power is wed to outrageousness, things become more than confused. They eat at our psyches.

It is no joke Gorsuch got confirmed in a hail of tweets saying what a great fellow he is. He is now the decisive element in the Supreme Court and a rubber stamp for Trump. Is that humiliation? Was Trump humiliated by having to make a multimillion-dollar settlement for defrauding Trump University marks? Or did you forget that story?

Trump's psyche is beyond anyone's capacity to fathom. But he has been helped thus far, not humiliated, by his Twitter methodology.