Freudian Slip of the Decade

One of the most pernicious and frustrating effects of the Donald Trump Fantasy President Show is the manner in which this once-in-a-lifetime political virus has learned to exploit hidden constitutional weaknesses in conservative-minded souls that had formerly appeared semi-reasonable, or even eminently reasonable, but which, through the virus’ ability to attach itself to a host’s most corrupted cells and then mysteriously inflate and metastasize these, have sadly been transformed into little more than very bleak shadows of their previously reasonable selves. 

Even the most thoughtful man, or perhaps especially such a man, may retain within him a residue of childish sensitivity about some abstract “elite” who did not admit him to the fraternity, and will therefore have a permanent soft spot for any bully or “protector” type who seems to be sticking it to the “in crowd.” The bookish thinker or nerd often harbors a secret wish to belong to something, to be accepted (because he usually lacked that feeling in his youth), and then, later in life, terrified at the thought that even the little social club to which he has quietly managed to attach himself might reject him and leave him completely alone with his books and his thoughts again, will suddenly throw himself at the mercy of the club’s members, begging them not to forsake him, insisting that his erudition has a valuable role to play in their club if only they will give him a second chance. 

And in the name of clinging to his social security blanket, such a man might abandon all principle, all sobriety, all his own former opinions, anything to continue belonging, which, having previously been a secret and guilty desire, increasingly becomes the overriding concern, until the quiet, sober thinker devolves into a monster of primordial tribal enthusiasm, incapable of forming an original or detached thought, and unwilling to express anything that might jeopardize his warm protection within the mind-devouring embrace of the tribe.

The man’s soul has been turned inside out, as it were, by the Donald Trump Fantasy President Show virus. Whereas he had been a reasonable, sober thinker with a few recessive remnants of immature weakness related to past resentments, rejections, or insecurities (typical of the intellectual type), he has now become a rationalizing concatenation of appeasement and group conformity, with his reason and detachment now being the recessive traits, sustained only so far as to provide him with a defining role or compartment within his collective, “the thinker.”

But that reasoning creature is still in there, though buried. The man in this condition, corrupted by the DTFPS virus, always knows, in his heart of hearts, that he is being disingenuous, that he has faltered, that he is motivated mostly by fear of failing — of losing his friends, his readers, his connections, his long-developed structures of identity and achievement. 

And with that by way of an introduction, I give you Roger Kimball, one of the saddest victims of the Trump pandemic, who outdid himself in self-revelation on November 12th, with this beautiful comment on Twitter.

“…the voter fraud that is being perpetrated on the American fraud.” 

Yes, that about sums it up, in one perfect Freudian slip. And Roger Kimball, since flipping his soul inside out in late 2016, is part of that “American fraud,” irredeemably. He is no longer essentially an eminent art theorist, culture critic, and general conservative intellectual. He is just another whining Trump fanatic, no more graceful, thoughtful, or coherent than the others — but perhaps a little more actively harmful to his country and its culture than most of the others.

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