I know a person who thrives on a well-ingrained sense of victimhood. After his parents divorced, his father remarried; his stepmother supposedly disliked him. She and his father had two sons whom his father liked and, and so he opined, nurtured more than he. Each has had a successful career. This person has struggled. He is now married to his third wife.
He takes no responsibility for his upsets. He is an unapologetic narcissist. He constantly complains. A relationship with him does not improve in time. His life and its trials do not differ from others’ upbringings. He has chosen the negative, woe-is-me route of life. I have known many who will themselves to adopt the positive and lead fruitful journeys despite dysfunctional childhoods.
Not this guy.
The master of victimhood is our former president. As everyone knows, he holds himself unaccountable for his 2020 election loss and his legal morass. He confronts any responsibility for illegal actions with his favorite term: “witch hunt.” And childish insults for his critics.
And his fervent followers and weak-kneed Republican enablers support his pathetic, grievance-ridden narrative.
Some Spy readers will think: “Here he goes again condemning a flawed but effective president.” I question his effectiveness. Our allies distrusted him. Close advisers questioned his judgment. One characterized him as a moron.
Should he win a second term, our democracy will face incalculable damage at the sleazy hands of a despot determined to undermine the U.S. Constitution. Canada will endure its own border immigration crisis, as Americans, fearful of living in a country ruled by a dangerous narcissist, will flock to our neighbor to the north.
We will suffer through another four years of chaos and corruption. Democratic processes matter not. Civility is an elite concept. Appropriate presidential conduct is unnecessary. An amoral wave of behavior in the Oval Office will engulf our country.
Am I concerned that this deranged person might win? Absolutely.
He has an undeniable appeal to people who consider him a friend of the alienated and angry. His disciples view his political opponents as oblivious to everyday problems.
They do not trust the government; nor does the former chief executive. They hate the East Coast elites. So does he. They despise the media. So does he. They believe in illegal insurrections. So does he.
The beginning of the year is a time for optimism and hope. As it should be.
I dearly wish I could envision a reality that does not include a self-appointed victim and victimizer. Unfortunately, I cannot. I wish to see lightness, instead of darkness. Reality hounds me.
I am fretful. I am fearful.
I urge readers who share my obsessive worry—Democrats, Independents and mainstream Republicans–to participate fully in the 2024 election. Donate to the Democratic candidate, whether it is Joe Biden or someone else. Place a sign in front of your house. Join phone banks. Protect our fragile democracy.
And vote—do not stay home.
This column provides a platform for my beliefs and observations. I would be sadly remiss were I to ignore the danger posed by a person who cares
little, if at all about a cause above himself.
He is an inveterate liar. The truth is foreign and distasteful to him.
While I do not plan for this column, celebrating its tenth anniversary in July 2024, to become a political polemic, I must declare my love of country and concern about its future. We know what we would get should the former president be re-elected. He will be equally irresponsible.
Fear and intimidation are foolish ways to manage people. To be reluctant to criticize the narcissistic former president for fear of a bombastic personal attack is ridiculous.
Who cares if he mocks the critic? I believe it to be a badge of honor.
Columnist Howard Freedlander retired in 2011 as Deputy State Treasurer of the State of Maryland. Previously, he was the executive officer of the Maryland National Guard. He also served as community editor for Chesapeake Publishing, lastly at the Queen Anne’s Record-Observer. After 44 years in Easton, Howard and his wife, Liz, moved in November 2020 to Annapolis, where they live with Toby, a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel who has no regal bearing, just a mellow, enticing disposition.