For Donald Trump, what began as farce is ending as tragedy

Marilynne Robinson in The Guardian:

A kinder fate might have cast Donald J Trump as a maitre d’ in the world of swank, careful to save the best tables for his best customers, warmly responsive to a good tip, the ultimate outsider as insider, being and also impersonating a man whose fondest memory of youth is the first time he heard “I Did It My Way.” But fate was not kind. It made him a billionaire of sorts with a trick of putting his name on vodka bottles and casinos, of growing richer through bankruptcies and bad debt, of enthralling the tabloids. And yet, despite all this, Manhattan seems to have remained unimpressed. A tower almost as tall as he said it was, remarkable hair, and yet he was the baffled outsider trying to figure out what he was getting wrong. What began as farce is ending as tragedy.

Fate truly outdid herself when she made him president of the United States. From this pinnacle of attainment he was able to look out over a vast world that was largely and unshakably certain he did not belong there. It would be easier to grant the pathos of his situation if his response to it had not been so largely bitterness and rage, and if his great office had not magnified his petulance into a force that could destabilize the republic.

The attack on the US Capitol, perhaps satisfying as revenge, was still a serious miscalculation. Trump told his mob once again that he had been cheated out of re-election, then sent them off to the Capitol where his defeat, an accomplished fact, was being formalized and finalized in deference to law and tradition, two sources of exasperation that had nagged him since he first set foot in the Oval Office. Which, by the way, is not all that spectacular.

More here.

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