- "And I know more about wedges than any human being that's ever lived, but I'll let you know."
- "I was always the best at what I did, I was the -- I was, you know, I went to the -- I went to the Wharton School of Finance, did well."
- "I created maybe the greatest brand."
- "Just -- and so -- so I was successful, successful, successful."
- "I was always the best athlete, people don't know that."
- "And then people say oh, is he a smart person? I'm smarter than all of them put together, but they can't admit it."
- "I've been, you know, pretty successful in the courts over the years, I've been a very successful person, you can check."
- "No, I'm not a racist. I'm the least racist person you will ever interview."
When that friend left, you might think to yourself: That guy is overcompensating. A lot.
Now, imagine if your friend was Donald Trump. And you don't even have to imagine because all of those quotes above have come out of the mouth of the President of the United States since Thursday.
There's a tendency -- given the absolute flood of Trump content created by this President and his White House -- to overlook any one (or any handful) of his outlandish statements. Yes, we know Trump is a braggart -- and always has been -- so what else is new?
True-ish. Except that:
- We are talking about the President of the United States here.
- Just because he says and does lots of abnormal things -- if "normal" is defined by how all presidents before him acted -- does not mean we should stop cataloging the strangeness and analyzing it.
Ask yourself this: Does the smartest person you know often mention how bright they are, what their IQ is or where they went to college? Does the best athlete you know repeatedly inform you of their athletic prowess? How about a very successful businessman? Do they spend most of their time talking about how much money they have? (OK, some probably do.)
The point here is obvious but not unimportant: Trump is overcompensating for lots of things with his constant pronouncements about his wealth, his fame, his brain, his athleticism. And, yes, with his assertion Sunday night that he is "the least racist person you will ever interview."
Trump's history of fomenting and exploiting racial animus for his own personal/political gain is beyond dispute. (Don't believe me? Check this out from The New York Times
.) He is, at some level, aware of this fact and insecure about it. And so, we get the assertion that he is not only not racist but is, in fact, the least racist person out there.
You should believe me on this. I am the single greatest journalist in the history of western civilization. You can check.