The venom and vengeance of President Trump

He's been president for just a few days. And already, he's wildly and cruelly lashing out.

President Trump
(Image credit: Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)

There are very few politicians who wouldn't say they love people, particularly American people, who are infinitely wise and kind and generous and good-looking. Sure it's phony, but there's a truth underneath the pandering: It's awfully hard to run for office if you aren't something of a people-person, someone who can at least tolerate endless sessions of glad-handing and back-slapping, telling everyone you meet how excited you are to see them and how much you value their opinion.

But as usual, President Trump is the exception to the rule. He has few real friends, and has seemed to go through life wondering only whom he could take advantage of. He divides the world into those who serve him — these are the best people, really terrific, let me tell ya — and those who oppose him — this latter group is a bunch of dishonest, failing losers. Incredibly, he managed to get elected president of the United States not only without changing this attitude but by making it abundantly clear. He didn't pretend to want everyone's vote, or to be eager to work with anyone to find solutions to problems. And as soon as the election was over he went on a "thank you" tour of only the states that he won, which was as much about telling the other states to buzz off as it was about thanking anyone.

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Paul Waldman

Paul Waldman is a senior writer with The American Prospect magazine and a blogger for The Washington Post. His writing has appeared in dozens of newspapers, magazines, and web sites, and he is the author or co-author of four books on media and politics.