Trump is not a Hypocrite

I cannot disagree with Damon Linker’s assessment:

Trump follows just one, unwavering standard: the advancement of his own good. If electoral meddling by a hostile foreign power benefits him, he has no problem with it. If the meddling harms him, he’s outraged by it. No hypocrisy. Just perfectly consistent, morally poisonous egoism.

Hypocrisy is impossible for Trump because hypocrisy presumes a standard external to the self from which a person can fall short. Trump recognizes no such standard. He’s what human life looks like when the higher, vertical, elevated dimension of morality has been utterly vacated or erased, leaving behind just the individual and his appetites craving to be fed.

FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, US Politics,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. CSK says:

    I read Linker’s piece the other day. It makes excellent points. Trump is purely a creature of appetite and impulse, and the consummate solipsist.

  2. Janis Gore says:

    Cane toads are incapable of higher thought. There’s not a word you can say today that wasn’t already cliche two months ago or ten years ago.

  3. CSK says:

    @Janis Gore:

    Cane toads are also a more attractive form of carbon-based life than Trump.

  4. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Sociopath, yes, but certainly not a hypocrite.

    He has standards, doncha know.

  5. AndrewBW says:

    See also:

    Trump Solo

    “I think I did: the only apartment with a better view than the best apartment in the world was the same apartment. Except for the one across the Park, which had the most spectacular living room in the world. No one had ever seen a granite house before. And, most important, every square inch belonged to Trump, who had aspired to and achieved the ultimate luxury, an existence unmolested by the rumbling of a soul. “Trump”—a fellow with universal recognition but with a suspicion that an interior life was an intolerable inconvenience, a creature everywhere and nowhere, uniquely capable of inhabiting it all at once, all alone. “

  6. @AndrewBW:

    Everywhere inside the Trump Organization headquarters, the walls were lined with framed magazine covers, each a shot of Trump or someone who looked an awful lot like him. The profusion of these images—of a man who possessed unusual skills, though not, evidently, a gene for irony—seemed the sum of his appetite for self-reflection. His unique talent—being “Trump” or, as he often referred to himself, “the Trumpster,” looming ubiquitous by reducing himself to a persona—exempted him from introspection.