In a Daily Intelligencer column, British gay conservative Andrew Sullivan questioned Donald Trump’s sanity and tied the president to the fall of Western civilization.
Sullivan first brought up the Trump administration’s history of telling immense, bizarre lies:
Trump’s lies are different. They are direct refutations of reality—and their propagation and repetition is about enforcing his power rather than wriggling out of a political conundrum. They are attacks on the very possibility of a reasoned discourse, the kind of bald-faced lies that authoritarians issue as a way to test loyalty and force their subjects into submission.
Is it really that extraordinary, though? Our last Republican president told us that Iraq was harboring weapons of mass destruction—a complete lie that has killed over half a million people so far.
Sullivan went on to say:
This man is off his rocker. He’s deranged; he’s bizarrely living in an alternative universe; he’s delusional.
Sullivan also spoke about Trump’s sanity on CNN:
It’s worth noting here that establishment conservatives—presumably “sane” ones, for Sullivan hasn’t questioned their mental health—haven’t done anything about Trump’s apparent madness. Why should they? Trump’s carrying out all of their wishes. In that sense, Trump’s lies are useful and necessary, which makes telling them a rather sensible thing to do.
(Sullivan doesn’t have much room to talk, though. As a lifelong conservative, he’s partially responsible for promoting the diseased mindset that Trump espouses. Sullivan has a long history of pushing “racial science” that uses IQ tests to “prove” that some races just aren’t as smart as others; he also complained that political correctness was oppressing him by making it unacceptable to do that. Sullivan worked for The New Republic, a publication that frequently denounced multiculturalism and even published sections of The Bell Curve, a book with strong eugenicist leanings.)
The gaslighting technique Trump’s administration uses—of lying to us and then telling us we’re crazy when we question it—is one well-beloved by conservatives. They’ve been calling women hysterical for ages, simply for wanting equal rights. They’ve been calling LGBTQ people sick for wanting to get married. They’ve been calling black people angry thugs simply for not wanting to get shot.
Sullivan and other polite, intellectual conservatives are horrified by Trump in the way that Dr. Frankenstein was horrified by his monster. Yes, it’s a hideous, evil thing. But establishment conservatives, you made this.