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Trump’s Closing Argument: The Unfairness Never Ends

Trump's Grievance-Laden Interview with Rush Limbaugh
October 9, 2020
Featured Image
President Donald J. Trump, joined by Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, participates in a phone call with Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, in his conference room at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

With less than a month until the election President Donald Trump took an extended break from treating his own case of the Rona, managing the country’s pandemic, and insulting his counterparty in his bizarre “negotiation” over whether or not to provide economic relief to American families and businesses.

Why?

Because the president needed to squeeze in some time with Rush Limbaugh on the EIB Network in what was otherwise a “jam-packed day.” (The president was also scheduled to be on with Mark Levin and Tucker Carlson later in the day).

Over the course of a wheels-off, 120 minute jag, El Rushbo and El Presidente Naranja focused on all of the important questions that America’s undecided voters have been puzzling over:

  • The Durham Investigation
  • Cuckservative Paul Ryan
  • The television ratings of the NBA
  • Hillary’s emails
  • “Back in chains”
  • Chris Hahn
  • The Wall
  • Indian accents at 7-11
  • Stolen ballots
  • Regeneron
  • Antifa
  • Obamagate
  • And, of course, the Russia Hoax.

This is your brain on Rush.

But beneath the fan service was one unmistakable message that these two tragically sick, fabulously rich, geriatric white men wanted to get across: People have been mean to them and life is unfair.

Or as Rush put it after the president finished a lengthy diatribe about how Fox News lost its way after serial sexual harasser Roger Ailes was replaced at the network: “The unfairness never ends.”

Boy. Howdy.

Is there anything that sums up the Trump-Limbaugh worldview better than, “the unfairness never ends?”

Throughout their burn book session, the message was simply that “they” (the media, the left, professional athletes) criticize “us.” That despite having the presidency and the most listened to talk radio show in the history of the country, they don’t have the complete cultural hegemony that they require to be satisfied.

And while that might seem insane to those who are outside this grievance bubble, it is exactly what the dittoheads want to hear.

They want to be the ones who are righteously aggrieved. They are sick of hearing about how Black Lives Matter. (“a terrible term, a racist term” – Trump). They are sick of hearing about the treatment of immigrants. They are sick of hearing about women who are sexually assaulted in the workplace by men like Donald Trump.

They want a victimization narrative they can make their own. And nobody is better at giving it to them than the boy from Queens who never got the respect he thought he deserved, even after he became President of the United States.

So without a real desire win over new people, but with a deep abiding sense of how unfair everyone has been to him his entire life, the president delivered the closing message of his campaign to the legions of Limbaugh stans:

I am a victim.

Of Maggie Haberman. Of the Deep State. Of Fox News. Of China. Of Black Lives Matter. Of everyone that you don’t like.

And if you want to be a victim too, let’s Make America Great Again, Again.

The unfairness will never end.

Tim Miller

Tim Miller is The Bulwark's writer-at-large and a communications consultant. He previously served as senior advisor to the anti-Trump Our Principles PAC, communications director for Jeb Bush, and spokesman for the Republican National Committee.