Comment: Few things about Trump seem more remarkable to me than that he was perfectly able to sustain the most vile accusations and vitriol, at an intensity and pervasiveness without any precedent in modern times, and with virtually no support from any quarter of our culture with a voice, and come out fighting — and winning.
In some ways, it’s hard to reconcile Trump’s seeming hyper-reactivity to criticism with his ultimate ability to shrug it off and push on — but there it is.
Trump really is a remarkable man and an outsize personality. I can’t think of another individual who even remotely approaches him in these ways.
It’s worthwhile to contrast him with other billionaires, who seem to be eager above all to be approved as good, virtuous citizens by the cultural powers that be. One might think that, having earned more than enough “f**k you money” for a thousand lifetimes, they would be happy to speak their mind and not care about the consequences. But that seems to be no more true of them than it is of academics who have achieved tenure.
The general abjectness of today’s billionaire class — and Bill Gates is a splendid example — is a deeply discouraging sight. Bill Gates, who once upon a time, was notorious for deriding certain of his workers for lacking sufficient IQ, now affects to the world that everybody is the same. What a pathetic figure he has become.