‘They love him like he is the second coming of God’

‘They love him like he is the second coming of God’ August 21, 2019

Imagine someone — anyone — said something this over-the-top about you:

President Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world and the Jewish people in Israel love him like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God. But American Jews don’t know him or like him. They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense! But that’s OK, if he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’s good for all Jews, Blacks, Gays, everyone.

You, like almost anyone else, would be squirming with discomfort at the superlative extravagance of it. You would recognize that its absurd superlatives undermine the hyperbolic praise being heaped on you — that such claims don’t just negate their own excessive grasp, but actually call into question anything positive that anyone has to say about you. You would fear that such a statement’s dismissive diminution of literally everyone who wasn’t you would serve as an invitation to deflate such nonsense, an invitation to inspect your every action with extreme critical skepticism.

You would also notice that the statement is, explicitly, what the vast majority of Christians would regard as blasphemy. You would realize that Jews would also see that “second coming of God” bit as blasphemous, but that they’d likely be more upset by the statement’s weird hard turn into a condescendingly anti-Semitic rant against “American Jews.”

You would, in short, be horrified that such a thing was being said about you. You would recognize that “praise” of this sort would result in lasting damage to your reputation, causing you to look almost as ridiculous as it does. And you would be keenly aware, regardless of whatever praiseworthy things you may otherwise have done, that such over-the-moon adulation is not and cannot ever be true.

So you would quickly take steps to distance yourself from the statement, making it clear that you recognize it is not accurate or true, that you do not think of yourself in this way, that you do not approve of its sneering ignorance or of its idolatrously worshipful tone. You would apologize to everyone so flagrantly disrespected by this misguided performance of undeserved respect for you.

You would not do any of that because you are exceptionally wise or virtuous. You would do that because you’re not a delusional narcissist. Distancing yourself from this statement, apologizing to those disrespected, and making it clear that you understand such praise to be ridiculously inaccurate is the bare minimum behavior we would expect from any decent, rational, non-depraved individual.

Trump retweeted it. In three parts so he could quote the whole thing, approvingly.

Edel Rodriguez for Der Spiegel

Now let’s consider a second statement of over-the-top praise and how you would likely respond if your name were invoked in this way:

I Thank God everyday Donald John Trump is President and that he will launch a Racial War and Crusade to keep the N—rs, Sp–s, and Muslims and any dangerous non-White or Ethnically or Culturally Foreign group “In Line” By In Line” it is meant they will either be sent to “Concentration Camps” or dealt with Ruthlessly and Vigorously by the United States Military.”

The very first bit there might be something you’d be happy to hear. It’s nice to think that someone is so grateful for your existence that they thank God for you every day. (Or even that they Thank God for you everyday — you don’t need to admire their grammar to appreciate their apparently heartfelt gratitude.)

But that is swept away by everything that follows, which clarifies that this person is so utterly grateful for you because they believe you’re basically the second coming of Hitler. Everything after that initial expression of thanksgiving is a monstrous accusation, describing you as a lethal, genocidal embodiment of evil.

This statement led to the arrest of the man making it: “Maryland man arrested in Seattle, accused of threatening to kill all Hispanics.” It’s one of a host of graphically threatening Facebook messages the man sent to various Hispanics. He also expressed his admiration for Adolf Hitler.

I’m pretty sure this man is unwell (which does not, in any way, mean that he’s not also ferociously racist). He clearly is a danger to others and to himself.

But if a Hitler-loving, violence-loving, genocidal fantasist praised you, insisting that they thanked God for you every day and accusing you of sharing their morbid, racist dreams of mass-murder, you would feel obliged to say something. You would be obliged to say something. And you would.

You would publicly reject the man’s praise of you and unambiguously condemn his lethally lurid Manson-wannabe agenda of a “Racial War and Crusade.”

Anybody would do that. Anybody who was not themselves a delusional narcissist.

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