Only as an irate “F-ck You” does the mystery clear: why Trump fiddled for 187 minutes while the Capitol burned

How well America survives Trumpism depends on how well current efforts establish for all time who Trump was and what he remains.


Corrosive psychic wounds best explains the crime of the century – prolonging the Jan. 6 rampage.

Until Jan. 6, zealots routinely covered over Trump’s most bizarre behavior with fanciful or partisan “explanations.” He hated how the pandemic would pulverize “his” economic spurt (and re-election) so he crudely denied its potency, naturally overplaying by pushing toxic cures (to trivialize the threat?). Ditto, Trump had no psychic defenses against his re-election debacle so he went instant make-believe: “it’s rigged, a fraud and ploy by evil Democrats to steal my triumph” (the Big Fail demanded the Big Lie). For Trump the crackpot criminal, neither hypocrisy nor truth ever interfered with endless pandering, spiced with reactionary rage.

What stands out 18 months later is why the vast, lunatic conspiracy machine has not poured forth even nitwit defenses. Who in power has explicated why Trump (truly acting alone) committed political and legal suicide by cheering on three hours of violent uproar? Top Republicans who stood by countless Trump travesties are revealingly mute, letting the tin-pot terrorist flap in the investigatory winds. What neither recent insider testimony, nor vapid family members, nor party leaders can defend is what all now know is indefensible. That’s the second conundrum to be unwound, equivalent to the opening 187 minute singularity. 

For months some believed that Trump deliberately refused to call off the dogs to keep pressure on his VP, still deluded this latest machination was not doomed. Maybe so, but Pence held firm – and how would threatening a hanging serve as the most persuasive ploy? Last week surfaced a second “explanation” – that Trump held off to avoid awarding the media, cited by ex-press staffer Sarah Matthews, in turn quoting another staffer who alleged a quick end to the riot would hand “a win to the media.” So the deranged Trump, overcome by one more dismal calamity, suddenly couldn’t after four years stand one more wave of bad press? Maybe true, but not the whole picture. Yes, Trump played the media. but “public disgrace” had become his middle name – as his fistful of dead-end, illegal election coup schemes imploded into dust. 

So this second theory is no more conclusive than the first. Does not the belligerent mob, and the first ever, presidentially-driven insurrection, instantly despoil the Trump brand, whatever the riot’s duration? Within minutes, TV coverage confirmed the horror, even before Pence death threats and actual fatalities, thus the universal Trump-world outpouring that begged him to call it off. When Congress fled (undeterred in any case from approval), the scam was over. A half hour of Capitol trashing would have confirmed that Trumpers were “mad as hell and wouldn’t take it anymore.” Three-plus manic hours exposed only psychotic self-indulgence by both the clownish, dangerous rioters and the seditious, dangerous president. Trump clearly reveled in the violence — altogether designed to humiliate all “foes” once and for all, namely the American majority, law, elections, Congress and the Constitution. How nice to make it a package deal. 

Brutality drives Trump-world

The Criminal-in-chief didn’t just want to ignite a “wild,” epic ruckus, nor IMO was he anymore paralyzed or less manipulative for three hours than across four years. The delusional, crisis junkie/TV addict was relishing the damage (and imagery) caused by the mob, even the murderous cries. Behold the Anti-president enjoying a peak life experience – the first one in months, worthy to be savored. He had ordered his stooges to obliterate the symbol of entrenched order and power (history and credibility), oblivious to the great irony that his destructive march on the Capitol simultaneously destroyed his personal political capital, even nomination prospects. Downhill IMO ever since. 

When months later no plausible, tactical or rational explanation appears, must we not look to psychological derangement? Here was one profoundly sick puppy without a clue what served (or demolished) his best interests. When reasons evaporate, look to irrationality, thus I invoke pathology. Trump’s mob fulfilled his life quest to bellow forth the loudest “F-ck you” to as many people as possible from the greatest podium imaginable. And he was protected (he falsely schemed) by delegating the onslaught to moronic minions. The rampage against the Capitol was, to use Trumpian diction, the “perfect” volcanic explosion to suit volcanic rage. Finally, he found sufficiently cruel, destructive punishment against all “enemies” who ever injured his majesty, declaring “you are not lovable, even a monster; you are not the invulnerable, unstoppable world leader you fantasize; and your electoral temper tantrums will crash and burn.” These are unendurable messages for a deeply scared narcissist.

Thanks to Trump’s transparent parade of clinical deviance, those paying attention comprehend the basic dynamics of the malignant narcissist. It’s not that complicated: the sickest narcissist insists on being a big shot, though feels wounded (whatever the cause) and unworthy (terrified he’s just an ordinary putz). As a result, he (or she) cannot confront his internal contradictions (never therapy), defaulting to denial and self-deception. Trapped in this doomed dynamic, the narcissist tries every which way to fill the emotional (love) void but mistakenly with material success, status, treasure or fame. What Jan. 6 exposed is the malicious narcissist at the end of his rope: every phony election maneuver, from November through January, blew up in his face, doubling down the agony. 

Beside himself with frustration and seething rage, Trump’s unconscious took over; that’s the outcome when cornered, violent crazies hit the wall, left only with screaming “F-ck You,” then throwing hard fists. And this president, with a dim, obedient cult following, made the loudest, most disruptive outcry in America history. Such sickies delude themselves into thinking they can do anything, even overcome (and overturn) the greatest antagonist ever: the bulwark of American institutions assuring election integrity and majority rule. When serial temper tantrums fail, aggression follows, no matter who gets hurt, how risky the chances, or what heinous penalties this toxic frenzy incites. How predictable that such desperados, utterly out of options, lash out with whatever means are at hand. Thus all sides are blooded. The world is never quite the same after the inexcusable is committed.

The putz stands alone, more disgraced than ever

Narcissism unshaken, Trump will push the Big Lie – and his grift for greatness – until his final breath. Convictions, even jail, will not redeem him (thus malignant narcissism). He will no doubt again send “love” to the pathetic suckers willing to be cannon fodder. He will penalize even children and supporters if they appear to undermine him. He will never concede an error, let alone murderous intent, and never apologize. He has enough money to shield himself from both reality and legal challenges, buying his freedom if plea bargains offer it. 

Unlike movies, truly nasty bad guys do get away with blackmail, witness tampering, theft, even murder, and nothing will dent Trump’s iron-clad defense mechanisms. Victimhood, delusion and denial will remain final comfort feasts, in jail or not. The key to understanding the full pathology is that the rampaging narcissist will use any means to punish opponents with all his might. Less about Pence or the media, Trump’s fatal riot was the calculated, ultimate Trump “F-ck you” to all his real and phantom enemies, his doomed ploy to “get even.” Not pretty but answers to the facts: here, for 187 minutes, is the real Trump in the raw.

Trump aside – and so past his pull date he’s morphed into a political pestilence for both parties – there remains a glimmer of hope for past supporters willing to escape their fruitless messiah trip. True, loyalty to Trump after his execrable performances remain shocking to this day – as sobering as all those misguided, aggrieved 2016 citizens who judged this unqualified TV reality star/con artist a positive, constructive leader. Even take down the secular, urban, coastal elitists and the fabricated, demonic deep state. That turned out well – in fact, reinforcing establishment forces nowq pooling resources to put an end to the Trump terror.

Over time, multiple indictments and multiple trials, even a conviction or two, must occur before America can close out the terrible Trump treachery. How much resolution happens depends on how effectively current leaders, prosecutors and juries confirm for all time and for all who will listen who Trump was and what he remains. If not, the future is not just darker than we imagine, but darker than we can imagine.


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For over a decade, Robert S. Becker's independent, rebel-rousing essays on politics and culture analyze overall trends, history, implications, messaging and frameworks. He has been published widely, aside from Nation of Change and RSN, with extensive credits from OpEdNews (as senior editor), Alternet, Salon, Truthdig, Smirking Chimp, Dandelion Salad, Beyond Chron, and the SF Chronicle. Educated at Rutgers College, N.J. (B.A. English) and U.C. Berkeley (Ph.D. English), Becker left university teaching (Northwestern, then U. Chicago) for business, founding SOTA Industries, a top American high end audio company he ran from '80 to '92. From '92-02, he was an anti-gravel mining activist while doing marketing, business and writing consulting. Since then, he seeks out insight, even wit in the shadows, without ideology or righteousness across the current mayhem of American politics.