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What Donald Trump’s Lady Gaga delusion shows us

So apparently one of my least favorite humans, Donald Trump, is taking credit for launching the career of another of my least favorite humans, Lady Gaga, in his new book.

Well, here’s a sentence I never thought I’d write: it’s worth looking at Trump’s thought process.

From the article:

Trump explained that he owns the Miss Universe pageant where Lady Gaga got her start. “About four years ago, during what you call half-time, we always have an entertainer,” he wrote. “We’ve had a lot of great people, and you don’t pay them anything because it’s one of the biggest audiences and my people told me, ‘Nobody knows who she is, but there’s this woman with good talent named Lady Gaga.”

Trump agreed to add her to the bill. Lady Gaga performed “Just dance” and set the crowd ablaze. “Nobody was talking about Miss Universe, everybody was talking, ‘Who was the woman, who was the entertainer? She was unbelievable,’” he shared.

I have no interest in Gaga’s career, but the Wikipedia article on her goes into mind-numbing detail about her rise to stardom and doesn’t even mention the Miss Universe thing. So, probably not that important.

And the thing is, even in Trump’s own narrative, his people found Gaga, and all he did was agree to what they recommended.

So, assuming that Trump is sincere, how did “My people recommended her for a show, when she was already well on her way, and I agreed” become, in his mind, “I launched her career?”

I say, you have to be in the habit of thinking that way–of taking credit for every damn thing your subordinates do, and then magnifying it beyond recognition. Which is why I risked breaking out in hives by talking about Trump and Gaga in the first place. This squalid little episode shows, in microcosm, the reigning ideology of our times: the idea that the person on top of the pyramid deserves the credit, and the reward, for anything anyone in the pyramid does. Trump is one of the people who ram that ideology down our throats every chance he gets.  Apparently he’s come to believe his own propaganda. In fact, he’s probably believed it for a while; how else could someone who was given the family real-estate business by his millionaire father write a book telling the rest of us how to get rich?

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