Half of him is crazed with power, high on the belief that he's less than five months away from being able to get back at every single person who ever slighted him, however slightly. He is the most easily offended human we've ever seen, and he forgets, let alone forgives, nothing. If you ever criticized him, or even worse, laughed at him -- because he is not to be ridiculed, okay? Do not mock him! He is not a figure of fun -- you're dead when he gets in.
The other half is crazed with fear, knowing that he's not up to this job -- he can't be President of the United States, are you fucking kidding? -- and that, even worse, he doesn't want to be, it's the worst job in the world and how the fuck did he get HERE?
This internal war has been going on since the opening minutes of his campaign, when, after magnificently descending that escalator, the madman ranted about what he was going to do to the Mexicans while his subconscious tried to nip the whole thing in the bud by calling them rapists. But the army of the aggrieved -- those pissed-off Americans who'd been tricked into voting against their own financial interests only to find, after 40-plus years of fighting the culture wars, that there's a black family in the White House, gays are getting married, and they have less money -- had been waiting for someone to take up their cause, and they found their man in the Troll of Anger and Umbrage, Trumpelthinskin.
The slender thread of sanity in his subconscious went into overdrive, emitting cry after cry for help, desperately trying to abort the mission: "I like people that weren't captured," "There was blood coming out of her wherever," quote after depraved quote, any single one of which would have destroyed the campaign of any other presidential candidate we've ever seen. But his supporters had found their champion and nothing could loosen his hold on them. As he said in late January, "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose any voters." It was the half-century update of John Lennon's "We're more popular than Jesus," missing only John's wit and irony. And he lost no voters for saying it.
There was no stopping him. Whenever he tried to cross the line, he learned that it had been pulled further back. Even his presenting the nation with the previously unimaginable spectacle of a candidate for the presidency viciously mocking a disabled reporter -- a preternaturally ugly moment -- failed to repel his fans. (This classic blast of contempt, for not just one man but for humanity itself, constitutes the only two seconds you need to see from his 70 years of malignancy to know everything you need to know about him. Here it is, put to brilliant use in this Priority USA PAC ad, possibly the most viscerally devastating minute since the 1964 LBJ Daisy Ad. And all the while, with few exceptions, the money-grubbing media and the craven cowards of the Republican Party, despite knowing that he is a mentally ill menace to the nation and to the world, fell into a treasonous line behind him.
The point for him, of course, was never to win. The point was to shine up the old brand while not embarrassing himself. Instead, so great was the self-loathing at the heart of his Brobdingnagian narcissism that in a year he took himself from America's Most Vulgar Buffoon to America's Most Despised Human. He accomplished everything he didn't want to accomplish: he poisoned rather than enhanced the brand, utterly humiliated himself by proudly exposing the hate in his heart, and to add injury to insult, he won the nomination -- the last thing he wanted. (Watch his announcement speech again and you might think that Ivanka, the daughter he serially jokes about lusting after, had some sense that this might not end well.)
Which brings us to where we are now. Not since Nixon has there been a politician who so openly despises the press, and that's an attitude that doesn't generate much good will. The media has turned on him with a vengeance. His past is finally being excavated. A lot of rotting corpses are being gleefully unearthed, and there are many more to be discovered. It's not fun for him anymore, and it promises to never be fun again. As anyone not in the cult can see, he desperately wants out, but Republicans have made it clear that, after what he's put them through, they are not about to let him off easy by denying him their nomination. The people whose party he has placed on life support are going to try to make him quit.
We're witnessing the greatest game of Political Chicken since Watergate. Is he finally going to manage to say or do something so egregious that the Republican whores will be dragged off their knees and forced to dump him, thus giving him the mantle of victimhood he can't live without? Or will they grimly swallow whatever toxic swill he dispenses until he is forced to dream up some excuse to quit that leaves him looking like the victim? Or will no way be found to save him from dragging the party down to the soul-crushing defeat it has so richly earned and having his name become synonymous with Loser? I like that last one.
He is in a unique hell of his own making. He has to escape, but how? Inside Donald Trump's head right now might be the scariest place on the planet to be.