The president as the persecuted: Donald Trump’s strategy of self-victimization

Trump’s self-victimization — as with other ways he conducts himself in office, as well as some of his policies — seems to run counter to what many Republicans had claimed as a core tenet of the party: personal responsibility.

“In the lottery of life, Donald Trump would be one of the most lucky people in the world,” said Stuart Stevens, a GOP strategist and Trump critic. But, he continued, Trump “is a grievance shopper. It is not about what is fair or right or just, but about settling a score, and that’s just something the Republican Party has always been opposed to . . . There’s not a kindergarten teacher in America who would try to instill that value in a child.”

Trump extends his sense of victimhood to include his closest and most loyal associates. As part of a flurry of Russia-related complaints aired over Memorial Day weekend, Trump tweeted, “Who’s going to give back the young and beautiful lives (and others) that have been devastated and destroyed by the phony Russia Collusion Witch Hunt? They journeyed down to Washington, D.C., with stars in their eyes and wanting to help our nation . . . They went back home in tatters!”