Behind Every Trump Punchline Lies a Dark Cloud

Donald Trump's campaign started out to the sound of laughter. He was considered a joke (at least by people safety removed from the target of his bigotry)—a ludicrous candidate who had no chance at winning his party's nomination, no less the presidency. And truly, he is ridiculous, but every unbelievable thing he does reveals a bigger, darker truth about him.

Yesterday, linking to a story in the Washington Post about the media's infuriating obsession with him, he tweeted: "Finally an accurate story from the Washington Post!"

Trump, it seems, is under the misapprehension that "accurate" and "flattering" are synonyms.

Naturally, anyone left with any reservoir of amusement for his antics will surely have a good chuckle at the fact that, after revoking the Washington Post's press credentials because they had the unmitigated temerity to file accurate reporting on him, he's now giving them a compliment for their "accuracy" because they published something he finds flattering.

But lying behind this absurdity is something nefarious: Trump doesn't like criticism, even if it's constructive. He doesn't abide disagreement, even if it's offered in good faith. And he doesn't like accurate accounts of his words, policies, business, or self that contradict the shameless, self-aggrandizing lies he tells about all of the above.

Refusing to tolerate naught but sycophancy is a bad look for any human being, but it is a major red flag in a presidential candidate.

Presidents must be open to feedback, criticism, and accountability. They cannot simply make unsubstantiable proclamations and expect the opposition party, the media, and the American people to uncritically receive and accept those dictates, no matter how preposterous, dangerous, or demonstrably false.

A leader who brooks no dissent is anathema to democracy.

Trump may well be a joke, but he is a cruel and humorless joke, which should not incite our laughter but our unyielding resistance.

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