… (as Elizabeth Bennet says about herself and Darcy) so similar. Both can be acidly vindictive rule-breakers; both live in a world of their own. Why so vindictive? No one will ever know.

Why in a world of their own? Eh. Who knows why many damagingly out-of-it haredim can’t think of anything better to do than stew in their super-spreader isolation?

As to the belle indifférence on Trump’s face as he flopped around, the other night, like the dying Quilty at the end of Lolita (“We rolled all over the floor, in each other’s arms, like two huge helpless children. He was naked and goatish under his robe, and I felt suffocated as he rolled over me. I rolled over him. We rolled over me. They rolled over him. We rolled over us.”), he has always lived in a grandiose fantasy world, and no one did the guy any favors, mental health-wise, to crown him the actual president of the United States. By this point, in his head, he’s Napoleon. (“The man has spent years at war with reality: living in delusions, perpetuating fantasies, imagining hoaxes, constructing conspiracies, accruing debt, rewriting history constantly as self-serving myth. At some point, reality was going to get personal in return.”)


Both Trump and many ultraorthodox pretend that they are victims. Both sometimes seem drawn to violence. Both are nihilists – the atheist Trump poses for pious pictures with his evangelical Christian base and then tells his WH associates that believers are dumb pricks, losers; and the minutely ritualistic haredim often in fact seem spiritless, passively accepting their own and others’ untimely deaths.

Both Trump and many of his ultras, I mean to say, have ripened to something close to madness, and need to be subdued in the name of public safety. Mayor and governor have indeed stepped it up with the ultras, threatening a lockdown.

Is there, among Republicans, a Duke of Wellington?

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