People Who Can Laugh At Themselves Never Become Bullies

The joke was on Trump at the 2011 WH Correspondent’s Dinner; It’s been on us ever since

Think of a well-known bully: Donald Trump, for instance. While Trump loves being an entertainer and making people laugh, he’d never entertain his followers by making them laugh at him. Trump’s notorious for his inability to laugh at himself or to be the butt of anyone’s joke (as Barack Obama learned when he poked fun at Trump during the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner). Barack Obama, for comparison’s sake, CAN laugh at himself; in fact, he’s as notorious for being able to laugh at himself as Trump is for not being able to. No one considers Barack Obama a bully. That’s not a coincidence. Even a cursory glance at history proves the point. Hitler didn’t get famous as a painter — or as a guy good at telling jokes. Stalin wasn’t known to poke fun at himself. Nor was Pol Pot or Mao or Mussolini or any of North Korea’s ruling Kim family. Had any of them had a sense of humor, they would never have become monsters. Their sense of humor would have kicked in first; they would have laughed so hard at themselves for even thinking such a stupid thing that the idea would have died right there. Having a sense of humor is essential to having a healthy psyche.

When bullies like Trump or Vlad Putin laugh, it’s always AT someone, never with them. Trump savors other peoples’ pain and hardship. Others’ suffering excites him. His niece Mary Trump has personally experienced it.

Think about the ways Trump thinks one “gets” a laugh. He infamously mocked journalist Serge Kovaleski (who he knew and who’d interviewed Trump many times)

Back when Trump was president, occasionally his people would insist that some awful thing Trump said was just him “joking”. That was always especially galling. The press can’t get it through their heads that it’s not up to Trump or any racist whether or not they’re racist; racism is in the eye of the beholder, not the racist. Racists think their racism is justified; that’s why they’re the worst people to ask! Along those lines, allowing a bully to mischaracterize an act of bullying (that got caught) as him just “joking” — that also demands to be called out.

For starters, the evidence says clearly that Donald Trump has zero sense of humor. It goes without saying since he can’t laugh at himself — and if you can’t laugh at yourself, that’s the proof that you have zero sense of humor. As a matter of fact, it was probably Trump’s not having a sense of humor that prodded him over the line to run for president.

Trump hit the ground already compromised by Putin (a fact the entire GOP leadership knew was true — they even discussed it OUT LOUD a month before nominating Trump!) Putin’s another bully with no sense of humor — although Putin’s pretty good at sounding like he’s funny. Like all bullies, Putin and Trump surround themselves with lesser bullies. The world in their heads is all dog eat dog; humans are just different flavors of Alpo. But, what does an alpha bully di tutti bullies do when all the beta bullies suddenly turn on him? Surely the Big Bully can’t be too surprised when the lesser bullies turn on him or simply abandon the sinking ship. That’s what they would do.

Unfortunately for Vlad and Don, in their bully world, bullies who lose power often lose their lives either in the process or in its aftermath. Putin knows this for a fact. Trump’s about to learn that lesson the hard way. Trump would have been far happier had he lived out his days as the ordinary, bankrupt bully he was, a petty tyrant running a mom & pop money laundering & corruption shop. Playing with the big bullies will not end well for Trump. When his actions cause the downfall of all those other bullies? They won’t be happy until they’ve had a moment or two to personally tell Trump just HOW angry they are.

Unlike Putin, Donald Trump WILL face justice. There’s not stopping it now. It’s ludicrous for our news media to think Trump or the GOP has any political future. The FBI’s raid this morning on Rudy Giuliani’s home and office was the beginning of the Big Reveal. While the feds are going after Giuliani because of his relationship with Ukrainians, those Ukrainians are all Putin backers — which means they’re all assets owned outright by Putin. Like all roads, this one too LEADS TO RUSSIA.

Russia is the ultimate punch line here. It’s the payoff to the sick, awful joke that was the Trump presidency. The Trump presidency was the sick, awful culmination of the Republican Wet Dream of permanent minority rule. And what, after all, is the Republican dream of permanent minority rule than the biggest joke of all on the majority?

Why Comedy (Like SNL, John Oliver, Sara Cooper) Matters In Terrible Times

Nobody needs a laugh quite like America does. There’s a shell-shock-y look in our eyes, put there by four plus years of Donald Trump and his daily cavalcade of greed, psychosis, corruption and treason. On the one hand, America is not now the country it was when Trump took his oath of office (which he violated the second he took it). Back then, we joked about how awful the country would be if Trump got ahold of it. He aren’t laughing now.

Let’s get one thing clear: Donald Trump has no sense of humor. That’s not my opinion, it’s a fact. Granted what we’re talking about — a sense of humor — is a gossamer bubble that farts — but, as hard to pin down as a sense of humor might be (it’s like a “soul” that way), its presence (or lack thereof) is immediately clear to everyone. The first key piece of evidence that determines whether or not you have a sense of humor is whether or not you can laugh at yourself.

If you can laugh at yourself, you’re in. You have a sense of humor. If you can’t, you don’t. Game over.

It really is that simple. Donald Trump — notoriously — can’t laugh at himself in any way, shape or form. Even his thin skin is thin-skinned. Having no sense of humor doesn’t mean you can’t say funny things — Donald Trump says funny things all the time; he just doesn’t know how to deliver them funny because he’s always looking over his shoulder in fear. This makes him remarkably weak.

The irony of course is that, in a way, comedy motivated Trump to go after the presidency. At the White House Correspondents’ Dinner (in 2011), Trump famously bristled when then President Barack Obama joked, “No one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald. That’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like: Did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?”

People with no sense of humor, like Trump, can’t see irony; it’s literally invisible to them. You have to be able to laugh at yourself — and see life’s absurdity reflected in your own experience — in order to appreciate irony. Same goes for sarcasm.

Donald Trump may say things that sound funny or ironic but that’s entirely unintentional. Oh, he means for people to laugh at what he says — but that’s because he expects they’re laughing WITH him at whoever he’s laughing at. That’s the big tell as to whether or not you have a sense of humor. Are you capable of laughing WITH people? Or are you only capable of laughing AT them

Bullies like Trump can only laugh AT people.

Comedy — and the past three, Trump-inspired seasons of SNL have epitomized it — decompresses whatever we’re going through. It holds it up for collective analysis, led by the comedian. Comedy’s not just “like” therapy, it is therapy. It’s therapeutic for sure. Even dark-hued laughter, seasoned with skepticism and doubt, still serves a useful purpose.

SNL premieres tonight — and you can almost feel the country counting down the seconds, craving the catharsis all that laughter promises.

The Trump years have been boom years for comedy, in part because Trump can’t laugh at himself. It’s made the Jon Olivers who were already brilliant more brilliant and opened the door to talented people like Sara Cooper and her uncanny ability to tap into Trump’s id..

Good comedy is worth more than laughter. Good comedy shines a spotlight on truth. It points at buffoons (even dangerous buffoons), their lunacy and contradictions, then, for good measure, pulls down its pants.

If anybody needs to be pantsed — regardless of how sick and dangerous he is — it’s Trump.