As I watch opponents pound and pound, then pound again, on President Trump, I say to myself, “You’re reelecting him; do keep pounding.” I welcome the pummeling.

Trump, to be sure, is a strange guy. I have never witnessed anyone more in love with himself. If there is a world’s record for narcissism, he holds it. I am reminded of Oscar Wilde’s comment upon looking at himself in a mirror: “the beginning of a lifelong romance.”

Caitlin Flanagan, writing in the May 2017 issue of The Atlantic, put us onto the ironic paradox of victory through the vehicle of hatred. The title of her piece said it all: “How Late-Night Comedy Fueled the Rise of Trump. Sneering hosts have alienated conservatives and made liberals smug.” She observed what the public sees in the comic mocking of the “deplorables”—“HBO, Comedy Central, TBS, ABC, CBS, and NBC. In other words, they see exactly what Donald Trump has taught them: that the entire media landscape loathes them, their values, their family, and their religion.”

In January 2019, Flanagan issued this same paradoxical point to The New York Times: “You were partly responsible for the election of Trump because you are the most influential newspaper in the country, and you are not fair or impartial.