President-elect Donald Trump has a habit of seeing the same thing in two ways at once. His boosters see in Trump’s double vision what F. Scott Fitzgerald described as the sign of a first rate intelligence — but it’s better described as irresponsible inconsistency. A great example of Trump’s double-sided style — where he both celebrates and berates — is his take on the New York Times. In the same breath Trump can call the Times “failing” and “unfair” yet also a “jewel” he “respects.” Trump’s style is to cele-berate things, so he can have it both ways no matter how a situation shakes out. When the Times treats him well, it’s a jewel; when it excoriates him, it’s failing.
But the ultimate example of Trump’s cele-beration style is when it comes to the US itself. Trump simultaneously says America is the greatest country in the world while saying it’s a horrible, terrible place that has failed its citizens. Trump’s inauguration speech will, as all inaugurations speeches have, touch on the greatness of America. But Trump must also lay out a litany of problems so that he can claim future victory in fixing them. The speech promises to be a classic example of Trump’s cele-beration technique — also known as having one’s cake while eating it, too. No one cele-berates like Donald Trump. He’s not just a downer; he’s a cele-berator. Trump’s cele-beration — a political version of sweet and savory — is a passive-aggressive masterwork that allows him to play both sides of any issue. Just ask America, which is incredibly great and also doomed.