Few things irk more than defending a public figure. They should, especially when they sought that public status, be prepared and able to defend themselves. Or hire people whose skill lies in that field.

But then, Trump. Where there is a level of derangement in the media and culture that would, in any other context, see those on the left who are subject to it committed against their will as a danger to themselves or others. This derangement is helping tear the nation apart, as the deranged abandon all reason, thought, logic, and even transmute their positions from a scant few years ago in order to attack their President.

Let’s look at a scenario that may be familiar to us all.

You, the reader, have a job, and in order to do that job, you have a team. As is the norm, those on the team are ambitious, and some of them really wanted a different manager, not you. So they badmouth you at every turn. Every. Turn. That sucks. Outside the office, you have others in the same business. Some are friendly competitors, some not so friendly. And the biggest competition has, as your counterpart, a total jerk. He is always trying to undercut you, steal customers, steal secrets, and so on. Of course, your company does the same, it is a tough market.

Who do you trust more? The ‘team’ seeking to undermine you, or the competitor who, while not a friend, is predictable in his actions? Give that some thought. Remembering that the question is trust, not like.

See, there is a common thought that is often understood in a more military context. Allies can flake, work at cross purposes, or want to pursue goals that may not help you – and may hurt you. The enemy, on the other hand, wants to beat you. You can trust them to work against you, to be consistent in that goal. Not like, trust.

We conflate those words. Among many others, but those will do for today. Like doesn’t mean trust. Yes, like often comes with trust, and it is hard to like someone you don’t trust. But you can indeed trust someone you don’t like – even someone who is working toward your destruction. You can rely on them to seek to harm you. It’s a strange thing to think about. That doesn’t make it less real, and less true.

Does that mean Trump had that thought process? Of course not. I can’t (and wouldn’t) read his mind. All I can say is that the idea that he trusts Putin more than an intelligence community that has actively worked at cross purposes to him since before he was even elected isn’t weird to me. He trusts Putin to put Russia first – a thing he has been completely consistent about. And to act to gain an advantage over the US.

Trust. All that means is that someone’s actions are consistent, and they do what they say. Even if it is against you.