During a campaign stop in Dubuque, Iowa on January 30, 2016.
Dana Milbank relates the following from Trump’s rally today in Ashburn, VA, where, among other notable things, Donald accepted the Purple Heart from a veteran, saying “I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier“:
The Republican presidential nominee, rallying supporters in a high school auditorium here, was talking about Chinese currency manipulation when an infant began to cry.
“Don’t worry about that baby. I love babies,” he said. “Don’t worry. The mom’s running around like — don’t worry about it, you know. It’s young and beautiful, and healthy and that’s what we want.”
It was an unexpected moment of tenderness from the strongman — and it lasted precisely 55 seconds.“Actually I was only kidding: You can get the baby out of here,” he said, when the child continued to cry. “I think she really believed me that I love having a baby crying while I’m speaking. That’s okay. People don’t understand, that’s okay.”
There were murmurs and some uncomfortable laughter.
After attacking prisoners of war, virtually every racial minority in the United States and even the parents of a fallen U.S. soldier, it was perhaps just a matter of time until Trump got around to attacking a mother and her baby.
This is obviously unsurprising. But I would like to focus on the ease (or “ease”) with which Trump switches between his pretend “benevolent” persona and his real ruthless self.
I put “ease” in quotes the second time, because when you watch the clip of this performance, you’ll see how difficult it really is for Donny to fake pro-social emotions: the grimacing and the outlandish statements meant to underscore his smarmy sentiments, for which he has no internal correspondence, are a sure and cringe-inducing giveaway of the effort involved. He wants to convey care and joy, but what comes out is a barely disguised contempt.
And then, as if on cue, comes Donny’s own admission of his psychopathic manipulation (amazingly, he does this once in a while, openly reveling in his power and the people’s inability to see through his craven games — that’s how brazen he is and seemingly unconcerned with any possible fallouts from such admissions):
I think she really believed me that I love having a baby crying while I’m speaking. That’s okay. People don’t understand, that’s okay.
Yes, sadly too many still believe that this man is what he so strenuously, at times, pretends to be: a caring and normal human being. But his always wobbly mask of normalcy slips more often these days, revealing the “Freudian junkyard” within, as one astute WaPo commenter put it. They react with “uncomfortable laughter,” but don’t know what to make of it.
Donald, meanwhile, revels in his deception, as evidenced by his proud tone when he mocks the mother for believing that he cares. And “that’s okay,” because people’s naivete that comes from their ingrained goodness is what has enabled his destructive existence and rise to power so far. People with a conscience have a hard time imagining that there are those without it and don’t know what it may look like.
So Donald is correct that “people don’t understand,” but no, it is not “okay.” People must wake up to the existence of psychopaths in our midst and start seeing the damage they inflict on the world. This is as good a time for it as any.
Khizr Khan, a Muslim immigrant who has become the (badly missing so far) conscience of America, has something to say about Trump’s acquisition of that Purple Heart: