The Man Who Never Weeps

“that’s a fucking lie. to say president obama (or past presidents) didn’t call the family members of soldiers KIA – he’s a deranged animal.”

—Alyssa Mastromonaco, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations

I have purposely avoided writing about Tr-mp lately. What more can be said about such a man? Recently someone said to me, “I hate him so much.” But that hate, while understandable, is misdirected.

Tr-mp houses in his head a plethora of pathetic pathologies that compel him to do the things he does. Nothing comes of hating him. The blame for Tr-mp goes to the culture that made him famous despite his failures, to the system that put him in power despite his unfitness, and that keeps him in power because of an unseemly institutional lust in the Republican Party for particular policy goals most members believe they can only achieve with the help of this historically dangerous and tragic figure.

Image result for mcconnell and trumpI watched his performance in front of the cameras yesterday, with the creepy Mitch McConnell by his side. I watched it all, as painful as it was. For almost two weeks Tr-mp has failed to even mention the deaths of four U.S. special forces soldiers in a desert in Niger. These and other U.S. soldiers were apparently part of a larger contingent of Nigerien troops who had met with some local leaders and were later ambushed by an Islamist terrorist group. Details are still unclear as to exactly what happened, but reportedly the mission these troops were on was not well supported. French aircraft rescued them, after flying from bases in Mali, hundreds of miles away. We will certainly find out more as days go by, but as for Tr-mp, we already know enough.

At a press conference yesterday, someone asked Tr-mp about the four soldiers and why he hadn’t spoken about them or why he hadn’t reach out to the families of the fallen. By now you know what happened. Tr-mp, because it comes so naturally to him, lied. He accused President Obama directly, and other presidents indirectly, of not making calls to families who had lost loved ones in service to the country. For this damnable lie, Tr-mp has received justified condemnation, but he’s also received plenty of unjustifiable defense. As always.

We have one of the nation’s worst natural disasters in history going on in Puerto Rico and Tr-mp cares only about himself and his feud with athletes or other trivia. He has been both condemned and defended for his posture toward Puerto Ricans—again, as always. When he attacked war hero John McCain at the beginning of his campaign in 2015, he was both condemned and defended. When he attacked a Gold Star family, same thing. When he admitted to sexual assault on tape, ditto. When he appeared at CIA headquarters, in front of a memorial wall that honors fallen CIA officers, he talked about the size of his inaugural crowd and his war with the press. For that inhumanity he was showered with shame, but he had plenty of people offering him an umbrella.

He recently attacked John McCain again, this time for a vote against a nasty healthcare bill that McCain, a man now ailing from brain cancer, found objectionable. Tr-mp once more was condemned—and defended. Tr-mp has now made good on a threat to put millions in jeopardy of losing their health insurance, a move that was followed by more condemnation—and an indefatigable defense. I could go on and on with the outrageous things he has said about and done to real people, all of it accompanied by necessary and appropriate condemnation and an unnecessary and inappropriate defense.

We are witnessing the behavior of a man, as I have said before, who has no soul. To put it another way, he apparently has no neurological capacity for empathy. He cannot feel, much less bear, the burden of another human being. He knows nothing of honor, of sacrifice. He is a man who cannot weep. You can imagine Tr-mp doing a lot of things, but you can’t imagine him sitting alone in the Oval Office composing a letter to the family of a fallen soldier and shedding a single tear. You just can’t imagine such a normal, human reaction coming from him. And as sad as that is, the saddest part of this deplorable drama we’re living through, the most distressing reality we face in real time, is that a large number of everyday Americans—your Republican neighbors and friends and family members—along with nearly every Republican member of Congress, will move on from this latest outrage, this latest offense to honesty and decency, like yesterday was just another day.

We simply have to come to terms with the fact—those of us who see Tr-mp as the sick, empty man he is—that a large swath of our fellow Americans just don’t give a damn that nearly every day Tr-mp assaults what’s left of the old idea of American exceptionalism, which by now is a corpse that he drags through our national streets, mocking us, mocking our country, and mocking what we used to believe we all shared, if we shared nothing else: our common decency, our democratic values, and our lofty, if not fully realized, ideals.

 

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4 Comments

  1. So what chance do we have of survival?
    In a recent poll only 23% of Republican’s find Tr-mp’s behavior reprehensible. I think 4% were undecided. Those undecideds lack the capacity to make any moral decision based on nay amount of evidence, no matter how vast. Let’s ship that 4% to an inland where they have to live off the land. They will have to decide whether to eat the poison berries that just killed their compatriot, find something else for sustenance, or die of hunger. They will likely be forced to do the latter.
    The gerrymandered congressional districts find us in a place where even though Dems lead GrOPers by 6% in a national congressional preference poll, to actually win back the House they will need to outperform Republicans by 7-9% in 2018.
    In Iowa 70% of residents think the NFL should require players to stand during the Anthem that extols the virtue of killing slaves. This is the NFL intimidated by a President so patriotic, he has yet to contact the families of 4 young soldiers killed two weeks ago in an ambush.
    There are more numbers and they get nastier.
    We are the land of the no-longer-free and the bereft of morality.
    If Mueller by some miracle helps us shed Tr-mp, we get Pence (worse). If we shed Pence, too, we get Ryan — still a horror story.
    The complicity of the media is remarkable and tragic.
    I realize I’m just rephrasing what you wrote. It is fuel for a deep depression of the soul (whatever you conceive that to be).

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    • Some good news is that the latest poll I saw shows Dems up in the congressional preference poll by +14. Who knows if that will hold up by the fall of 2018, but it is a sliver of hope.

      Gerrymandering, voter suppression, and flooding the information ecosystem with lies and half-truths are, unfortunately, tools Republicans have chosen to use to gain and keep political power. Those are powerful tools. Such things seem to have a permanence that is truly depressing. But I believe that eventually the tide will turn. No doubt, irreparable damage has already been done to the country by Tr-mpism conquering the Republican Party and by the Republican Party conquering the electoral process, from the bottom to the top.

      I have often asked myself how people can be so stupid? I once thought, naively, that after what GOP economics did to average people before Obama came on the scene, that the Republican Party would have to change or face national extinction. But it played a Tr-mp card before Tr-mp: it doubled down on its malfeasance—and got rewarded for it by voters, either through direct votes for them or through indirect votes for them by people staying at home and not voting at all. Then, after Obama moved on, leaving the country in decent shape, voters in crucial states rewarded the GOP with the climax of its decades-long journey into darkness: Tr-mp. 

      While I have hope that voters will once again turn on the Republican Party, I am not sure it will be in time. So much damage has been done already. God only knows how our youth, coming of age as we go through these depressing times, will react. We are so messed up, yet as I write the stock market is setting records, as if nothing in the world matters but making a buck. Maybe that is the lesson our young people will learn. Nothing matters but money. Nothing matters but power. Nothing matters but the self. If so, the country will be unrecognizable in a generation.

      Sorry.

      Duane

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  2. Anonymous

     /  October 17, 2017

    Duane,

    Well stated! I don’t recall an election so divisive in my lifetime. We have friends that we have known for forty years. We grew up together, raised our children together with all the birthdays, graduations, and subsequent marriages of their own. We had dinners at each other’s homes, camped together, vacationed together, and are unable to discuss politics at all anymore. It has strained our friendship severely.

    I have a brother and sister that voted for Trump, and although we are family, that relationship is strained. I think they believe me to be a “sore loser” and remind me of their acceptance of Obama’s election. I am incredulous that they cannot differentiate the obvious difference. Despite these people living good, charitable, and honest lives they are forgiving of Trump’s vulgarity and dishonesty.

    I am unapologetic in my assessment of Trump and have told them if this becomes a wedge in our relationship, then I’m sorry, but my opinion is firm, and cannot be changed by them or Trump. I refuse to discuss the matter with them, and if they speak of Trump, I will take my leave. The election has done greater harm to our country, our families, and innocent victims than can be quantified.

    If there are any suggestions to mitigate the damage already caused, I would certainly like to hear them. Legitimate fear for our future is all I can offer, and not anyone wants to hear that. Many in our society, LGBTQ, minorities, and others have lived with hope for change for many years, and in one fell swoop it is being pushed further back. God save the U.S.A. because the devil incarnate is our chief executive.

    Liked by 1 person

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    • I know exactly what you mean. 

      For me, how people respond to Tr-mp reveals something important about them. And, as I have told others, I don’t want to spend time around people so devoid of common sense, not to mention common decency, that they could support someone like Tr-mp (I didn’t feel the same way about Romney, just for the record). Thus, I am good with severing ties with such people, although I understand if someone in your immediate family is a lost soul (fortunately, no one in my family is), that the best course might just be avoidance of the topic. I feel your pain, though.

      I, too, am unapologetic when it comes to Tr-mp. I could no more be persuaded that I’m wrong about him that I could be persuaded that I’m secretly a billionaire just pretending to be a retired federal worker on a fixed income. I can have my mind changed about almost anything, but Tr-mp is in a different category. It’s as if someone here in Joplin tried to convince me that the 2011 tornado was an act of God’s grace because it has allowed so many people to prosper, what with the insurance payments and the government and private help that transformed so many lives. Yeah, well, that ignores the fact that almost 160 people died and more than a thousand others were injured and lives were changed in unspeakably bad ways. If that’s how God displays his grace, by killing and injuring and scaring people, then he’s one helluva God.

      And, yes, the fear for our future is absolutely legitimate. I know there are some who speak of the resilience of our national institutions, and there is some evidence for that. But there can be no question that the people you mentioned are suffering setbacks in achieving social equality; there is absolute evidence that the reproductive rights of women are in decline; there is no question that the environment will suffer; there is no question that income and wealth inequality will get much worse; there is no question that racists now feel fairly free to advertise their racism; and on and on. This is not the same country now that it was before Tr-mp came on the scene. He has unleashed many demons and more are getting out of hell every day to begin their torments.

      I don’t know whether the devil has been incarnated in the orange body of Tr-mp, and I don’t know whether even God can save the U.S.A., but the policies this Tr-mp-led GOP is pursuing are devilish and we definitely need salvation.

      Duane

      Liked by 1 person

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