Everyone shows emotion in different ways. Some people “wear their heart on their sleeve,” as they say, while others remain more stoic. I try not to judge people based on how they react to various, often tragic, events in their lives.
We’re all different.
Then there’s Donald J. Trump, a seemingly soulless, remorseless human being who seems to lack even the slightest hint of empathy, regret, or concern about anything other than what’s in his own best interests. He’s an absolute lowlife who’s mocked POWs, belittled Senator John McCain’s war record, made fun of a reporter with disabilities, tried to slander a former Miss Universe by telling people to seek out her non-existent sex tape online, and even turned his “apology” about being caught on video admitting he’s a sexual predator into how he feels others have done worse things.
Trump’s proven himself to be a detestable human being at nearly every turn.
So when news broke that a major hurricane would likely be hitting Texas late last week, many folks, myself included, knew Trump would find some way to politicize the storm to his benefit. That happened when, as most of the country was distracted by the almost non-stop coverage of Harvey, very late at night, Trump decided to announce that he had pardoned racist former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio and news broke that he had also signed his shameful ban on transgender Americans being allowed to serve in the military.
Nothing like using a deadly Category 4 hurricane to try to distract people from two appalling decisions.
Like I said last week, Trump is a coward.
Leave it to the current “president” to make things worse when, on Monday, after facing backlash over the timing of his Arpaio pardon, he said he chose Friday to capitalize on the ratings the storm’s coverage was receiving.
It’s a sad day when the “president” chooses to claim his timing of pardoning a blatant racist was to capitalize on millions of people concerned with a deadly storm, rather than admitting he’s a weak and gutless coward who was trying to use a major hurricane to shield him from the negative media coverage his pardon and signing of his ban on transgender Americans being allowed to serve in the military would receive.
Well, it should surprise nobody that Trump chose to embarrass himself even more.
Upon arriving in Corpus Christi, Texas, Trump decided to give a speech where he actually bragged about the size of the crowd that showed up.
“Thank you, everybody. What a crowd, what a turnout,” Trump said.
As I’ve said more times than I can remember at this point, you can’t make this stuff up.
Reporting from Texas’ capital of Austin, CNN’s Jeff Zeleny pointed out how, from his perspective, Trump showed almost no emotion or empathy to the victims of this storm, instead focusing on business and his administration’s response:
One thing I am struck by here, seeing all the stories of emotion, all the stories of loss, of devastation still unfolding — we do not know the extent of the damage here — very little in terms of empathy from this president. Very little in terms of emotion or talking directly to the people of Texas. He’s been talking about the businesses, talking about the response and his crowd. Certainly, this is a test, a new moment for this president. But how he’ll ultimately be judged, Brianna, as every president is in a disaster like this, is not on today, it’s on the response and the recovery and how Texas rebuilds if they get federal funds, et cetera, months, perhaps even years, from now.
That’s believable considering, as I wrote about just the other day, in his abnormally high number of tweets about the hurricane since last Thursday, he mostly boasted about the intensity of the storm, while almost immediately bragging about his administration’s response. There was almost no emotion or empathy in his tweets then, either. He seemed more concerned with trying to make himself and his administration look more competent.
Absent in his many tweets over the last several days were contact numbers people could use, links to legitimate organizations people could donate to, or retweeting vital life-saving information sent out by the NOAA or the Red Cross (other than one retweet from NWS Houston).
The vast majority of Trump’s twitter since last Thursday has been filled with self-indulgent ramblings, mixed in with a few mentions about how strong the storm is — in what seemed like his way to play up the severity of the storm to try to make his administration’s response to it look all the more “impressive.”
So it doesn’t shock me that a self-obsessed narcissist would show up to Texas to assess the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, then proceed to brag about the size of the crowd that showed up to see him. In Trump’s diseased mind, desperate people looking for help during probably one of the worst moments in their lives is brag-worthy.
Then again, considering this is someone who’s frequently exploited tragedies to try to make himself look better — including saying the bright side to a terrorist attack is that his poll numbers go up and saying he “appreciated the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism” following the Orlando nightclub shooting — nothing Trump does, no matter how deplorable, should shock any of us.
Watch Zeleny’s comments below via CNN: