As the nation paused this week to remember the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, it’s worth remembering a few facts about how the man who currently stands a hairsbreadth away from the presidency of the United States chose to react to the horror of that day:
- Donald Trump, a billionaire son of New York City, did not make a single charitable donation to any of the not-for-profit groups that provided aid to survivors, rescue workers, or the families of cops and firemen who died trying to save others, according to Internal Revenue Service records.
- Trump’s company asked for and received $150,000 for “rent loss,” “cleanup” and “repair” from a government program designed to help local businesses get back on their feet, despite the fact that, in Trump’s own words, his property “wasn’t affected by what happened to the World Trade Center.” Trump’s subsequent claims that he received that money for helping others after the attacks have been proven false.
- Just hours after the World Trade Centers collapsed, Trump went on a New York radio station and stated that 40 Wall Street, his 71-story building blocks away from the collapsed twin towers, “was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually, before the World Trade Center, was the tallest. And then, when they built the World Trade Center, it became known as the second-tallest. And now it’s the tallest.”
Even if Trump’s every action and utterance over the last year weren’t proof enough, his reaction to one of the most soul crushing events in American history would leave little doubt: The Donald is not merely a bully or a wealth and celebrity obsessed clown. He’s a sociopath, a disorder characterized by a disregard for the feelings of others, a lack of remorse or shame, manipulative behavior, unchecked egocentricity, and the ability to lie in order to achieve one’s goals.
I’ve joked about Trump’s buffoonery in the past, about his disjointed insult comic routines, his obvious ignorance about even the most basic functions of government and yawning disinterest in foreign affairs details. But it’s not funny anymore. The clown makeup has washed away to reveal the flaccid, lined face of a creature who despises humanity and who would degrade himself and his befuddled associates in almost unthinkable ways just to move one step closer to the ultimate ego-assuaging power prize.
While most politicians bare little resemblance to actual human beings, Trump seems like some alien life form whose personality was assembled from beamed in transmissions of James Cagney gangster flicks and Andy Griffith’s turn as an insane huckster preacher/politician in the classic movie “A Face in the Crowd.”
And in some ways that’s exactly what Trump is: a man who was raised from a young boy to believe that people are simply venal, debauched, grasping animals who can be bought, sold and discarded like waste products.
Which brings me to this: at this late date there is simply no excuse left for anyone to vote for Trump. The man’s entire past, business as well as personal, is a computer keystroke away. His every public utterance and action is on record and there to be read and viewed.
There are no excuses. Not if you’re a patriot; not if you’re a veteran; not if you’re a Christian; not if you’re someone who values intelligence and the teachings of science; not if you’re someone who respects women, minorities, the handicapped, or the rule of law; not if you’re a small business owner; and certainly not if you’re someone who has even the slightest understanding of finances, international trade, terrorism, the Middle East, or the problems inherent in electing a president with business ties to enemy states controlled by murderous dictators.
So who does that leave?
As politically incorrect as it may be to say, I suspect Hillary Clinton low balled her estimate of Trump supporters who belong in the “basket of deplorables.”
I’ve argued before that Trump is un-American, but maybe I was wrong. Maybe that’s just what America is now — a country whining and mewing for a dictator to draw them to his breast to soothe and suckle them, to tell them everything’s okay and daddy will make it all better. Maybe we’re just begging for it, just like the Germans were in 1933.