For Trump, there’s only one victim: himself. He fears political defeat more than the deaths of millions
Lucian K. Truscott IV | Salon
A photograph purporting to show Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in tears, having lost all hope over the coronavirus toll in his country, made its way around cyberspace earlier this week. It turned out the photo wasn’t of Conte, but of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, and he wasn’t crying about losses due to coronavirus in his own country, but remembering a knife attack he suffered in 2018 during a speech he gave last year.
The photo of a national leader crying spread so widely because it was believable that the Italian prime minister might have broken down as he spoke of the huge number of deaths in his country. But we all know we’ll never see a photo of Donald Trump crying. Even if one is faked, it would be unthinkable, because no one can imagine that Trump would shed a tear over anyone but himself.
Trump won’t mourn for those suffering and dying from the virus, but he’ll accept the sympathies of the fawning suck-asses he surrounds himself with at the daily thank-a-thon that substitutes for the rallies he can no longer hold.
“Thanks to your leadership, Mr. President,” Vice President Mike Pence will typically begin, as he rolls out a list of dubious statistics for masks delivered or ventilators suddenly discovered hidden away in some warehouse. “Thank you, Mr. President … we all thank you … the nation thanks you,” another toady will parrot, likely some “acting” department head or secretary-of-something-or-another Trump’s thinking about going through the motions of nominating so he can keep another former lobbyist at the top of another important government agency.
Trump stands there, eyes unfocused, looking like he’d rather be on the 13th tee at Bedminster as he soaks in the praise. All of that praise is due him, he told said at the Wednesday thank-a-thon, because “we’re the ones that gave the great response, and we’re the ones that kept China out of here, and if I didn’t do it, you’d have thousands and thousands of people died — who would have died that are now living and happy.” The Wednesday thank-a-thon was filled with self-congratulation and chest-pounding, but it was no different from Tuesday’s, or Thursday’s for that matter.
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