David Cay Johnston is a Pulitzer prize winning journalist who met Trump in 1988 and has been reporting on Trump for more than 30 years. I enjoy listening to Mr. Johnston when he’s on TV, and he always amuses me because he doesn’t call Trump Trump, or Mr. president, he always calls him Donald. He knows Trump well enough to know that one of the most insulting things he can do to Trump is to simply call him by his first name, Donald.
We all know there’s something seriously wrong with who/what Trump is. Some people call it narcissism, I prefer to think he’s a psychopath, and a group of psychiatrists have even written a book about the dangerous mental health problems Trump has. Mr. Johnston uses this one picture, which he calls an obscene photo, to warn us about what he’s learned over 30 years about who Trump and the people around him really are.
It’s a short column and well worth the read if you want to understand the danger Trump represents and how dangerous inaction on our part is.
The photograph above of the Trumps in El Paso is an obscenity.
And let’s provide context, which will reveal how the evil that is Trumpism seduces so many millions of Americans, prompting some to violence, others to serve as props for our hate-filled commander-in-chief.
The photo above conceals more than it reveals about little Paul. Viewers cannot tell that he suffered broken fingers during the attack. The image does not show his mother’s blood, still on his clothes, according to his aunt Terry Anchondo.
Now, look closely at how Melania Trump holds little Paul. His skin does not touch hers. Rather than cradling baby Paul lovingly against her bosom, Melania Trump holds him outward like a sack of potatoes, more of a logo than a human being.
Melania Trump revealed her crass commercialism soon after her husband assumed office. She sued a British newspaper that described her as having once been a “high-end escort.”
Her complaint said the Daily Mail damaged her “unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity…to launch a broad-based commercial brand in multiple product categories, each of which could have garnered multi-million dollar business relationships for a multi-year term during which Plaintiff is one of the most photographed women in the world. These product categories would have included, among other things, apparel, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care, skin care and fragrance.”
Little Paul could no more give consent to be used by Melania and Donald Trump than any of the underage girls that Trump associate Jeffrey Epstein raped and supplied to other rich men to rape.
Is it just Trump not knowing, once again, how to behave? Could it be that luring the dead parents’ relatives into being useful props that deflected attention from his violent rhetoric made him glad? Or that we are seeing his inner response to the mass murder of Latinos done by a Trump fan? Before thinking that last point is too harsh remember that many times over many years, including in his 2007 book Think Big, Trump has detailed at length that what gives him pleasure is making others suffer. In one case, Trump recounts growing suffering and states at each stage how much his pleasure grew with each new terrible event.
Asked why he agreed to provide infant Paul, another relative and himself for the staged photo Andre Anchondo’s brother Tito told NPR that the dead father of Paul was “very supportive of Trump.”
After Paul is all grown up maybe someone will ask how he feels about being used to burnish the image of the man whose anti-Latino diatribes inspired a man to murder his parents and 20 other people.
I was rather surprised that Mr. Johnston comments on the coldness of Melania, but then I think back to that weird phrase she had on her jacket “I really don’t care, do U?”, a lot of people are still trying to figure that one out. Most of the time a person gives away who they are by their actions, but sometimes when you have an incredible opportunity to do so much good for so many people and you choose to do nothing, you can give away who you are by your inaction.
It’s nearly impossible for normal people to understand the minds of people who seem to lack any empathy whatsoever, but the danger they present to all of us when they gain enormous power means we can’t ignore them and cross our fingers and hope they’ll go away at some point.