Maureen Dowd:  Trump is the “World’s Worst Empath”

<em>“He will not admit anything, and down faces everybody. If he can’t out-argue them he bullies them, and then takes their silence for agreement with his views.” </em>— Bram Stoker, “Dracula”

Dear Commons Community,

In her column this morning, Maureen Dowd takes down Donald Trump and likens him to a heartless vampire who keeps coming back. She quotes David Axelrod that “You’ve got to drive a stake right through his heart. He’s going to keep coming. There’s nothing he won’t do. Even in this environment, you can’t count on him losing. He will not admit to anything, and down faces everybody. If he can’t out-argue them he bullies them, and then takes their silence for agreement with his views”  Here is an excerpt.

“…Trump has always been fixated on numbers and perfectly willing to fake them — his billions, his inaugural crowd, even the number of stories in Trump Tower — and he knows the number of dead, now surpassing 77,500, could be the death knell of his campaign.

So he is despicably turning the dead into the undead, trying to figure out how to claim they weren’t lost.

His talent as an escape artist has run out because he’s up against an even more amoral, vicious enemy. Microbes don’t give a damn about Trump’s fake narrative and suppression of the facts.

When the new Trump press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, was asked Friday what the plan was for reopening, she replied that we must trust the president to open safely because he is relying on the data. Risible.

Trump is too much of a fake tough guy to wear a mask and Mike Pence is too much of a sycophant to the fake tough guy to wear a mask. It was apt that, as the maskless Trump toured a Honeywell factory making masks in Arizona, Guns N’ Roses’ cover of “Live and Let Die” was playing.

Trump’s unmoored assertions add up to a horror story, from his failure on testing to his advice to inject bleach to encouraging rowdy protesters and impatient states to “LIBERATE” from the government’s own guidelines to perpetrating the suicidal idea that we have to choose between public health and the economy when they are the same thing.

When Mike Pompeo tried to push the 2020 re-election line demonizing China, saying there is “enormous evidence” that the virus escaped from a lab in Wuhan, even intelligence and senior officials pushed back. The man who is trusted to lead America beyond the plague, Anthony Fauci, dismissed it, reiterating with near certainty that the virus originated with a bat and jumped species.

Trump has sidelined the nonpareil Fauci and, no doubt consumed with jealousy and irritated by his honesty, would like to get rid of him. He barred the N.I.H. scientist from testifying before the House this month because the committee has “every Trump hater” who “want our situation to be unsuccessful, which means death.”

Wallowing in petty insults, vindictiveness and p.r. piffle even in such a tragic season, the president tried to shut down the pandemic task force as the pandemic is still ravaging the country until alarmed associates intervened. The White House scuppered the safety guidelines the C.D.C. wanted to put out, for fear they would crimp the reopening.

Trump has been leaning into his son-in-law, the pallid nonentity. Jared is like Renfield, the “zoophagous maniac” in Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” who eats flies and death’s head moths and does the vampire king’s bidding.

For two of the most urgent missions in American history, hunting for supplies and a vaccine, the president — who is always accusing Joe Biden of nepotism — relied on nepotism and favoritism. As The Times reported,  Jared bollixed up the desperate search for masks, gloves and ventilators this spring, heading a group of volunteers that prioritized tips from those with Trump connections, putting them on a VIP list, like a lead on N95 masks from a former “Apprentice” contestant who runs Women for Trump.

[Trump biographer Michael] D’Antonio says that Trump was always preoccupied with death. When he was young, he was convinced he would die before 40. The early death of his alcoholic older brother, Fred, was his formative experience. He regards every loss or humiliation as a small death.

Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, compared their 2020 bid to the Death Star. (Parscale also modeled a “Trump-Pence, Keep America Great!” mask on Twitter. A pandemic is, most important, a branding opportunity.)

One of Trump’s favorite songs is the morbid Peggy Lee ballad “Is That All There Is?”

Yet now that it is his duty to lead us out of the valley of death, Trump appears removed, shirking responsibility and deflecting blame. He’s the world’s worst empath. As the president tries to prematurely yank the country back to work, he seems less focused on the real suffering than reviving his precious stock market. Maybe Trump doesn’t seem real to Trump, either.

So I must ask, Mr. President, is that all there is, to live and let die?

Trump is indeed the world’s worst empath and we elected him president!


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