I keep looking — foolishly, I’ll acknowledge — for some signal that Donald Trump actually feels the pain of those who are stricken by the COVID-19 virus.
I cannot find it. It’s nowhere. It’s missing in action.
The other morning I turned on “Good Morning America” and watched Trump being interviewed by ABC News anchor David Muir. Trump got the question from Muir: What do you want to say to the millions of Americans who are suffering from the pandemic?
Trump said, “I love you.” He said “no one feels worse” than he does about the suffering. Trump said he has lost sleep over it.
Then he pivoted rapidly to reopening the country. He wants to get the country’s economy restarted. He said, “By the same token,” he wants business to get cranked up, boasting to Muir about how the nation was enjoying the greatest economy in human history when the pandemic struck.
Thus, Trump cannot speak with any semblance of sincere empathy to the suffering that his own administration exacerbated by its initial non-response to the growing pandemic.
Instead, he speaks of jobs lost. Don’t misunderstand me: That is a huge deal, too. Then again, he appears incapable of speaking with compassion and empathy to those who have lost their income, who are struggling to pay the mortgage, the rent, the auto loan, student loan, to buy food and medicine. The Carnival Barker in Chief speaks only to the national economy, couching it in terms that play to his re-election chances.
I am acutely aware that no demonstration of empathy would fix matters; it won’t produce a cure for what ails us. All I want from any president in a time of crisis is an example that he cares about all of us, that he understands the misery that has been unleashed. If you’ll pardon the cliché, that he “feels our pain.”
This clown feels nothing. He needs to leave the White House.