Friday, February 23, 2018

More Paper than Man

When I first saw this I thought it was photoshopped. But it's real. High def cameras and his own surprisingly good handwriting are Trump's enemies. One of the sickening things about him is just what a cheap imitation he seems to be, just how thin and obvious his facade is. Look at the 45 on his shirt cuff. Because he's the 45th president. It's like the "M" on Mario's hat. It goes with the power ties that are taped instead of clipped. He's like a parody, like a personification of cheap "how to succeed in business" tips from a self help book from the 80s. And here he is holding a listening session with children, parents, and administrators whose lives were impacted by gun violence at schools. Everything about him, from his apparent lack of interest in the meeting to his vague ideas about opening more mental institutions to put potential killers in seems to herald the complete lack of change that will result in policy from this shooting.

In a way, Trump is a more fitting president than Obama. It was hard to rail against Obama for the lack of change on gun laws, he always gave the impression he really understood and deeply cared about the issue. Trump is a perfect figurehead for all of the greed and apathy that has stymied any productive change since Columbine. It's easier to focus one's anger now that the person in office reflects what the institution accomplishes.

The full listening session can be seen here. A lot of sites and articles edit out the students and parents that agree with Trump's ideas. One parent in particular speaks passionately for the idea of arming teachers while one of the students speaks passionately against it. One parent of a victim of the Sandy Hook shooting points out that guns in the hands of teachers aren't much of a deterrent for shooters who figure they're on a suicide mission anyway. I haven't heard of any school shooters escaping harm or capture.

Another parent of a Sandy Hook victim points out how solutions involving putting more guns in schools are focused on dealing with the problem after it's manifested instead of preventing it. Even Trump's vague idea of creating more mental institutions seems like it's suggested in the spirit of putting dangerous people away and forgetting about them like garbage in a landfill. He doesn't just seem like he doesn't understand the issue, he seems angry at the idea that he should understand it.

He does seem more fired up to-day as he responded to the revived crowd chant of "Lock her up!", referring to Hillary Clinton, with "Everything that's turning out — now, it's amazing. It's come full circle. Wow, have they committed a lot of atrocities?" There is not one part of that statement where I can see any connexion with reality. Who are "they"? How has it come "full circle"? And "atrocities"? Is he using that word, a week after a massacre, to refer to a political party now in the minority? Maybe he got his notes mixed up.

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