When I was in high school there was a particularly loathsome bully in my class who found the mispronunciation of the name of an Hispanic student the very pinnacle of hilariousness. Before Donald Trump came along that bully was my consummate exemplar for repugnant, inappropriate behavior. Today, no one can come close to the vulgarian buffoon Donald Trump. For saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, nobody trumps Trump.
“I don’t know if this stage will hold it, but if it doesn’t we’re not falling very far.” That was Donald Trump’s idea of structural collapse “humor,” spoken at the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund signing ceremony. Get it? It’s a joke about a structure collapsing, told to people who lost friends and loved ones, who got cancer from toxins in the air, who were maimed and injured for life because of the structural collapse of the World Trade Center. Now do you get it? Me neither.
This is what happens when a man who hasn’t got a clue what empathy is, attempts to counterfeit empathy through disgustingly inappropriate humor. It’s about as funny as wearing a Grim Reaper outfit to a funeral. It’s “comedy” for a guy who trips people on crutches. It’s “humor” consistent with a man who mocks how natives of Puerto Rico pronounce the name of their country while many of the natives of Puerto Rico are dying, or mourning the deaths of people they love in the aftermath of a horrible, destructive storm. It’s the kind of thing a guy who would mock a disabled reporter would say. The kind of guy who thinks it’s okay to put adults and children in cages without enough to eat, without providing for the simple necessities for hygiene, warmth and comfort dictated by common decency, without due process guaranteed by the Constitution. It’s humor for that kind of guy.
That is why I say that if you are a Trump supporter, the best, the kindest thing I can say about you is you’re an idiot. Because if you understand what Donald Trump is up to and you approve of him anyway, then you aren’t merely an idiot, you are also evil.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.