Donald Trump’s rally last night in Manchester, New Hampshire, was a bit of a gamble for him. Trump loves giving rallies in places where he expects a loud, fawning crowd of worshippers. New Hampshire is a blue state in a sea of blue states, which went to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election by only a few tenths of a percentage point. Given Trump’s narrow loss there, it makes strategical sense for his reelection campaign to target New Hampshire to court voters in 2020.
But Trump is the guy who “says it like it is.” Rather than try to offer a message that might attract voters, Trump’s lizard brain and big mouth got in the way. At one point, Trump attempted to sound like a candidate wishing to expand his base. Perhaps trying to channel Marianne Williamson, Trump told the audience that his campaign is “built on love.” Not only is such a proclamation laughably and demonstrably false, but it came after Trump had just done the opposite. He shamed someone for being overweight—simply for disagreeing with him.
If Trump had self-control, he could have simply remained silent as security escorted the protestor off the premises or muttered one of his less innocuous lines such as “Get him out of here!” Instead, Trump peered from the podium to zero in on the protestor’s appearance, only to then mock him. “That guy has got a serious weight problem. Go home, start exercising!” Trump yelled. He then added, “Now he goes home and his mom says, ‘What the hell have you just done?’” This last part reinforces a negative stereotype that adults who are overweight are too weak and immature to take control of their own life and wind up staying in their childhood home under their parents’ continued care.
Trump’s body-shaming of a protestor last night was not the first time he has mocked individuals because of their weight. When former Miss Universe Alicia Machado credibly claimed that Trump used to call her “Miss Piggy,” Trump denied it. Yet, a whiny Trump admitted to Fox News that Machado “gained a massive amount of weight and it was a real problem.” Trump also said that Rosie O’Donnell has “a fat, ugly face,” and in his delusional rambling about the 2016 election, Trump suggested that the hacking could have been done by “somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.”
Trump’s comments were petty and disgusting. But the silver lining of such insulting behavior is that it is another example of Trump being his own worst enemy. It is hard to believe that Trump’s performance last night moved the needle with his New Hampshire support. At another point at the rally, Trump warned: “You have no choice but to vote for me… Whether you love me or hate me, you have got to vote for me.” Now Trump is insulting their intelligence.