Friday, February 09, 2018


When it comes to Rob Porter and his victims, President Trump can't even fake human decency:
... Mr. Trump on Friday warmly praised Mr. Porter, saying it was a “tough time” for his former aide and noting that Mr. Porter had denied the accusations.

“We wish him well,” Mr. Trump said of Mr. Porter, who was accused of physical and emotional abuse by two ex-wives. The president added, “He also, as you probably know, says he is innocent, and I think you have to remember that.”

“He worked very hard,” Mr. Trump told reporters in the Oval Office when asked for a comment about Mr. Porter. The president said he had only “recently” learned of the allegations against his former aide and was surprised.

“He did a very good job when he was in the White House, and we hope he has a wonderful career, and he will have a great career ahead of him,” Mr. Trump said. “But it was very sad when we heard about it, and certainly he’s also very sad now.”
I don't expect a man as sexist, self-involved, and empathy-challenged as Trump to genuinely understand the pain of Porter's victims. But Trump can't even fake it. He doesn't have enough cultural awareness to know what he's expected to say in this situation. I know he probably regards himself as being so bulletproof that he doesn't have to say the expected thing, but he doesn't even seem to know what the expected thing is. It's as if he's completely oblivious to the world we live in, a world in which giving your wife a black eye is appalling.

On many subjects, it's clear that Trump has no idea how the rest of us think. He believes that the gaudy piss-elegance of his hotels is seen as the quintessence of swank. He seems completely unaware of the fact that the gold-plated more-is-more decor is widely regarded as tacky. He doesn't seem to be like Liberace, someone who acknowledged that the snobs looked down on him but who decided he didn't care. Trump genuinely seems not to know that his design sense is regarded as ridiculous.

Another example: the hair. I know he's 71 years old. I know he grew up in an era of toupees and combovers. But I'm not much younger -- 58 -- and all my life toupees and combovers have been comedy punch lines. Now I see balding men stylishly avoiding dishonesty by opting for buzzcuts or the clean-shaven look. You can say that Trump is of an older generation, but chrome-domed John Malkovich is 64. Rudy Giuliani, who gave up the combover for the close-cropped look, is 73 -- older than Trump -- and a Trump backer. Trump seems literally unaware of the fact that these approaches to baldness are widely seen as much more appealing than his desperate fakery.

Trump lives in his own mind, which seems never to come in contact with the rest of the world.

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