The Atlantic Demolishes Trump

Donald Trump (29496131773).jpg

It seems the media is finally getting fed up with Trump and his emptiness of anything approximating basic human concern for others.

Trump’s lack of empathy while in office is well-documented.

Take, for instance, last February when he was caught having to resort to using cue cards to help him show empathy to school shooting survivors visiting the White House.

Marie Claire reported at the time that “apparently, Donald Trump needed a ch[e]at sheet to comfort shooting survivors” who met with him at the White House.

When you have to make a list of ways to sound like a compassionate real-life human being, you know you have issues. Unsurprisingly, that’s exactly what Donald Trump did for a listening session with the victims and parents of gun violence in schools on Wednesday afternoon.

The meeting came days after the death of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida following a shooting.

The Guardian elaborated, reporting that:

Close-up pictures of the note revealed that it had five points, of which the first was a reminder to ask the question: “What would you most want me to know about your experience”. The second question listed is “What can we do to make you feel safe?”

The president’s note also prompted Trump to ask survivors for their ideas, or what resources they think might be needed.

But it is the final note – “I hear you” – that has attracted the most criticism; the implication of that final point was that, without a prompt, the president would be unable to show sympathy towards those affected by school shootings, some of whom had traveled from Florida for the occasion.

Trump was at it again this weekend, making Memorial Day all about himself when he tweeted: “Happy Memorial Day! Those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers for Blacks and Hispanics EVER (& women in 18years), rebuilding our Military and so much more. Nice!”

The Atlantic weighed in with a fiery opinion piece detailing Trump’s lack of an ability to display even the most rudimentary level of basic human empathy.

Below is but one of the remarkable passages from the article:

Trump’s perfect emptiness of empathy has revealed itself again and again through his presidency, but never as completely and conspicuously as in his self-flattering 2018 Memorial Day tweets. They exceed even the heartless comment in a speech to Congress—in the presence of a grieving widow—that a fallen Navy Seal would be happy that his ovation from Congress had lasted longer than anybody else’s.

It’s not news that there is something missing from Trump where normal human feelings should go. His devouring need for admiration from others is joined to an extreme, even pathological, inability to return any care or concern for those others. But Trump’s version of this disconnect comes most especially to the fore at times of national ritual.


When it comes time to lead the nation in its shared rituals of unity and common purpose, Donald Trump cannot do it. He is, at most, president of slightly more than half of white America, and often not even that.

The Atlantic concluded with the following warning:

What happens then if the country should find itself in a moment when national leadership is required? A mass-casualty terrorist attack, a natural disaster that takes many lives, a crisis that might lead to war, a war itself?


How can the most untrustworthy man ever to hold the office effectively summon anyone to follow him? Franklin Roosevelt in his first inaugural address spoke of “the warm courage of national unity.” There will never be any such thing under a Trump presidency, and the fault lines embittered by Trump’s ceaseless provocations will shatter in a real national crisis.

On every Memorial Day, Americans should pray for peace. On this Memorial Day and the next, and the one after that, Americans should pray with extra fervor—because war, if it comes, will come under the leadership of a man unequal to the job.

Featured image by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

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