Actions Of Our President Speak Of His Empathy
Actions Of Our President Speak Of His Empathy
Michael Gerson of the Washington Post has written an article claiming that Donald Trump is exhibiting a total failure of empathy in Presidential leadership. It is sad that in this extraordinary time of a horrible pandemic Gerson has let his Trump Derangement Syndrome blind him to the remarkable heart that the President shows us in his leadership. Trump’s words and actions have no effect on Gerson, other than to convince Gerson of his own rightness.
For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.
The late economist, Stuart Chase, would probably not appreciate me using his quote. He was a Fabian economist who favored a planned economy and was a fan of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. But, when I first read the Gerson article, I thought of that quote. There is nothing, nada, zip, zilch, and zero, that President Trump can do to convince the Never Trump-types and those afflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome, like Gerson, that he is a good President, a good leader, and a man who loves his Country.
The WaPo article, “We’ve officially witnessed the total failure of empathy in presidential leadership” begins:
Someday presidential historians will fully explore the defects of heart and character that led Donald Trump, in the midst of an unprecedented national crisis threatening hundreds of thousands of deaths, to brag that the television ratings for his afternoon briefings rivaled the “Bachelor” finale or “Monday Night Football.” This is not mere pettiness. It is clinical solipsism. Exploiting this type of tragedy in the cause of personal vanity reveals Trump’s spirit to be a vast, trackless wasteland. Trump seems incapable of imagining and reflecting the fears, suffering and grief of his fellow citizens. We have witnessed the total failure of empathy in presidential leadership.
I had to search to find the meaning of “clinical solipsism”. It means, according to Dictionary.com: “extreme preoccupation with and indulgence of one’s feelings, desires, etc.; egoistic self-absorption.” Well, I won’t argue with that. It requires an ego the size of Manhattan, pre-Covid 19, to run for President. I have thought that of every man and woman who has run for President. It could probably apply to most actors, dancers, artists and writers that I have met. So, freaking what? Gerson seems pretty wrapped up in his own emotional temperature.
I see a very empathetic man. A man who gave up much and has been punched at from every quarter. I see a man whose actions speak much louder than any empathetic words. But, he is empathetic. Take a look at this video from his March 30, Rose Garden Coronavirus update:
When he speaks of Elmhurst Hospital, body bags and freezer trucks, Donald Trump is gutted. If you can’t see a man who is heartbroken over what he has seen, that’s all on you. That’s your Trump Derangement Syndrome rattled eyes looking.
Gerson emotes on:
But the United States is now on the verge of events that will demonstrate the need for empathetic leadership. So far, many of the sacrifices imposed by the coronavirus crisis have been theoretical (except in the most dramatically affected areas). But even under the best-case scenarios, we are entering weeks of mounting fatalities. Before it all ends, many Americans will know someone who dies or faces severe illness. At the same time we will start counting and feeling the costs of an economy in suspended animation.
I don’t want or need an empathetic President, but I think Trump is empathetic. What America needs is a President of direct, logical action. After rhapsodizing about Presidents Lincoln, Bush 43 and Lyndon Johnson, Gerson accuses Trump of having a hole in his heart where empathy should be. He says Trump shouldn’t be accusing “some” of trying to tank the economy. Listen up, Gerson, there are a few of us other soulless types, who wonder the same thing. We wonder about the balance between mandatory social distancing and our Constitutional Rights. We wonder about the balance between shutting down the economy and throwing millions out of work versus saving lives. These are the kind of things sober, intelligent people like President Trump worry about as he tries to take the right actions to save lives and the Country.
The President’s actions speaker louder of his empathy than anything most people ever face. He is not a soulless man. He is a President trying to do the right thing. Back the heck off, Gerson.