The Theoretical, Make Pretend Heroism of Donald Trump
Oh sure, Donald Trump might seem like the most unpredictable, mercurial and dangerously volatile president of all time, including that Millard Fillmore sonofabitch. But you can generally predict Trump’s response to something by asking yourself, “How would an emotionally stunted, temper tantrum-prone six year old with no understanding or appreciation of the complexities and ambiguities of the adult world react?”
Trump has been putting on a more disgraceful display of child-like magical thinking than usual (that’s setting the bar awfully high or low depending on your perspective) in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting. In a depressingly predictable move, the Baby-Man-in-Chief insisted that the answer to gun violence in schools is not less guns but more guns, specifically in the hands of teachers whom Trump feels we must arm in order to combat the scourge of school shootings.
Trump has proposed big old raises for these teachers/warriors in order to make bringing deadly weapons to school with you each day an even more appealing prospect. As the husband of a preschool teacher, it disgusts me to think that while other teachers are famously overworked and underpaid, these combo Mr. Chips/Charlie Bronson-in-Death Wish “Good guys with guns” would race to the top of the pay scale not due to excellent work but rather due to their willingness to stay strapped in case some shit goes down.
In an even more insulting act of tone-deaf vulgarity and macho posturing, Trump followed up his “Let’s militarize teachers!” proposal by bragging tastelessly that if he were there at Parkland when the bullets started flying he would have rushed inside and confronted the shooter, even if he did not have a gun, unlike the armed guards who did nothing while the massacre was happening other than draw their weapons and stay out of the building.
Everybody likes to imagine that they would behave honorably and even heroically if the situation called for it. We’d all like to think that we’d inevitably be on the right side of history, that we’d be part of the Underground Railroad or The French Resistance or the Abolitionist movement, and, if tested the way the guards at Parkland were tested, we wouldn’t hesitate to run into a building where children were being murdered and bullets were flying regardless of the danger.
Make-pretend, theoretical courage and heroism, like the kind Trump displayed when he insisted that, as an out-of-shape seventy year-old with the attention span of a flea on cocaine, he would have stormed into the school building and confronted the shooter, is worthless. No, wait, it’s much worse than that.
Trump’s bold, crass display of tough-guy posturing is a grievous insult to everybody whose heroism is real rather than make-pretend and theoretical. By bragging about what he might have done, he’s spitting in the face of people who genuinely put their lives on the line everyday, whether they’re soldiers or police officers or first responders.
Trump loves talking about first responders, just as he loves talking about cops and border guards and “his” generals. He’s perpetually trying to piggy-back onto their actual heroism, using them as props in his big, vulgar displays of strongman might. But gushing about generals does not make you a general. Giving mad props to first responders does not make you a first responder. And talking about how you would have been a hero in a particular scenario does not make you a hero. It makes you a tone-deaf, insufferable braggart.
Trump’s faux-fearlessness is even more appalling considering that when Trump was a young man, he had a golden opportunity to put his words into action by getting a gun and fighting the people our government considered the bad guys by volunteering to fight in Viet Nam. This wasn’t a narrow window, by any stretch. The war infamously dragged on and on, giving Trump, who as a military school graduate was even more qualified to fight than most, plenty of time to transform his theoretical heroism into the real thing.
Yet Trump stayed on the sidelines due to bone spurs and college. It’s crazy to think that not having a gun wouldn’t keep a geriatric, portly Trump from being a hero and doing his patriotic duty, but having a sore foot and going to business school to learn how to better fuck over employees and contractors did.
The closest to Nam Trump came was either avoiding STDs while sleeping his way through college and insulting John McCain for getting captured by the enemy, something that would obviously never happen to the theoretical hero Trump fancies himself to be.
In one of the many things that should have single-handedly ended Trump’s career as a politician but did not, Trump famously “quipped” of McCain, “(McCain) is not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”
By that same logic, he must like the Parkland students who were not murdered rather than the cowards who allowed themselves to get killed like some real butthurt Libtard snowflakes whining about needing a "Safe Space" where they won't get slaughtered en masse. Actually that’s probably not true because those are also the kids who are speaking up and loudly advocating for vital, life-saving changes in our laws and our culture.
In the end, it’s not Trump’s make-pretend heroism that matters, and defines him, but rather his very real cowardice.
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