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Dead souls

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People routinely characterize Donald Trump as a sociopath or psychopath. I have no background in the study of mental health, and I’m not even clear in my own mind exactly what those terms mean, or the difference between them.

But you don’t need to be an expert to recognize that there’s something deeply wrong here:

The infant was brought back to the hospital by his uncle, after somebody (Trump? Melania? Ivanka?) decided it would be a good idea to take this sort of photograph. The uncle — the brother of the father murdered protecting his child — explained his motivation in agreeing to the request:

Though the president has been met by protesters, some of whom think [JFC NPR]he helped incite the violence in El Paso with his language about immigrants, Tito sees it differently.


“I can see why people would believe that,” Tito says. “And yes, maybe he said things in bad taste. But I think people are misconstruing President Trump’s ideas.”


Tito Anchondo says his family has always been Republican conservatives. “My brother was very supportive of Trump,” he said, adding that he would like to sit down with the president and tell him about their pain.


“I want to see his reaction in person,” he said. “I want to see if he’s genuine and see if my political views are right or wrong. And see if he feels maybe some kind of remorse for statements that he’s made. I just want to have a human-to-human talk with him and see how he feels.”

How’d that work out Tito? Does the man in that photo look remorseful to you? Congratulations on not being able to figure out that you’ve been supporting someone who is more than happy to throw people look you out of this country even if they’ve been here for decades, if doing so would make him slightly richer or more famous. (32% of Latino voters voted for Republicans in the midterms. Many Latinos and Hispanics come from culturally and religiously conservative backgrounds, so this isn’t inexplicable, but that doesn’t make it any less appalling).

As for Trump himself, the pathological lack of empathy on display here is striking, as is the apparent inability to even fake something resembling an appropriate affect under the circumstances. (Also, what’s the deal with his Slovenian Stepford Wife? I realize that “models” are trained to have a Pavlovian reaction when a camera goes off but still. This photo is from the FLOTUS Twitter account so apparently she thought it was a great idea to get it out there).

As I said, I’m no expert. But this is a deeply damaged and dysfunctional human being, at the most basic emotional level. Looking at this photograph, I’m reminded of a moment in The Silence of the Lambs:


State Trooper: Is it true what they’re saying? He’s some kind of vampire?


Clarice: They don’t have a name for what he is.

We’re all going to be living with the consequences of whatever this is for the rest of our lives.

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