One of my earliest posts on this blog site was Trumpism, Explained. In that post I gave my rather long but comprehensive definition of Trumpism:
Definition: Trumpism is a movement made up mostly of willfully ignorant traditionalists whose self-centeredness makes them oblivious to the oppression or neglect of anyone outside themselves and their closest companions and willing to defy historic ethical norms to achieve their desired goals.
Loyal Supporters Abandoned
The Trump re-election rally in Omaha on Tuesday evening, flawlessly illustrates and validates that definition. In case you have not yet heard what occurred there, here’s a report from Newsweek:
Backers of President Donald Trump were left stranded overnight, with several taken to hospitals for hypothermia after an Omaha campaign rally ended in chaos.
Hundreds were bused in to the Eppley Airfield site, leaving their cars in parking lots, but were left wandering up to four miles in the cold after coaches failed to pick them up.
“President Trump took off in Air Force One 1 hr 20 minutes ago, but thousands of his supporters remain stranded on a dark road outside the rally,” CNN reporter Jeff Zeleny tweeted at 10:21 p.m. CDT.
It went like this: By 6:00 p.m., parking at the airport had reached capacity, so remaining attendees had to park at designated sites and be bused in. That part of the arrangement apparently went relatively efficiently. The Trumpists then stood in the cold—some from as early as 4:00 p.m.—waiting for their messiah’s triumphal entry. He strode onto the platform shortly after 8:00, reveling in the crowd’s repeated chant of “Four more years!”
Trump bloviated—little of it factual, including his demented claim that “We’re rounding that beautiful turn [on the COVID pandemic], and it’s going to be very good”—for nearly an hour before departing on the warm and cushy Air Force One at 9:00 p.m. Then, those who had arrived by car began making their way to their homes. However, the hundreds who’d been bused in were screwed, on their own, waiting for hours in the frigid wind and snow. And, as CNN’s Jeff Zeleny reported, several were taken to hospitals to be treated for hypothermia.
No White House Remorse
Not surprisingly, the White House has issued no apology to those who paid a miserable price to listen to the Charlatan-in-Chief. No wonder pundits across the nation have labeled Trump’s abandonment of his loyal-but-freezing fans an apt metaphor for his entire tenure as president—and, I’d add, for his overall life outlook.
Donald Trump’s self-centeredness makes him oblivious to the oppression or neglect of anyone outside himself. As should be obvious to anyone willing to observe objectively, Donald Trump uses people and then, when he has no more need for them, discards them with no more concern than he’d show in dumping the crumbs from his KFC Big Box Meal. His prodigious appetite appeased—gastronomic or egotistic—he moves on to the next source of self-gratification.
Survival of the Fittest
His loyal followers love that about him. He’s a tough guy, and tough guys win, even—or especially—at the price of others losing. For Trumpists, life is about competition, not cooperation. Most of them reject biological evolution, but when it comes to social interactions, it’s strictly survival of the fittest. Just witness their maskless mass gatherings. “I’m tough; the virus can’t beat me.” And if they pass the virus on to others and those others become dangerously sick, or even die, that’s their fault for being weak.
So for most of those who attended that Omaha rally and who drove back to their warm, cushy homes, their adoration of their revered leader will remain unchanged; the bitter discomfort hundreds of others endured following the rally likely has no meaning for them. Compassion and empathy are foreign concepts for most Trumpists. Misery is unimaginable—until it becomes personal.
A Life-Changing Glimpse?
On that frigid October 27 evening in Omaha, misery did become personal for hundreds of Trumpists. Perhaps they, finally, have gained at least a glimpse of what life is like for many less-fortunate Americans under the gluttonous rule of the most self-centered president in our nation’s history. Perhaps it’s at least a start.