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Stop talking about the disabled reporter, start talking about the disabled infant. January 12, 2017

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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So the story about Trump mocking a disabled reporter keeps making the rounds. Partly because it’s terrible, partly because his supporters keep insisting he didn’t do it, in defiance of the fact that he did it on video.

What gets to me, though, is how many people present it like that’s the pinnacle of his evil. Like it’s the worst thing he’s done. Like if you could still vote for him after seeing this, it proves your total moral bankruptcy as a human being.

People. Listen to me. Donald Trump canceled the health insurance plan that was covering his late brother’s disabled infant grandson.

Lots of people, trying to get a laugh, have been said mean things or done casually bigoted impressions. Take Jon Stewart — he’s done plenty. But he’s also been a ferocious advocate for the healthcare of veterans and 9/11 first responders, has thoughtfully and firmly spoken up for good causes, and has been known to put his money where his mouth is.

Donald Trump has lied about making large donations to 9/11 charities. There are no records of him donating at all. He once crashed an event at a charity for children with HIV, stole a donor’s front-row seat, and got his face in event photos without ever giving the charity a cent.

If you posted a clip reel of Jon’s most cringeworthy lines, and said “this sucks,” I would agree. If you went on to say “this proves he’s fundamentally a bad person, and I have no respect for anyone who supports or defends him in any way”…that would be overkill.

I’ve said and done things that were this mean. (Not recently, I hasten to add. And not on purpose.) Lots of Hillary supporters are in the same boat. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are folks who are shouting about the reporter-mocking clip as a way of overcompensating for the shame of their own past jokes.

And lots of Trump supporters thinking “I’ve done something this bad, and I know I’m a good person, so that probably applies to Donald too.”

I could pause here for a long list of Donald’s much-rarer failings in all kinds of fields, but in the name of sticking to a theme, once more for the folks in the back: he canceled the healthcare for his own brother’s disabled. infant. grandchild.

Doesn’t seem likely a lot of Trump supporters have done that. Seems likely, in fact, that some Trump supporters would never consider doing such a thing to their own children and grandchildren, their own nieces and nephews.

For crying out loud, even Ebeneezer Scrooge took a long hard look at himself when he realized he might cause the death of a little kid on crutches.

People who are explaining their hatred of Trump will give a shortlist of half a dozen things he’s said or done — usually including his racist comments toward Mexicans, his incitement of violence toward Muslims — and “mocking a disabled reporter” is almost always one of the items. I heard about it so many times in the runup to the election.

Somehow “was willing to let his baby grandnephew die in order to make a few bucks” didn’t come through any of those channels until the election was over.

One moment of bog-standard casual meanness is getting all the outrage-traction, from people who haven’t shared this incident at all. Even though this one makes it unambiguous that Trump harbors a much deeper and more entrenched form of ableism than the average edgy standup. Not to mention some fundamental lack of human caring.

…if you’re worried, and I know I was, the baby has grown up to be a happy and well-loved 17-year-old. His parents host regular fundraisers for the nonprofit that helped take care of him.

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