I had a slight meltdown in the supermarket Saturday. The plastic bottle recycling machine wasn’t working. (It rarely is.) But that’s not why I was upset. I took the bottles to the Courtesy Desk where I encountered a photograph on the front page of the Daily News that I had seen in a smaller version on the front page of The New York Times. Perhaps you’ve seen it. The picture, by Getty photographer John Moore, shows a 2-year-old Honduran child crying at the border as her mother, attempting to cross illegally, is searched.
I’m not a particularly maternal woman. And, of all the arts I’ve covered, photography is hardly my favorite. I hate the way people act around photos, always posing even when they’re being “natural.” But the power of photography to move instantly is undeniable. Something about that photo shook me to my core and, as I held it up in outrage to the young woman at the Courtesy Desk, I found myself choking up. (I’m tearing up now writing this.) Fortunately, I recovered myself. I could see that the sympathetic young woman at the desk was getting upset for me.
That kind of empathy is what is so lacking in the Trumpet Administration, to say the least. Border children separated from their parents, French President Emmanuel Macron dissed: Look, it doesn’t matter. The president of the United States has no respect for anyone but the disrespectful. He actually said that North Korean President Kim Jong-un was trying to do the right thing by his people. Really? Give us all a break. Or better yet, you love him so much go and try living there.
I don’t believe in vulgarity but it’s no wonder Robert De Niro cursed Trump on “The Tony Awards.” Rob Reiner was right to call him out about it: Anger only helps Trumpet and the Trumpettes. (The New York Times columnist Frank Bruni in effect said the same thing.) Anger only reinforces the right’s stereotype of the left as sore loser snowflakes. So does sadness. The far right is so fearful and hateful and twisted that its members take delight in the unhappiness of others. Why else would they support a policy that separates parents from children at the border?
The only response is constructive action. Register to vote, I told the young woman at the Courtesy Desk, and make sure your family and friends are registered. Get involved in service to others.
Above all else, live well and strive to succeed.
It’ll drive the Trumpettes crazy.