During the campaign, Trump had a problem with women. He had been in several feuds with celebrity women, had said inappropriate and creepy things about his own daughter, had admitted to being a peeping tom for teenage beauty pageant contestants. So for someone with with an issue like that, what’s the worst thing that could happen to them? I’m not really that creative, but I doubt even the best storyteller in the world could have come up with being recorded bragging about borderline sexual assault. To this day, whenever I think his name, I hear, “Donald ‘Grab Em by the Pussy’ Trump,” or just, “Donald ‘GEP’ Trump.” That had to be among the worst things for someone who already had a problem with women. And we all know how that turned out.
This last week has brought on another, similar situation. Trump has a problem with Russia. Not to rehash ancient history too much, but he’s not overly fond of the House, Senate, and FBI’s investigations into possible collusion between his campaign and Russian interference in the election. He can’t do much about the House or Senate, but he can fire the head of the FBI. So he did. Of course, he didn’t say it was exclusively because of the investigation. In fact, at the beginning, he didn’t say it was a factor at all. He said it had to do with earlier investigations into Hillary Clinton’s emails. Had they stuck to that story, then claiming he fired the FBI director due to the Russia investigation would have remained a left-wing conspiracy. So what does he do? He does the worst thing and confirms that yes, he was thinking about the investigation when he decided to fire James Comey, and he would have fired him regardless of what his aides recommended.
This is bad. So what could be worse? Well, meeting with the Russians the following day, with no US based photographers there, but Russian photographers welcomed. Implying that he recorded his conversations with Comey would be worse. Doing so when there are photos floating around with him and Henry Kissinger, another guy famous for hanging out with a president who recorded himself talking about illegal things. That’s worse. But those aren’t the worst things. No, the worst thing would be to give the Russians highly classified information. So that’s what he did. Notice a pattern?
Now, Trump’s fans didn’t care about the recording of him bragging about grabbing women by the pussy. It stands to reason they won’t care about him blabbing about some of our most important intelligence sources. This is more reason for his detractors to hate him, but it won’t move the needle for those who already love him. It’s worth exploring why this is. That’s for a later post. Here I just want to end with a simple observation. In politics, and in everything where people’s opinions matter, hate and disgust is not the worst thing that can happen to politicians. The worst thing is indifference.