Let me just start off by making it clear that I fucking hate Donald Trump and I think he’s a horrendous president in every way. (I also think he legitimately won the election, and that the Democrats dropped the ball, but that’s another debate entirely.) He’s a loathsome individual, petty and narcissistic, and he makes America look like shit to the rest of the world.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I just have to question one specific criticism of him: that he mocked a disabled reporter during a speech. Here is the widely-seen still image of him supposedly doing so.
I’m reminded of this because I still routinely see people posting it on Facebook. I must say that during Trump’s campaign, when this incident surfaced, I had to raise an eyebrow in skepticism despite agreeing with virtually every other criticism leveled against him. It just seemed like, “they’re reaching with this one.”
For one thing, for Trump to be mocking this reporter’s physical properties, presumes that he knew what he looked like in the first place. Is there any evidence that he did?
But more to the point, Trump’s gestures bear little resemblance to the features of the reporter in question. As far as I can tell, this man’s disability is that one of his hands is bent at an angle. That’s it.
Trump’s little “performance”, which we are to believe was an imitation of this man, consisted of basically an exaggerated parody of someone in a state of agitation. He throws his head back and opens his mouth in a look of mock-horror, then waves his hands around. In one STILL CAPTURE of this video, he appears to be bending his hand at the wrist. The bending of the wrist is the only thing that even remotely reflects the appearance of the reporter he’s supposedly mocking, and that bent wrist is only bent in the still frame of the video. In the actual video, he is waving his hands and arms around wildly in a multitude of different positions.
I guess this could be construed as making fun of someone who was epileptic, or had cerebral palsy, or was prone to uncontrollable physical motions in some way. But…the bent wrist…I’m just not seeing it.
Again I just have to reiterate that I’m not trying to absolve Trump of any of the entirely legitimate criticisms of him, but only that this one thing seems like much ado about nothing.