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And that’s part of what’s so maddening about Trump. It’s one thing for a backwards fuck like Mike Huckabee or Mike Pence to show their ignorance people of color and the LGBTQ community; they rarely come in contact with anyone with those qualities in their little evangelical white cis-male bubbles. But Donald Trump was born and raised in New York City – rich, yes, but still surrounded by a diversity of Americans, and thus choosing to demonize them, when he should (and maybe even does) know better.
But those New York roots are also key to understanding Mr. Trump, and to grasping why these snubs and slams hit him (literally) where he lives. He inherited his father’s real estate company – but Fred built and managed in Queens and Brooklyn, while Donald always had an eye on Manhattan. He longed not only to build and live there, but to belong there, for its movers and shakers to accept him as one of their own. And over the course of his lifetime, he’s discovered that no matter how much wealth he amassed, how many high-rises or casinos or airlines or football teams he bought or sold, how much gold he slathered across his lobbies, or how many times he was on the front of the papers, he would never have their respect, because you can buy class (as in upper) but you can’t buy class (as in high). And now, even as he’s been elected to the most powerful office in the country, they still don’t respect him, and when the Times or Vanity Fair or Saturday Night Live (all long-running New York institutions) scald him, he can’t resist firing back. And the more he insists that he cares about “THE PEOPLE” and not “so-called ‘A’ celebrities,” the clearer it is that their continued rebukes and rebuffs are driving him crazy.
Every time one of these stories surfaces, a chorus of Responsible Citizens takes to social media, political blogs, and public airwaves to scold us for falling for another of Trump’s “diversions,” pointing out whatever ethical lapse or horrifying conflict of interest or bass-ackwards policy proposal is being ignored while we focus on his latest celebrity feud. And there is some merit to that. But I would counter that, for Trump, those are the diversions; his primary concern is achieving the unblemished fame and fawning respect he’s spent his life pursuing. And as long as his focus is on that, perhaps he won’t have the time or energy to roll back decades of women’s and civil rights progress, or default us into a Depression, or provoke a full-on nuclear war.
So I implore you, celebrities and satirists and entertainers of all stripes: mock this man. Criticize him with your every breath. Humiliate him from your studios, your awards stages, your magazine pages. Deny him the respect he not only desires, but requires. The very fate of our nation may depend on it.