The Photo That Changed a Million Voters


What led to this repulsive, infamous photo? (#ElPasoPhotoOp) Publicly, President Trump claimed to have gone to El Paso to visit those who were wounded during yet another heavily armed, racial hatred-filled shooting spree, which again killed too many innocent people. It would have been an altruistic effort to help them heal, a kind and benevolent act. A human with empathy could share their pain and suffering, which ordinarily would make people feel better. But Trump does not possess or experience empathy, and is closer to a reptile than a human.

There Be Dragons

He wanted maximum exposure, viewing the whole affair as a photo op for as many cameras as possible. He was recorded on a patient’s phone mentioning crowd size as an important concern for him, which seems inappropriate for what should have been a sensitive and somber hospital visit. His own staffers decided to eschew a stampede of cameras in deference to the wounded and their families desirous of privacy; this of course made Trump angry, because most of all he wanted lots of camera coverage, the feelings of the wounded be damned.


Trump’s brain processes optics, images, how things look. His focus is on the surface, nothing more subtle than that, doesn’t think about consequences. He wanted to be photographed with wounded people, but of the 8 or 10 victims being treated at the hospital, they either refused to appear with him, or they were in no condition to do so. This infuriated Trump, who needed other humans to appear in the frame, more as leveraged props than sentient beings. So he decided on the baby, Paul Anchondo, orphaned as he parents tried to shield him from the hail of bullets. The baby had been released and sent home from the hospital with relatives, but Trump must have barked, “Bring me the baby!” (The baby couldn’t say ‘no’ but you might have imagined that a White House staffer would have said, “Sir, this is a bad idea.”) Having Melania hold the child instead of Donald gave her the chance to appear maternal — the president is famously germophobic, so holding an actual baby is not something we would have done — but of course all eyes would be on Donald the man, Donald the president, Donald the grinning idiot giving the totally-wrong-for-the-moment thumbs up.

He often complains about “not getting enough credit” for his actions, but in this case, he deserves all the credit for this horrible photo, this weaponizing of a baby for publicity. He gave himself another medal.



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: