Why an Emotional Appeal To Donald Trump will NEVER Work

An FBI agent breaks down in tears on camera during CNN interview. A mother of a shooting victim howls in pain as she begs the President of the United States to do…something. The emotional strain of a violent event not too long ago considered beyond reality but now pretty a much a monthly routine is plainly evident. Even most Republicans are so shocked by it that they can barely control the ridiculous words coming out of their mouths written for them by the NRA from sounding like a bad joke. But at least they are RESPONDING from their own perverse emotional reality.

How many times have you heard a variation on this observation:

Trump does not act like a normal person?

And he doesn’t. ON A GROWING LIST OF TOPICS. Lickspittle footnotes to American history like Rubio and Ted Cruz are responding badly, but normally considering their circumstances which is, basically, keep my job. Trump truly does not see to care. And there’s a reason for that.


Most people are born with a natural inclination toward empathy. A truly precious few are born without it. I’m not sure whether Trump never had it though I suspect he did but set about early on to rewire it out of his system. At some point, at any rate, empathy was banished from Donald Trump’s thought process. My guess is that this concerted rewiring started in elementary school and was probably completed before he got out of that “military” school. It’s been a long time…long enough that he has not had to deal with unwanted concern for others interfering with what is TRULY important: how any information impact and affect HIM.

People seemed shocked that he never mentioned the abused wives of what’s-his-name and tried to frame it within the political: he can’t show empathy for the victims of others without it coming back around to his own victims. I doubt it seriously. Watch the man in that interview. There is never a flicker of recognition that those women ever, for even a second, entered his mind. Why? Because they do not impact him. He lost an employee and was made to look back; that was his only concern. There was no room left in their for any kind of feeling at all toward the victims. Empathy is no longer at issue and that is why he is so often referred to as “not normal” or “tone deaf.” When he addresses an issue that completely overlooks or ignores the real victims of it, it is precisely because he has no ability to understand that someone may possibly be a victim other than him. In fact, I’m willing to wager that if you hooked him up to lie detect that was absolutely foolproof and showed him photos of the two ex-wives, the guy, John Kelly, Sarah Sanders–anyone else on earth–and then a photo of him and asked which of those picture was the real victim of that debacle…the machine would go off like a fire alarm unless or until he identified himself as not just the biggest victim…BUT THE ONLY VICTIM.

No, Trump does not behave normally under certain conditions. His responses are so detached from expectations and reality that there is no other word for it; he is acting apart from normally proscribed behavior. And so far apart, that it is not just noticeable, but shocks us. And it’s because we all recognize that it is normal to feel profound emotions toward someone else’s pain EVEN WHEN IT HAS ABSOLUTELY NO IMPACT ON OUR LIVES. Trump no longer possesses this ability, but what is causing the disconnect from normality is that he no longer possesses something equally vital: he does not understand why his lack of empathy is bad. For him, it’s not a flaw; it’s a strength. It is a show of his character and his commitment. But without even the ability to perceive that a lack of any kind of concern for another person’s emotions when they do not have any real impact on your life is missing, one thing remains crystal clear: trying to make a change in America by appealing to Donald J. Trump’s emotions is about as useful as a bag of Marco Rubios.