Let’s talk about sympathy: who has it, who deserves it, and who seems pathologically incapable of showing some. In the wake of President Trump’s unpopular inauguration, his wife Melania enjoyed a public welling of sympathy. A nation of tweeter’s watched, unexpectedly moved, as the former model and current First Lady struggled to maintain an air of affection for her charred husband. We witnessed Trump’s callous indifference, the sort of chilly demeanor that a tabloid’s body language expert would call a sure sign of marital distress.
We replayed the inauguration clips over and over again and wondered what Melania was thinking, with her dead eyes and her body uncomfortably rigid in powder blue. At Women’s Marches all over the country, anti-Trump protesters held up signs imploring the President to #FreeMelania (and Tiffany too, while you’re at it). But while the imagined imprisonment of Melania Trump struck a chord, backlash swiftly demanded that we redirect our sympathies in more appropriate directions. After all, Melania Trump is an enabler of her husband’s policies and his actions. She may not speak often, but when she does, it’s to defend birtherism or regurgitate a “locker room talk” sound bite.
Over the weekend, SportsCenter on the Road host Sage Steele provided another textbook example of misdirected sympathy.
So THIS is why thousands of us dragged luggage nearly 2 miles to get to LAX, but still missed our flights. Fortunately, a 7 hour wait for the next flight to Houston won’t affect me that much, but my heart sank for the elderly and parents with small children who did their best to walk all that way but had no chance of making their flights. I love witnessing people exercise their right to protest! But it saddened me to see the joy on their faces knowing that they were successful in disrupting so many people’s travel plans. Yes, immigrants were affected by this as well. Brilliant. ????????