We all see in the context our own biases and perceptions. I think Trump and everyone around him are morally compromised, emotionally vacant individuals. I know the old trope that even a broken clock is right two times a day. I have trouble seeing Trump et al as right in anything they do. I fully admit to being as polarized as Trump’s core base, the people I think of as “Trumplandia”.
While working out, I saw a clip on CNN of Melania touring a border detention facility for unaccompanied male teens between 12 and 16 — a very different thing from the 2000 or so young children who were stripped from their parents. Even then, one of the workers used the phrase “in custody.” No doubt about it, these are detention facilities. Melania’s smiles and designer jacket and attempt to show interest in these boys hardly made a dent.
Clearly the Trump administration is trying some PR pushback on the horror stories taking place at the border. The Melania smiley tour, for me, echoed Nazi concentration camps that were cleaned up for visits by the Red Cross, complete with music performances by the inmates to show how happy everyone was to be incarcerated and at forced labor. These kids aren’t made to work and they aren’t going to be gassed, but they are detained and powerless as they are shuffled around the system, referred to by Trump as subhuman and as “infesting” the United States. At least these kids are old enough to have some grasp of what’s happening and some ability to speak for themselves. That’s not true for the little ones, who are no doubt living in sheer terror in the care of strangers.
The CNN story then progressed to Trump at a cabinet meeting, and at that point I switched channels to watch a re-run of Criminal Minds. Before the channel switched I saw Mattis sitting next to Trump, eyes cast down as Trump bellowed on. I think they’re all enablers. I don’t buy the argument that at least people like Mattis keep things from getting worse. I think it’s a bad trade off. No one gets out of this with his reputation intact.