View Original Article

THE WASHINGTON POST OPINIONS

(Tom Toles)

To whom was the message on Melania Trump’s jacket directed? It’s possible, I guess, that a woman who picks her clothes carefully decided that her mission of ostensible compassion would be enhanced by wearing a sandwich-board-size proclamation that she in fact doesn’t care. Anything is possible with this crew.

Another theory is that the message was directed at her husband, Donald Dickensian, who might not appreciate a show of human compassion (i.e., weakness) in the face of his bold resolve to torture children to make his point. His point being that he meant it when he said he’d do worse than waterboarding, if elected. Removing young children from their parents, possibly forever, is in fact worse than waterboarding.

But neither of these meanings means much. If Melania Trump was trying to support her husband by visiting the victims of his callousness, and soften his image to help him politically, and then undercut her own effort with this slogan, that’s merely more cynical Trumpery seasoned with typical Trumpville garbling and contradictory messaging.

If she was sending a note of defiance to her husband that she doesn’t like his policy and doesn’t care what he thinks about her actions, it was too clever by about one and a half. More garbled messaging, and no public benefit.

If Melania Trump wanted to do something principled, her best option is filing for divorce, moving out and working to elect opposition politicians who might have some chance of helping the people she allegedly cares about.

But speaking of caring, it’s the question at the bottom of her jacket that’s not getting any attention, but is actually the most important part. If they don’t care, do U?

It’s not enough to shake your head at a bewildering jacket choice, or even to weep at the policy itself. Trump has opened his trench coat and flashed us a good look at his soul. If you actually care, it will require getting up and working for people who will stop him. To put him in a chain-link cage. A movie villain has to be shown doing something truly vile before the superhero can unleash his or her powers for good.

We just saw that scene. Now go be a superhero.