He started young.
Mary Trump writes about how her father, Fred Trump Jr, died of problems relating to alcoholism in 1981, at the age of 42. “As my father lay dying alone,” she writes, “Donald went to the movies.”
Trump’s offhand callousness ran the spectrum from family to obscure contact. One of his critics, Joe Scarborough, had an assistant named Lori Klausutis, who sadly died after hitting her head in a fall. Trump peddled a cruel and baseless conspiracy theory that Scarborough had Klausutis murdered. There was no reason for it except to needle Scarborough; a side-effect was that it brought grief to her husband. Trump would not have cared about that.
There is no doubt in my mind that if a group had risen against Donald Trump’s presidency the way his IQ-challenged rioters rose against the US Government on Capitol Hill, Trump would have had them hung.
Not in a good way, like pictures on a wall.
In a bad way, the way he insisted on hanging the people on death row during his last spasms as president in 2020.
Let’s paint this picture.
He first sprung to public attention when he ran an ad calling for the death penalty against five Black youths who were accused of raping and beating a woman in Central Park. He was 43 years old at the time, and the real-estate billionaire had no problem finding the $85,000 it took to run the ad.
He stressed in the ad that the “neighborhood cop” wasn’t able to get his job done because politicians were creating a “reckless and dangerously permissive atmosphere.”
The most revealing line was “these muggers and murderers…should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes.”
For the first time, Americans experienced the mind-poison of Donald Trump. His letter was influential in getting the five young Blacks convicted. They spent from 6 to 13 years behind bars. And Trump kept pushing for their execution. Their ‘confessions’, as it turned out, were coerced, and they were declared innocent years later…but that did not change Trump’s mind. Unable to face the thought of being wrong, he snapped back at a Ken Burns documentary about the case: