Benjamin T. King: A renaissance of humanity on the horizon

  • Surrounded by Army cadets, President Donald Trump watches the first half of the 121st Army-Navy Football Game in Michie Stadium at the United States Military Academy on Dec. 12 in West Point, N.Y. AP

For the Monitor
Published: 12/27/2020 6:10:37 AM

Have you noticed that President Donald Trump never projects human emotions like happiness or sadness? He never genuinely smiles. Certainly he does not cry, no matter how grievous the tragedies that have befallen us under his watch. His public faces are three.

He gloats when he perceives that he has bested people who dare challenge him, particularly if they are American allies or fellow Americans.

He sneers at anyone with the temerity to question him, or anyone whom he perceives as lesser than he, such as that disabled reporter he mocked in 2016.

And he fixes the menacing glare of the pro wrestler he once pretended to be on anyone who has smacked him down.

He struck this pugilistic pose in his “exclusive” interview with that sycophant Brian Kilmeade recently, in which our president scolded the United States Supreme Court and crowed that he had won Wisconsin “big.”

Somehow Kilmeade did not follow up the president’s delusional proclamation of triumph in Wisconsin with the question any responsible reporter would ask. “Mr. President, how can you claim that you won Wisconsin big when recounts have confirmed that you lost it by over 20,000 votes?” Perhaps Kilmeade didn’t want to lose his “exclusivity” as the vehicle for the president’s propaganda. Equally likely, he sought to avoid the president’s sneer, or his menacing glare, redirecting itself toward him.

So, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s responses to challenging questions posed by Jake Tapper in his exclusive first interview with the president-elect and her relieved me. Despite Tapper’s wealth of experience, he appeared somewhat nervous in that interview. Perhaps his nervousness accounted for the fact that he asked Harris about seven questions at once.

“How can she ever answer that?” I wondered to myself, as I took a sip of Diet Coke from my perch on the couch.

“Yes!” Harris exclaimed, before bursting into laughter and stating that she would attempt to answer the last question first.

Some Diet Coke may have spurted from my nose as I laughed too and realized I was witnessing a human emotion not displayed by the executive branch in four years – humor!

Harris and Biden also demonstrated something else not recently shown to the Fourth Estate by the executive branch – forthrightness and respect. It’s well-nigh impossible to answer seven questions at once. But Harris did her level best.

So that interview with our leaders-in-waiting offered hope, as did the news that vaccine doses are en route. A virus that forbids human connection has terrorized us, under the watch of a president seemingly incapable of human emotion.

Yet as time ticks down on the Trump presidency, and UPS trucks roll across our highways bringing vaccines, is a renaissance not foretold?

A renaissance of human connection – a renaissance of humanity – just might lie on the horizon.

(Benjamin T. King is a Concord resident and a partner in the Concord law firm Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C.)




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