Historians once legitimately entertained the idea that the people of antiquity did not love their children, hypothesizing that they refused to form attachments to kids that were far too likely to die at a young age.
While that idea was quickly debunked, modern Twittologists have struggled with a much more particular and troubling query: does President Donald Trump love his son?
The elder Trump’s relationship to his son, Donald Trump Jr., has been the subject of much debate and examination over the past two years, especially given the increasing likelihood that one might soon have to testify against the other in a court of law.
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The president threw fuel on that fire this evening when he quote-tweeted his son and praised him for loving his father…and did not reciprocate, concluding his tweet with just a “Nice!”
Just a son who loves his Dad. Nice! https://t.co/ZI4012Ld7S
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 19, 2019
To make matters worse, this was not even a recent tweet of Don Jr’s.
apparently that Don Jr. tweet that Trump just QT'd has been Jr.'s pinned tweet for 9 months and his dad only just saw it, lmao
— i bless the rains down in Castamere (@Chinchillazllla) January 19, 2019
“Nice” is not something a normal father says to the son that he loves. “Nice!” is something you say to your buddy when they say they’ve brought tacos, or when you crumple up a ball of paper and perfectly throw it into the trash can, or in response to the number 69 appearing anywhere.
But then again, this isn’t the first time the President has had the opportunity to stand by his son and decided to punt instead. When the story broke that Donald Trump Jr. had attended a secret Trump Tower meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer in order to obtain dirt from the Hillary Clinton campaign, Trump merely responded with this:
Statement from Donald Trump on Donald Trump Jr.: "My son is a high quality person and I applaud his transparency."
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) July 11, 2017
This extremely low energy and milquetoast “defense” says volumes about how Donald Trump feels about his male children. He’s already publicly declared that Ivanka is his favorite child, along with many other creepy things that he feels about her “beautiful body” and what he’d like to do her if she weren’t his daughter — but for his sons, it’s a very different story.
Donald Trump reportedly did not want to name his first son after himself in case he turned out to be a “loser,” and took pride in his refusal to interact with his kids. “There are certain things you do and certain things you don’t…It’s just not for me” he said when asked if he ever changed diapers.
But even when they shed the diapers, Donald couldn’t be bothered to spend time with them. “He wasn’t really interested in the children until he could talk business with them…when they turned 21, I handed them over to him and said, ‘Here’s the finished product. You can take them from here” said his first wife and one of his alleged sex assault victims, Ivana Trump.
Then there is the awful story about how Donald Trump once slapped his son in the face for daring to wear a baseball jersey to a baseball game and about how Trump likes to joke that his idiot sons “were in the back of the room when God was handing out brains.”
Despite all the years of abuse and neglect, Donald Trump Jr. still desperately yearns for his father’s affection and his approval, which is obvious with a casual glance at his social media feed.
It would be depressing for the man if this need to seek his father’s approval on social media wasn’t accompanied by a vehement embrace of the worst parts of his father’s political ideology.
It’s driven him to ape his father and take every disgustingly racist thing his father says to the next level, whether it’s comparing immigrants to zoo animals, Syrian refugees to poisoned skittles or women to “herding mothers” or actively promoting neo-Nazi dog whistles.
While the president’s tweet isn’t all that important from a political perspective, it speaks volumes about what a callous ghoul he is at his core — and will make it all the more tragic when he inevitably throws Don Jr. under the bus to save his own skin.