Saturday, August 17, 2019


The funny thing with the hashtag #EmptySeatMAGATour trending on Twitter Friday isn't that there appeared to be a number of empty seats at the Trump rally in NH on Thursday--gosh no! Trump boasts about his crowd size, and yes, that seems a little Freudian, and yes, it also reminds me he has paid people to pad out crowds before, and also, requested people be bussed in to pad out rallies, and other attendance-related shenanigans have even occurred at at least one recent speech, but no, one rally without fully-filled seats is not the funny thing.

It's how he responds:

Because you know how it is! You never know when the fire marshal will limit your crowd, or whatever! And you know how the media never pans the audience when he has a full house! Sad!

It's funny, to a point, how touchy he is over his need for big crowds as proof of how much he's loved, and even if his presidency had to start with an inflation of his inaugural crowd size, a pointless fib, we could stomach that. He's an egomaniac, bigger is better, we get it.

It's a bit less funny when he does it on a consoling mission. It's a bit less funny when it means that he might be in denial about the economy, or his handling of world affairs, or any other reality that might not reflect well on his self-image. It's a bit less funny when he goes straight to "Enemy of the People" language regarding the reporters covering him over crowd size, when this is the language used to threaten the free press.

And yet, I hope he loses sleep over the hashtag, and the empty chairs.

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