Trump-haters get their amygdalae in a twist
US president Donald Trump recently received a letter from a youngster named Frank Giacco.
“Dear Mr President,” Giacco wrote. “It would be my honor to mow the White House lawn some weekend for you.
“Even though I’m only 10, I’d like to show the nation what young people like me are ready for. I admire your business background and have started my own business. I have been mowing my neighbors’ lawns for some time.”
Giacco usually charges $8, but offered to complete the White House job for free. Sensing an obvious PR opportunity, Trump’s staff contacted the lad. Last week, Giacco achieved his ambition, travelling the short distance from his Virginia home to the White House and dutifully trimming the presidential lawn.
“Frank is hard at work in the Rose Garden and doing a great job!” tweeted Trump press secretary Sarah Sanders. PR opportunity accomplished. But then came the hate.
“Not sending a great signal on child labor, minimum wage & occupational safety,” sneered New York Times contributor Steven Greenhouse. “What this kid wants to do is noble, but sorry, I’m mindful of problems,” Greenhouse continued on Twitter. “I’ve written lots about child labor & kids being hurt by machinery.
“People who don’t think about child labor or job safety don’t realize that young kids & mowers aren’t a great fit.”
Thank you, Buzz Killington. Still, Greenhouse’s case of Trump derangement syndrome is minor compared to that suffered by Fairfax’s David Leser, who revealed on Saturday he’d never met a single Trump supporter — until his US-born cousin arrived in Australia and mentioned she’d voted for the Donald.
“It was a glorious sun-kissed morning and we were actually cresting Heartbreak Hill, the two-kilometre stretch of road between Rose Bay and Vaucluse, when she uttered these words, and I had what can best be described as an ‘amygdala hijack’ — a takeover of the brain’s limbic system,” Leser reported.
“Faster, shallower breathing; increased heart rate; dilated pupils; a flood of stress hormones, mainly cortisol — all resulting in general loss of conscious reasoning.”
That’s putting it mildly. “I can’t f…ing believe it,” Leser shouted at the woman. “You mean I’m driving around Sydney with a f…ing Trump supporter, and she happens to be my cousin.”
Leser, by the way, is in his 60s. The hot-headed oldtimer then told his cousin, “Look, I don’t think I can do this” — and actually reached across her to open the passenger-side door. For voting contrary to Leser’s expectation, he wanted to throw her out of his car. So much for celebrating diversity, or supporting a woman’s right to choose. To his credit, Leser eventually calmed down. He even established a warm friendship with his independent-minded relative.
Consider this, though. How is it possible in a city of nearly five million to so insulate yourself that you have never met a Trump fan? And what might happen if a Trump-admiring kid turns up to mow Leser’s lawn?