Kind­ness, or cal­cu­la­tion?

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION -

Re­gard­ing the July 4 Pol­i­tics & the Na­tion ar­ti­cle “Trump of­fers to help ill Bri­tish baby”:

While it is nice that Pres­i­dent Trump has of­fered to help Char­lie Gard, a crit­i­cally ill Bri­tish in­fant, I am surely not the only one to re­flect that this sharply con­trasts with the health-care bill he sup­ports, un­der which many Amer­i­can chil­dren in sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions would likely be at risk of be­ing de­nied med­i­cal cov­er­age. It is tempt­ing to won­der whether the irony is en­tirely lost on Mr. Trump and his sup­port­ers.

How­ever, it may be in­struc­tive to con­sider Mr. Trump’s pub­lic sup­port for the Gard fam­ily in light of an­other ar­ti­cle in the July 4 pa­per: “Putin’s strat­egy: Fix prob­lems, blame the ‘elite’ ” [World]. The ar­ti­cle fo­cused on the Rus­sian leader’s cyn­i­cal an­nual “Direct Line” tele­vised call-in show, which serves to de­flect crit­i­cism and at­ten­tion from his cruel and cor­rupt au­thor­i­tar­ian regime through a few highly pub­li­cized “ran­dom acts of kind­ness.” There is, of course, noth­ing at all ran­dom about this.

We should not as­sume that Mr. Trump’s es­poused con­cern in one tragic case is purely im­pul­sive any more than that it is driven by moral prin­ci­ple. This, too, is an act of de­flec­tion, fol­low­ing the model of a despot whose lead­er­ship style Mr. Trump is known to ad­mire. W. Luther Jett, Wash­ing­ton Grove

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