Viewing it in isolation, you might assume it was a “first baby born in the new millennium”-type photograph. There’s Donald Trump with his thumbs-up, like he is personally responsible for producing this child-of-the-future; and Melania, her hair perfectly coiffured, cradling him like a Stepford Madonna.
It is only when you understand the context that it becomes grotesque. This was not a moment of celebration, but of mourning. The baby, Paul, is an orphan; his parents, Jordan and Andre Anchondo, died while trying to protect him from a racist gunman who claimed 22 lives in El Paso.
At two months old, Paul’s future has just been shot down in a hail of bullets. How will he feel when he looks at this photograph in years to come? How will he feel to discover that, at the defining moment in his life, he was co-opted as a piece of presidential propaganda; commodified to prop up the reputation of the man whose hateful rhetoric may have inspired the massacre? How will such a toxic legacy shape the man he becomes? Will he grow up to stand against hate? Or will the way he has been treated ensure it is passed on like a contagion?
Trump won’t be worrying about any of this. He is not a man prone to self-reflection. He lacks the capacity for empathy and the dignity of office. On the visit to the University Medical Center, where eight of the injured were still being treated, he centred himself like the narcissist he is, turning the most solemn of occasions into a jamboree.
Source: Dani Garavelli: How can Trump use an orphaned baby for cover? – The Scotsman