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Yes, Trump Was Calmer in Debate No. 2. He’s Still a Narcissist With No Sense of Empathy.

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AP Photo/Julio Cortez

In the second presidential debate of 2020, the sitting president running for reelection was not bonkers. He was only occasionally rude, and his rants were intermittent, not constant. So compared with his maniacal performance in the first debate, Donald Trump scored. But he still sent the message: He doesn’t care that much about other people. Not about COVID victims. Not about children separated from their parents (and those who are horrified by that). Not about Dreamers. Not about families of color who have to contend with police violence. Not about Americans who sit at the kitchen table worrying about their health care, jobs, and bills.

Almost every time Trump had the opportunity to connect with others beyond the debate stage, he took a pass. His focus was mainly on slamming—and smearing—Joe Biden. And that mission was largely untempered by any demonstrable concern for the citizenry. Biden had that territory all to himself—and he seized it.

This was clear right out of the chute, as NBC News’ Kristen Welker, an even-keeled and effective moderator, opened the questioning with a query about the pandemic. Throughout the discussion of this ongoing crisis, which is claiming thousands of American lives a week, Trump evinced not an iota of empathy. With over 220,000 dead, he boasted—if that’s what you can call it—that 2.2 million were not dead. That’s the number of people who probably would have lost their lives to the coronavirus if absolutely no government action had been taken. (This is akin to a firefighter saying, “Imagine all the folks who would have died had we not turned on the hoses.”) And Trump stuck to his usual BS, insisting he had done a grand job, claiming his own medical treatment was a cure (it wasn’t), and declaring a vaccine was........

© Mother Jones

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