The Candidates Families

My current job, writing speeches for an international service-oriented non-profit, has put me in touch with highly people-oriented individuals. It’s been a nice change for me — it’s kind of refreshing to write for people who genuinely enjoy the company of lots of people and who find an easy trust with them. These are not traits that I share. In past generations, these type of people would be mainstream Republicans, Babbitt types. But times are changing.

Joe Biden would get along great in an organization like ours. It’s his natural domain and it’s most apparent in his relationship with his family. I’d heard all is the major Biden family stories before, but was moved during the convention by the segment with his granddaughters. One of them said their granddad will pick up the phone while giving a speech if one of them calls, worried something might be wrong. I found that incredibly touching.

The contrast with Donald Trump, both broadly in how he relates to people and specifically within the family, couldn’t be stronger. This was reinforced by a Washington Post story today in which Trump’s sister, retired federal judge Maryanne Trump Barry, says in secret tape recordings that her brother had someone else take his SAT, cannot be trusted about anything and is a cruel human being. This comes on top of his niece Mary Trump writing the most scathing book about him this election cycle.

You would think, given the weak position he holds when compared to Biden on this score, that Trump would use his convention to highlight other strengths. But no — nearly every prime time speaker at his convention this week is a Trump family member, all of whom, unlike his sister and niece, are 100 percent reliant on him for their livelihood. And at least his eldest two children give every indication of hoping to ride his coattails into future Presidential runs.

There are no stories of Trump taking trains home nightly to see his kids, because he spent those after work ours when they were growing up chasing models and hanging out with people like Jeffrey Epstein. Would Trump pick up the phone mid-speech if a grandchild called? Does he even know his grandchildren’s names. Joe Biden will help soothe a person he just met if he heard they experienced a recent loss. According to Trump’s sister, he eulogized his own dad by doing nothing but bragging about his own success.

There’s no reasonable way to look at the Biden-Trump family contrasts and see Trump in a favorable light. And yet he will present that false image for four nights this week and millions will believe it. Sometimes it’s not even a matter of believing science or trusting the news media. It’s a matter of opening and closing your eyes.

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