We've already seen a number of true heroes emerge in the aftermath of this hurricane. There are the first responders, the doctors and nurses at the NYU hospital who helped evacuate patients with no power in the middle of the night, literally sliding them down staircases to get them out, and the thousands of volunteers and policemen and firemen and members of the Coast Guard who stepped in without hesitation.
But what about the antiheroes -- the ones who actually tried to set the world back a few pegs? What about them?
Lucky for us, one man has come bursting out of the rubble of the storm like some feather-haired phoenix, ready to spread bile and ill-will via his Twitter account. You thought prominent people would actually be kind and supportive during such a difficult time, didn't you? That maybe politics could be put aside for a hot second and people could come together?
Well, a certain Donald Trump wants to make absolutely sure the world is just a little ickier than it could be.
Trump's online utterances over the past few days have hardly come as a surprise -- after all, this is the same guy who spent years trying to force Barack Obama to publicly release his birth certificate, only to actually see it and then say it wasn't real, or something. The same guy who suggested we essentially "steal" an oil field from Iraq, because why not? The same guy who recently decided, a few weeks before the election, to offer Barack Obama $5 million to turn over his "college records" and passport, presumably so he can see whether or not the president got a B or B+ in Advanced Intractable Conflicts at Harvard Law.
Of course, Trump has always been absurdly eccentric. That's part of his charm, I guess. His consistently baffling and hilariously misguided behavior is what makes him our country's preeminent evil cartoon billionaire. But the problem now is that he wants to have it both ways. He wants to be the joke and get taken seriously. He's willing to get roasted on Comedy Central and also run for president. He'll host Celebrity Apprentice, keeping a straight face as he assigns Gary Busey to project manage an outdoor camping business, and then feature himself prominently at a Mitt Romney campaign rally.
But as Sandy prepared to take lives and ravage the Northeast a few days ago, he took to Twitter, busting out gems like this:
The polls & momentumare trending towards @mittromney. Don't let the hurricane change your thinking!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2012
Because of the hurricane, I am extending my 5 million dollar offer for President Obama's favorite charity until 12PM on Thursday.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2012
Yes, as the rest of the nation was preparing to withstand the natural disaster of a lifetime, one man was still wondering why President Obama hadn't taken a couple quick minutes to call his old colleges, request his transcripts, and send 'em on over to Trump HQ. Just a photocopy of your passport, man! Is that too much to ask during the worst nationwide crisis of 2012?
But he did find time to assure us all that Celebrity Apprentice had rearranged out its complicated shooting schedule.
Fans shouldn't worry.We have adjusted the filming schedule of the upcoming 13th season of @celebapprentice appropriately due to the storm.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2012
And on Wednesday, while most everyone else in New York City was trying to figure out how to charge their cell phones, or even find food and water, Trump spent the entire day blasting Obama on Twitter, simply for going to New Jersey to survey the damage.
Today Barack Obama is standing in water in NJ. Remember on election day that he has put the US underwater.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2012
Obama is now standing in a puddle acting like a President--give me a break.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2012
The most frustrating thing, perhaps, about Trump's demeanor throughout this whole disaster, is that he constantly forgets that he himself possesses the power to actually do something good for the world. While fellow uber-wealthy people like Jeff Skoll and Bill Gates and Craig Newmark actually rally around the world's problems, he barely sends enough moneyto keep his own foundation operational.
Do something tangible for the city you say you love so much. Take one of your helicopters to the Rockaways and hand out food, or to Coney Island, or Long Island, or even the Hamptons, if that's what you prefer. Or heck, just drive a few blocks to the East Village. Everyone needs help right now. Take that $5 million you were going to give to charity for some partisan nonsense and maybe actually give it to charity, without a caveat.
Use your millions of Twitter followers to spread a positive message, instead of digging yourself into deeper joke-holes. You could at least tweet the number to text the Red Cross donations. Your friend Mitt Romney did that right away, and it only takes a second. Work with the Red Cross, work with Feeding America -- just stop pandering to the loony fringe and lend somebody, somewhere a hand. While Obama is actually out there actually doing stuff, you're Tweeting from a tower.
There are 200,000 people homeless in Haiti because of Sandy, thousands more in Cuba, around the Caribbean, and elsewhere in the northeast. Why not just give them some of your money, and quit being such a cartoon?
You have the opportunity now to be the movie villain who realizes his evil ways and turns them around.
Or you could just turn off Twitter and go outside.
Follow Lucas Kavner on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lucaskavner