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Donald Trump just kicked a crying baby out of his rally — who’s surprised?

First women. Then Mexicans, Muslims, Ukrainians and the parents of a fallen soldier. Why should anyone be shocked to learn that Donald Trump kicked a crying baby out of his recent rally in Virginia and (one can hope) shamed the child’s mother right into the arms of Democrats? It’s really only a matter of time before he drops kerosene all over his podium, lights a match and laughs maniacally like the protagonist in a bad ’80s heavy metal video.

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And yet, even though nothing about this man should surprise Americans anymore, let’s breathe in the hypocrisy: Trump, the same man who stands a 50 percent chance at heading the country he feels no longer gets the respect it deserves, just disrespected a supporter and mom who brought her baby along to hear him speak. Since all children are born with bullshit detectors that, sadly, dissipate as they become socialized, the most clued-in person in that room began flipping out at one point while Trump was speaking. Did the GOP nominee pull a Professor Sydney Engelberg and sweep the tot into his arms while continuing to deliver a speech about how only he can make the country great again for this otherwise cursed young American citizen? Of course you just spit your water out at the thought. Here’s a snippet of what he said instead: 

“You can get that baby out of here. Don’t worry about that baby. I love babies. Don’t worry about it. I love babies. I hear that baby crying, I like it. What a baby. What a beautiful baby. Don’t worry, don’t worry. The mom’s running around like — don’t worry about it, you know. It’s young and beautiful and healthy and that’s what we want.” Sounds nice enough, except a few minutes later, he told the mom of the still-crying baby, “Actually, I was only kidding. You can get the baby out of here.”

Now that’s the Trump we know and love (if water isn’t shooting again from your mouth, that statement rings true for you). It’s sometimes very difficult to believe this is the same person who raised wonderful children — because, make no bones about it, he and his ex-wives and Melania Trump have raised wonderful children. You have to assume some compassionate person in his family understood that the behavior of babies is more unpredictable than what comes out of his own mouth on a typical Tuesday. But nah, at the end of the day, the baby — like anyone else who fails to serve Trump or gets in his way — got booted from the rally for being disruptive.

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Calm down, lady, he’s joking, you say. So was every bully with whom you went to high school. The “joke,” and let’s remember that Trump’s entire campaign has been filled with similar “jokes,” devolves into insensitive, brutish behavior when he fails to recognize the nation’s cues and the cues of his own party telling him to cool it.

Babies don’t belong at rallies, you say? Agree with that statement until the cows come home, but that doesn’t make his reaction any less disappointing for those of us who can only judge him on his character at this point. After all, when others are acting in ways we don’t like or understand, we can only control our reaction to them, right? If Trump gets twisted over an unruly baby, the moment Kim Jong Un or Yahya Jammeh or, heaven forbid, Vladimir Putin, so much as criticizes his tie, he’s going to lose his ever-loving mind and take the rest of us sane folks with him on a stroll down Crazy Lane.

Trump’s insults and rants have shifted from being worthy of headlines to being facts about his character, no more newsworthy than reporting on the number of legs on an arachnid. He has sunk so low that, in order to truly deserve the headlines he gets, Trump has to slither on his belly in the grass and take down the grieving parents of a soldier who died defending America. At this point it has to be said: It’s time to stop blaming Trump for being Trump. He shouldn’t be told to stop being Trump. It’s the rest of the nation that needs to quit pretending that, beneath that rough exterior, John Cusack is waiting to sweep us off our feet.

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The businessman chose to make this campaign more about himself than about GOP values or the issues he claims he can fix. Since that’s the case, American voters have no other choice than to support him for what he, and he alone, can bring to the table, and that includes his personal feelings about whole groups of people and how he believes they should be treated in his America. For all of his faults, Trump has never tried to be anything but Trump. But so many Republicans who support him act like victims of relationship abuse when asked to explain why his rhetoric doesn’t trouble them.

“He isn’t really like this in private.”

“I’ve read accounts from people who know him and who say he’s actually a really nice guy.”

“This is all for publicity. He won’t act like this once he’s president.”

If it acts like a duck, swims like a duck and gives better duck face than most 13-year-old girls, it isn’t an eagle in disguise.

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