Happy Valentine's, Mr. Trump: Part II
A quick internet search with the name Donald Trump and the word "love" generates an avalanche of the former president's statements about love: the things he loves ("I love free trade"; "I love Hershey chocolate"), the human objects of his affection ("I love winners"; "I love the poorly educated") and the individuals he loves, from Tom Brady to former Sheriff Joe Arpaio. We also find numerous claims about those who love him (i.e., bikers) or those he wants to believe love him (African Americans and Mexican immigrants).
"I love people," Trump has said numerous times, but his polyamory is selective and conditional. In his speeches, tweets and assorted pronouncements, he proclaims love for particular demographic groups, such as rural Americans; professions such as mining and trucking; and assorted categories -- the "deplorables," for example -- all of which constitute key pillars of his coalition.
Loves Men in Uniform
Trump demonstrates a particular attraction for men in uniform, be they soldiers, police officers or border patrollers. Psychologist Midge Wilson has explained the unconscious sources behind the uniform fetish: tapping into "father figures, heroism, protection and power."
Trump loves war, he once told us, and all things military (parades and armament). He loved the military's top brass so much that he appointed four generals to his Cabinet, Michael Flynn, John Kelly, James Mattis and H.R. McMaster -- "my generals," he affectionately called them. He extends his love to all branches of the military: "I love the Air Force. I love those planes. I love buying those planes at a reduced price"; "We love our Navy SEALs. They've (sic) very special, very incredible people."
Judging from his numerous comments about veterans, Trump has them in a special place in his heart -- particularly "wounded warriors," John McCain excluded. Likewise, he loves "angel moms" -- "great people" -- as long it is not Ghazala Khan, wife of Khizr Khan, who chastised Trump in a speech at the 2016 Democratic convention.
Trump is infatuated with others who wear uniforms. He often expresses his love for police officers: "We love them. They're all over. They're the greatest people." The same holds true for ICE agents and "firemen."
Trump has repeatedly said that he loves workers, particularly of the blue-collar sort, people who work outdoors, be they farmers or construction workers. And, for some reason beyond my areas of expertise, he is attracted to -- let's call them "macho types": hunters, outdoorsmen, people who make machines, bikers. During his campaigns, he loved farmers when he visited rural areas: "I love rural America. All that red." When he signed an order reversing Obama-era environmental regulations, he said: "We love our coal miners. Great people." He showed the same affection for steel workers during a speech on trade in Granite City, Illinois.
Trump has a crush on machines, those who make them and those who run them. "I love mechanical things," he said at a Made in America event. "I love the whole thing," proclaimed Trump at his first 2020 campaign rally, "the world of tractors and all of that stuff." Truckers are also on his list of valentines.
'I Love You, (If) You Love Me/ We're a Happy Family'