One of the most loathsome dictators of the 20th century was the late “Baby Doc” Duvalier of Haiti. Unlike his unrepentant tyrannical father “Papa Doc,” Baby Doc saw himself as a benevolent despot. Never mind the the Haitian people suffered immeasurably under his rule. All that mattered was that Duvalier and his sycophants and stooges believed the narrative he created for himself.

One of Baby Doc’s hobbies was that he liked to drive through the sprawling slums of Port Au Prince in his armored Mercedes Benz limousine and throw a few coins out the window into the street. Haitians, hungry and desperate, would scramble for these few tokens, sometimes getting run down by Duvalier’s trailing security convoy in the process. Baby Doc was said to have felt these pointless, cruel, spectacles showed the people he “cared.”

I’m reminded of that story today as even with an epidemic raging and an economy on the brink, Donald Trump’s fans continue to stage Quixotic protests in the name of their new, improved, “lost cause.” Just last weekend thousands of Trump fans came to Washington D.C. to honor their leader. What did Trump do? Drove through in his security convoy and waved. He didn’t address them or even stop. Just rolled right through on his way to his private golf course.

I bet those enraptured followers didn’t even get any spare change for their trouble!

Jeremy Smith
Old Orchard Beach

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