Adult film star Stormy Daniels has come forward with a lot of details about her affair with Donald Trump. Many of them are disturbing, but none so much to me personally as one point on which I actually agree with this despicable excuse for a president. Yes, for one, brief, soul-rattling moment I agreed with Trump on something: sharks.
Daniels told In Touch that Trump loves Shark Week programming, noting he watched “a special about the U.S.S. something.” She said, “He is obsessed with sharks. Terrified of sharks.”
First off, show some respect. It’s the U.S.S. Indianapolis, and it’s not only the worst known shark attack in human history, it was also powerfully memorialized by Robert Shaw’s chilling monologue in Jaws.
Secondly, Trump being obsessed and terrified of sharks is easily the most relatable—maybe even human—thing about him.
Who among us does not relish a good Shark Week? Sure, we might well recognize that the programs unethically amp up the terror and trauma. For “good TV”, they make sharks out to be far more man-eating than statistics or even common sense allow. But we understand that’s part of the fun, right? It’s like watching Jaws, where we know deep down that sharks are not some merciless sea demon devoted to bringing human tragedy and tearing us to bloody ribbons. They are simply highly evolved predators who outweigh, outswim, and overpower us with ease.
Beyond that, our fear of them speaks to our fear of having the safety net of society ripped away, leaving us floundering in the uncontrollable and unknown of raw nature. Society is the evolutionary change that protects us. But in the sea, society is as useless as a life-jacket made of tissue paper. It is totally rational and fine to be terrified and obsessed with sharks. They are amazing and frightening creatures!
As my brain rattled through these thoughts, I shuddered with a slimy horror realizing I was defending Trump. My mouth went dry. My stomach flipped. Even on this minor point, even just arguing it in my own mind, this made me feel ill. Then, thankfully, blissfully, jubilantly, I read the next thing Daniels said about Trump’s shark thoughts:
“I donate to all these charities and I would never donate to any charity that helps sharks. I hope all the sharks die.”
“I hope all sharks die.” Just like that, my sense of self was restored. Trump and I are not alike. Sure, we both may be “riveted” at Shark Week docs, gaping at the raw power of these aquatic predators. But what I walk away with is a sense of awe, albeit mixed with terror. I respect sharks, while Trump reviles them.
My friends and family tease me about my fascination with shark attacks, and my annual tradition of watching Jaws ahead of a beach vacation. But they’ll also tell you that I’m quick to note, “If I ever get killed by a shark, that’s on me.” After all, sharks are not monsters creeping into our lives to rip them apart. They’re just sharks, cruising along in the ocean where they live, looking for their next meal. If we’re on their turf, we are subject to their rules and jaws. That’s just nature. Unless you’re Donald Trump.
Sharks are last on my list - other than perhaps the losers and haters of the World!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 4, 2013
Sorry folks, I'm just not a fan of sharks - and don't worry, they will be around long after we are gone.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 4, 2013
Somehow, Trump sees sharks as his literal enemy. He hates them almost as much as losers and his “haters.” He does not see the majesty in their might. He resents it. He’s missing out on the wonder of this incredible element of our shared world. So, part of me feels a stab of pity for him—Oh gawd!