You might’ve recently heard the charming news story of when Donald Trump, Republican presidential candidate and billionaire, took some kids in a helicopter ride at a recent campaign stop and was asked by one, “Are you Batman?,” to which Donald Trump replied, “I am Batman.”
Of course, in their haste to report this story, most major news sources seem to have gotten the details of the story wrong.
If you listen closely to the video taken from the child’s GoPro camera aboard the helicopter, he actually asked Trump, “Are you a bad man?”
What’s even more egregious is that these same sources apparently got Trump’s response wrong as well. In the video, you see that rather than responding immediately, Trump instead became very quiet, staring off into a vacant corner of the helicopter cabin.
“You know,” he finally said, “I don’t think anybody has ever asked me that question. It’s not something I’ve thought about in a very long time.” He was silent again for several seconds, then, frustrated, continued, “It’s not even a question that makes sense. What does it really mean to be a ‘bad man,’ anyway? Is it just not doing good? Because…” Trump trailed off here before continuing: “…you know, I don’t know that I have done anything good. I mean, I must’ve, right? Because so many people love me? But now that I try to think of it, I don’t know. I can’t really say that anything I’ve done was good for anybody but me.”
“But that doesn’t make me bad,” he added. “That doesn’t make me a bad man. A bad man would have to do things that negatively impact others while offering nothing positive to the world. Which I… huh. I… I guess I do that. I do that a lot, actually. I routinely exploit political connections to gain an unfair advantage in business. I drive my own companies to bankruptcy to avoid debts while sending thousands into unemployment. Even now, I’m making a circus of our most important democratic institution for purely personal gain.”
At this point in the video, you can see an aid try to step in, but Trump, no longer appearing to address anybody but himself, continues: “I’m horrible. I’m literally horrible. I’ve used hate and fear to unify people behind a dangerous rhetoric I don’t even believe in, all because my ego is a beast that cannot be satisfied. I have helped sow a disgusting, racist, xenophobic sentiment that previously existed only on the fringes of society, and I’ve done it without caring about the lives it might destroy.”
Trumps eyes were fixed on the floor of the helicopter. In a trembling voice that no longer belonged to a man but to something vaguely resembling one, he said, “Who could love me? Who could ever love me? These people… they show up to my rallies, my campaign stops, but they don’t love me. They can’t. They know me not as the empty human being I am, but as a series of racist undertones and catch phrases printed on hats. They don’t love Donald Trump, the man–they love Donald Trump, the validation of their most irrational fears and hatred.”
“I’m shit,” he continued. “I’m a piece of actual human shit.”
Trump now sat with a new emptiness in his eyes, seized by horror at the thought of just how much worse the universe was directly because of his existence. In the video, you can hear his voice crack before he concedes, “Yes. Yes, I am a bad man.”
Following the conclusion of the helicopter ride, Trump made another campaign stop in Iowa, where he told the thousands in attendance that immigrants were ruining America and detailed his plan to send whole families back to Mexico.