Days after President Donald Trump delivered a speech pledging to be America’s “law and order president” and emphasizing the need for police to “dominate” the streets against protesters, actor and former professional wrestler Dwayne Johnson gave an address of his own about both the man in the White House and the current climate in the country.
Posted to Instagram Wednesday night, Johnson excoriates Trump’s response while also offering up some of the empathy that has been wanting in the current President’s response.
Here’s part of what he said (although you really should watch the whole eight-ish minutes):
“Where are you? Where is our leader at this time? At this time when our country is down on its knees begging, pleading, hurt, angry, frustrated, in pain, begging and pleading with its arms out just wanting to be heard. Begging and pleading and praying for change. Where are you? Where is our compassionate leader who is going to step up to our country who is down on its knees and extend a hand and say ‘You stand up. Stand up with me. Stand up with me, because I’ve got you. I’ve got you. I’ve got you, I hear you, I’m listening to you and you have my word that I’m going to do everything in my power, till my dying day, to my last breath to do everything I can to create the change that’s needed, to normalize equality because black lives matter.’ Where are you?”
Pretty damn convincing, right? And something everything Trump has said to date about the death of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers late last month has been sorely lacking.
This is a President who, talking about the unexpectedly strong jobs numbers on Friday, said this:
“Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying, ‘There’s a great thing that’s happening for our country.’ This is a great day for him, it’s a great day for everybody. This is a great day for everybody.”
Yes, George Floyd, who was killed before he reached 50, is looking down from heaven and thinking: Man, but how about those economic numbers, huh?!
Imagine if you landed back on Earth after a five-year stint on the International Space Station where you got no news. And I played the audio of The Rock’s speech and then the audio of Trump’s — and forced you to guess which one sounded more like the president.
You’d pick Dwayne Johnson’s speech every single time. Right? Right.
Which is a remarkable reflection on Donald Trump and the current state of the presidency. And perhaps a preview of Johnson’s next reinvention — as a politician. “I’m not ruling it out,” he said in 2019 of the possibility of running for president. “I’m not ruling out the idea if I could make a bigger impact somehow, or potentially surround myself with good people.”
The Point: Trump has never grasped — or cared to understand — the role of a president as a moral leader. Johnson seems to inherently get it.
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