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State of the Union – What About the Mom?

February 1, 2018

Living in Trump's Not So Great America

Trump’s first State of the Union address (Jan. 30, 2018) was expectedly filled with half-facts, false claims, and theatrical tricks designed to support various right-wing causes. They all stood out for their sheer opportunism, but one puzzled me more than the others: what did the police officer do about the opioid-addicted mother of the child he adopted?

I got my answer the next day when The New York Times published “Baby Hope’s Birth Mom Has a Name.” Here’s an excerpt:

“You might have been wondering — I know I was — what happened to that homeless woman? Was she offered treatment? Was she given a chance to reunite with her newborn baby, which could have been a powerful incentive to get clean? Can she be part of the baby’s life? Where is she now? Is she O.K.?

“The woman’s name is Crystal Champ, and her history is sad, and, at this point, to anyone who’s been paying attention to the devastating opioid epidemic, sadly familiar.”

Op-Ed writer Jennifer Weiner then explains how Trump was ‘playing to his base’: By not naming Chrystal Champ he was using the language of anti-abortionists.

“President Trump’s decision to refer to Crystal Champ only as ‘a homeless, addicted pregnant woman,’ to identify her with a series of unpleasant descriptors, to not include her as a main character in Baby Hope’s story, is the extension of that language.”

If he left out the full story of Officer Ryan Holets, it’s not hard to imagine that Trump might have left out key facts about his other six heroic examples as well.

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