Look at the picture of the Holets family. Two of the three people in that memorable image are female: Rebecca Holets and Baby Hope. Without Rebecca’s decision to adopt, Hope might not be alive. And, incidentally, Hope’s birth mother, Crystal Champ, might not be alive either. Far from “discarding” her, the Holets family has started a GoFundMe campaign to help her, as both Cauterucci and Weiner acknowledge. She has now, according to some reports, been clean for slightly more than one month, and Weiner even reports that she’s been offered a scholarship by a rehab facility.
Why, then, should it follow that Trump had a moral obligation publicly name Champ and chronicle her life story? Doesn’t the opposite seem just as likely? Would Champ, at such a fragile stage in her recovery, have welcomed the public attention brought by a presidential mention? She’s talked to the media before, but that’s a different thing entirely.
Demonstrating her ignorance (or perhaps conveniently forgetting her knowledge to score a political point), Weiner actually called Champ’s short bout of sobriety a “happy ending.” Yet anyone who knows an addict knows that short bouts of sobriety are common. Champ isn’t out of the woods yet, and even Weiner acknowledges that her “previous attempts to get clean all ended in failure.” So why the assumption that a presidential mention is a moral imperative?
Given the fragility of an addict’s life, I can easily imagine a horrific counter-narrative. Trump mentions the mom, he touts the “happy ending,” and ten days Champ, overwhelmed by media attention and the resulting seismic change in her life, is found dead, a needle in her arm. The headlines blare: “Donald Trump used an addict as a prop. Now she’s dead.”