Off the Record: Trump does have a sense of shame

The news surrounding the immigration crisis on our southern border has proven something that not many people believed could be proven. President Donald Trump does indeed have a sense of shame.

It took a couple of weeks of public outrage over the separation of immigrant children from their families and housing them in glorified dog kennels, and a couple of admonitions from his wife and daughter to do it, but Trump on Wednesday finally signed an executive order that he says will halt the practice. He claimed last week that he “hated” having to do it, but he also claimed the Democrats in Congress were standing in his way, and that he had no choice but to enforce the law that they had enacted.

He finally yielded to the pressure on Wednesday, hours before heading to Duluth for another political rally, where his faithful supporters could build his ego back up.

Throughout his campaign and his presidency, Trump has shown little sign of a haveing a sense of shame. Not after insulting Sen. John McCain and questioning his heroism. Not after mocking a physically disabled reporter by shaking and twitching on stage as he described him trying to ask a question. Not after dismissing the claims of sexual misconduct by several women by stating they weren’t really his type.

But now we know that sense of shame is down there, someplace deep within. It’s good to know that Trump can, once in a great while, be prevailed upon to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.

Now, I hope someone can prevail upon the president to do the right thing for the 2,300 children that have been separated from their parents in this zero-tolerance immigration policy. So far, there is no word that anyone in ICE or Health and Human Services is doing much about reuniting these children with their families. Since the parents are all facing criminal charges under the administration’s get-tough policy, they may be sleeping on the floor under mylar foil blankets for quite some time.


Kevin Sweeney has been the managing editor of The Journal since May 1985. A native of St. Paul, he worked at newspapers in LeSueur and Albert Lea before moving to New Ulm. Contact him at