With every passing day the coronavirus death toll rises and it was reported yesterday that the internal White House virus model predicts at least 120,000 deaths despite the fact that Trump was predicting 80-100,000 during his Sunday “interview” with Fox at the Lincoln Memorial. During that broadcast Trump was asked why he wanted to be interviewed at the memorial and his answer was a flat-out lie. He claimed it was Fox who suggested the location even though the NY Times confirmed that the White House went through a long process with Trump to determine the location, and when they settled on the Lincoln Memorial they had to get special permission from the Secretary of the Interior. In the moment, Trump will say anything if he thinks he will look better for it. It’s all about optics.
But the relentless Covid death toll is looking increasingly bad for America and for Trump. Some models predict as many as 200,000 deaths by August, in part because many states are planning on re-opening and resuming certain activities and commerce despite the fact that needed testing and contact tracing is nowhere near ready–because Trump dithered and fumbled, and when the world started to scream about his inaction, he decided to keep dithering and fumbling so he could claim that it was all part of some grand plan rather than the disastrous product of his own expansive incompetence and self-absorption. Only in the twisted, soulless mind of Trump and his cult would it not be a historic scandal that, when faced with a dire national emergency affecting multiple states and regions, the president refused to mount a national response, passing the buck to the states. Imagine if President Roosevelt had said this after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor:
“No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. So good luck, Hawaii. We’re rooting for you!”
And then imagine if American conservatives had said, “Yeah, well, Hawaii is a libtard state so Pearl Harbor probably had it coming, and why the hell should we help them anyway?”
That’s pretty much where we are in America right now. And at the risk of being repetitive, we can never lose sight of the fact that Trump is but a symptom of a deeper cancer. For three decades AM radio has been co-opted by greedy white men like Limbaugh, Savage, Hannity, Jones, Beck and any number of ludicrous “evangelists” who convert hatred, fearmongering, bigotry and misogyny into massive personal profit. Twenty years ago these fringe lunatics were partially eclipsed by the TV network of rapacious, morally bankrupt Australian billionaire Rupert Murdoch, who brought hatred, fearmongering, bigotry, misogyny and division into the mainstream. His subtle message was, “My broadcast is full of lies, and my reporters are all corrupt, therefore all networks and reporters are corrupt, so you might as well tune into the network that best reflects your own prejudices and lowest self.” And many did, especially aging white men.
As long as an entire network continues to spread the lie that “white conservatives are the victims of an evil, sub-human liberal elite trying to take away their freedoms and kill them off,” our nation will continue to have big problems. There’s often a grain of truth in many of Trump’s lies, and he’s correct that we are suffering from fake news–but it’s Fox and Sinclair Media and One America News who make up garbage and peddle it as “news.” Many of their personalities aren’t even pretending to be journalists (Hannity was a college drop-out who was painting houses when he started to work for a late-night radio broadcast) yet they pretend to be “news” organizations. If billionaires like Bloomberg, Steyer, and Gates want to do some real good, they should buy these propaganda sewers and stop the lies.
Meanwhile, small groups of angry conservatives, egged on by Fox and Trump, continue to scream and whine about state lock-downs as the tide of virus infections rises all around them. Trump supporters on Twitter continue to point to New York and New Jersey, claiming the pandemic is an east-coast, Democrat-city problem. But they won’t be laughing for long. Covid will continue to spread and exploit our weaknesses, which are legion, as Trump’s mindless supporters remind us every day.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”