Point of View Columns

A Long Weekend in the Life of America

October 1, 2020

7,234,257–206,963 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans the beginning of the day

As the dystopian nightmare of death and division and social devastation seem to move forward with seemingly uncontrollable momentum, it is impossible not to recall, once again, Donald Trump’s reference to “carnage” in America during his January 20, 2020 inaugural address. Although he was portraying a typically false vision of the present state of the country, no one had any idea (including Trump) that he was making a prediction about the state of America in the very near future.

The carnage that Trump foresaw is now the America of today.

Ever since the debate Trump and his minions have been wrestling with the tar baby of white supremacy (pun definitely intended). And ever since he told the Proud Boys white supremacist group to “stand by” during the train wreck of Tuesday’s debate, Trump has unartfully tried to make anyone who is not a white supremacist to believe that he is not a white supremacist. But, of course, the white supremacists hear his dog whistles loud and clear and know exactly who and what he is.

And just because things just can always get more interesting, the day ends with news that Trump’s personal advisor, Hope Hicks, has tested positive with COVID-19. Given her frequent and sustained interaction with Trump and the various key members of the White House staff, what could be the problem?

October 2, 2020

7,279,109–207,816 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans the beginning of the day

We awaken to the news that the problem turned out to be that Trump and his wife Melania have now tested positive for COVID-19. Further, it turns out that Trump is already presenting symptoms including being hoarse, sluggish and just not feeling well.

Given that Trump is 74 and obese, he falls into that “hardly nobody” cohort that he has mocked. That would be the cohort that makes up a significant number of the 207, 816 Americans who have already died during the pandemic due to his incompetence and malignant ignorance.

Karma is a relentless and implacable and inevitable.

And speaking of relentless, implacable and inevitable, the day progresses with Trump suddenly being moved to Walter Reed Hospital. It is important to note that the White House has a full hospital facility for the president. So moving Trump to Walter Reed Hospital means that he is in very serious condition. He has been reported to have a fever and is coughing and is generally not feeling well.

It is beyond ironic that the man who has mocked the virus as a hoax or something that would disappear like a miracle has now been felled with a potentially fatal demonstration of the power of COVID-19. The shame is that so many people have already fallen ill and have died because they believed in this man and the lies about this pandemic that have spewed from his mouth for months.

We have always known that Trump is a con man. But a good con man never believes his own con. It may be that, in some deranged and permanently damaged universe of thought, Trump actually believed in the pandemic lies that he has fed to the American people as a daily diet.

A karmic tragedy to be sure.

October 3, 2020

7,279,109–207,816 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans the beginning of the day

The day begins with colliding tidal waves of theories and scenarios regarding Trump’s illness. It is a sign of the Madness Virus that Trump has let loose in America along with the COVID-19 virus. Consider some of the more interesting movements of thought:

  • Trump isn’t really sick. He (along with the doctors and the staff of Walter Reed Military Hospital) has concocted this scenario in order to distract attention away from Biden, his debate debacle, his taxes and of course, the pandemic. His master plan is to elicit sympathy from MAGA Nation while muting his critics. And in about a week he will return triumphant and glowing with health having “beaten” the virus and proving that COVID-19 isn’t that bad for “most people”. And then he will ride this wave of happy thoughts into victory at the polls.
  • Trump is really sick. Worse than what has been announced. He was offered the choice of taking the Marine One helicopter to Walter Reed by walking to the aircraft on Friday or face the prospect of being wheeled out of the White House on a gurney today. Mike Pence is standing by to become president either because Trump has died or the 25th Amendment has been invoked. In that scenario Pence will choose Nikki Haley as his running mate thereby matching the diversity present in the Biden-Harris ticket and he will also issue (the living) Trump a pardon thereby protecting him from any prosecution no matter who wins the election.
  • Trump is kind of sick, but this is his way of avoiding the ignominy of defeat leaving Pence to stand up to the tidal wave of revulsion that will swamp the Republicans on November 3rd. In this scenario there will be a backroom deal with Pence regarding the pardon and once more Trump will escape the consequences of his actions leaving the wreckage of his malignant incompetence and his malign lack of empathy in his wake.
  • Pence will also fall ill and, under the mandates of the 25th Amendment Nancy Pelosi will become president and will immediately withdraw the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett amidst the wails and howls of the Republicans who know in their hearts that they would do the same thing given the opportunity in a reversal of the fact pattern.

There are many variations on these themes of course, but what is noteworthy is that all of them seem plausible in these crazed times.

October 4, 2020

7,383,244–209,399 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans the beginning of the day

Reports indicate that even from a sick bed, with a ventilator nearby, Trump is trying to spin the story of his illness so that it will seem that he is not that ill. Despite the known facts that he was rushed to the hospital on what was essentially an emergency basis, that doctors have been injecting him with several therapeutic drugs that are still in the experimental stage and used only in dire circumstances and that nobody believes him except his Loyal Lemmings in Trump Land.

And by now the news is clear that the COVID-19 virus is running rampant through the White House and through the Trump circle of advisors and sycophants and also through the Senate. And that last item is particularly interesting because three Republican senators have been diagnosed and are now quarantined and would not be allowed to come to Senate to vote on the Amy Coney Barrett nomination to the Supreme Court.

This poses a real problem for Mitch McConnell and the Republican majority of 53 given that 50 senators and Mike Pence as vice president are needed for the 51 votes that are needed to confirm. The problem is that two Republican senators, Collins and Murkowski have already indicated that they will not vote to confirm before the election. Subtract the other three senators who are ill, and now Moscow Mitch will not be able to get that confirmation prior to November 3rd.  Which then raises the prospect of a Supreme Court confirmation by a lame duck Senate with a majority that might not even exist in the new year. That would be historic and not in a good way.

Clearly history can be ugly.

And just as clearly, watching Trump wrestle with the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic in his own body is like watching a terrible car crash in slow motion…. the day ends with video of Trump leaving Walter Reed Hospital – certainly against the orders of the medical personnel and even more certainly defying all known protocols regarding the care, treatment and infectious potential of anyone who is actually ill due to the virus.

He actually came out of the hospital and met with his maskless Loyal Lemmings who had been keeping some sort of vigil since Saturday morning. Not being satisfied with having provided the absolute worst example of how to behave when ill with the virus, he then oozed into a hermetically sealed (for the protection of the president in any circumstances) Chevy Suburban SUV putting the Secret Service personnel in the car with him at enormous risk.

He clearly ordered a joyride around the hospital so that he could wave to the good citizens of Trump Nation before finally returning to where he was supposed to be – quarantined in a hospital room.

There are virtually no words to describe this madness and bottomless indifference to the health and lives of others demonstrated by Trump.

He is clearly in denial regarding his condition and the mortal danger that he is courting by not following medical protocols. He must believe that he is showing strength, but in truth he is displaying primal fear and inherent weakness of spirit. He is clearly a scared man who has been in over his head for years and now he is afraid that he might die in the same sad fashion that over 209,399 have already done.

He was taught by his father that there are only heroes and zeros in this world. And now he is terrified that he might become one of the greatest zeros in history.