Perhaps it is a political corollary to a philosophical dilemma. But, the implications in the public arena say they should have at least equal billing.
The question before the board is whether it is easier to be a Trumpista awaiting the aptly-named tweets to know what to believe at any particular moment – no thought, only obedience, needed. Or do Trump’s constant contradictions and lies create a mental confusion that might account for some of the Trumpistas’ anger?
Is it easier to think or deliberately try not to think?
In January and February, the president had only praise for China’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak. (China’s state-owned Bank of China invested $211 million in a refinance of a Trump skyscraper in New York City, as Kerry Eleveld of Daily Kos reminded us last week. And the same China that passes out trademarks to our Grifter-in-Chief’s favorite daughter.)
But, when Trump’s dithering inaction fueled our own coronavirus crisis and gave Wall Street apt reasons to doubt his failureship, the president started looking for someone to blame for his incompetence. Thus, COVID-19 became the “Chinese virus.” (Eleveld points out that Trump “retreated from that position ‘after a telephone call with Mr. Xi.’”)
So, Trumpistas, where do you stand on China today? Waiting for your guru’s latest instructions?
Looking for someone else to blame, Trump ordered a suspension in funding to the World Health Organization, saying it was ineffective in documenting coronavirus. By the same logic, the U.S. House should defund our Executive Branch to punish Trump’s dereliction of duty.
Only an ignoramus with the arrogance of Trump would dispense the medical advice he has handed out since the pandemic reached our shores. He has already lost (as in dead) at least one follower who believed it was all a hoax. Others maintain that preposterousness still: their leader spoke it; they must believe. Ah, they need to check their messages.
Trump finally acknowledged that coronavirus is real – and not just a form of flu.
But, this has led to Trump to claim a medical expertise superior to those irritating medical professionals and scientists. (Deliberate ignorance joins bigotry – a form of ignorance — as key elements in the Trumpista dogma.)
First, Trump touted a miracle cure from a malaria drug (in which he has – not surprisingly – a monetary investment). The result was noted by CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace, Jr., last week: “Citing a high risk of death, researchers cut short a study testing anti-malaria drug chloroquine as a potential treatment for Covid-19 after some patients developed irregular heartbeats and nearly two dozen died after taking doses daily
Then, moving from greed to ridiculous – and speaking seriously to medical professionals and not sarcastically toward reporters – Trump took his quackery into the stratosphere by suggesting injecting into humans the disinfectants used to sanitize surfaces.
Credit his true believers for their faithfulness. Here is the NPR Sunday follow-up:
“New York City says its poison control center received a higher-than-normal number of calls in the day after President Trump speculated that injecting household disinfectants could be a coronavirus treatment.
“The city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said that in an 18-hour period ending at 3 p.m. Friday, the poison control center recorded 30 cases. These included nine ‘specifically about exposure to Lysol, 10 cases specifically about bleach and 11 cases about exposures to other household cleaners,’ department spokesperson Pedro F. Frisneda tells NPR. That compares with only 13 cases for the same time frame one year ago.
“That same day, the city’s health commissioner released a message discouraging New Yorkers from injecting bleach and other disinfectants.” How reactionary. (Which is sarcasm).
Following Trump’s suggestions can prove dangerous, even deadly. Not shifting with the wind blowing between his ears can cost you your Trumpista membership.
Incapable of exercising the national leadership seen in every other country in the world, Trump has obsessed with keeping stores open (sacrificing people to profits) and then re-opening those that responsible state leaders have closed without any evidence that it is safe to do so.
Having treasonously called upon his armed adherents (“very responsible people”) to “liberate” states whose governors demonstrate such leadership as frightens him and having stacked his “advisory boards” with profiteers over those with health credentials, Trump then did an about-face to criticize the governor of Georgia for just maybe opening up his state too soon.
Wanting credit but accepting no responsibility, Trump (“the bucks stop here”) seems to cling to a scattershooting tactic that might disguise his abject unfitness for office.
It’s hard to keep up with such fluidity, such uninformed insistence that his saying anything makes it right. But, only for right now! The Trumpistas’ credo might change with the twit’s next tweet.