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Covid And Cons

The problem with trying to write about politics at the moment is that things are moving so fast, you really have only three options: Will you be Out Of Date? Or Really Out Of Date? Or Embarrassingly Out Of Date?


Today I’m going to visit the fact that Donald Trump has Covid. Since we only learned about it on Friday, I’m hoping that I’ll get that middle option. But…Golly Darn Dang It…you never can tell. By the time you read this, the news cycle may have moved on to something completely different. Say, giant, man-eating, flesh-shredding, mutant leeches from Pluto landing in front of the White House. Hell. Why not? We still got twelve weeks and change in 2020. Given what’s happened so far, you know, that would be the least we can expect.


Anyway…


Like most folks on the left, I greeted the news of Trump’s infection with stunned amazement…plus (I’ll admit it) a wee touch of Schadenfreude (but I’m trying to repress that, unsuccessfully)…and most of all a feeling of, well, cosmic justice and symmetry. Here was a man who had so often referred to the disease as a “hoax,” and who had done so little to fight it, and who can be held responsible for the deaths of 200,000 Americans…catching the disease himself.


Love it.



So fitting...


However, since Friday, I’ve received quite a few communications from friends who say that they don’t believe the story of Trump’s infection for a minute. They think he is faking it—that it is a ploy to distract from his tax returns and his poor performance at the debate.


I can see why they feel that way. They’ve got excellent reasons. What has Trump done but lie over the last four years. If anyone on earth would be capable of faking everything up to and including his own death, surely ’tis he.


Still, I guess I’ll stick with my original thesis that he really and truly, cross his little orange heart and hope to get indicted for financial irregularities, does have the bug.


That’s mostly because I just want it to be true. It just seems so fitting. So delicious…


But I do have a couple of rational or semi-rational reasons for my opinion. The first is Occam’s Razor, which… to vastly oversimplify (fittingly)…says that if you have two competing explanations for something, and neither can be disproven on evidence alone, then the pick the simplest of them. It’s amazing how often the simplest is also the …er…rightest. And even if it isn’t the correct answer, at least it gives you a place to start while you’re looking for more evidence.



Seriously....


So, if the White House says Trump’s tested positive for Covid, then either 1) he really has it, or 2) a large number of people in the White House, at Walter Reed Hospital, and in the top ranks of the GOP know that he’s really not sick, but are willing to pretend that he is…and, more, are willing to say that they have Covid as well…even though that means running the risk of discovery and exposure in an election year that is already tense beyond measure.


I suppose answer #2 is perfectly plausible. Yet, because answer #1 is simpler I’ll go with that one.


Okay, the other reason that I’ll assume that the Orange One is really sick is that it fits in with my understanding (which, admittedly, is limited) with his psychology. For, it seems, his entire adult life, he has rejected sick people as being merely “weak.” And, he has made a career out of presenting himself as the antithesis of a weakling. He is a tough guy par excellence. And, finally, he has spent most of the last year saying that Covid is a politically motivated hoax foisted on the American people by “the radical left,” i.e., Democrats and anyone else who doesn’t agree with him.


For such an individual, it would be extremely difficult to then turn around and say, “Oh, dear…I seem to have the plague I told you all not to worry about it. Oops. Sorry about that. My bad. I was wrong.” (Particularly given that he also seems pathologically incapable of admitting that he can, after all, be wrong in the first place.)


In fact, I just can’t see him making such a damning admission unless he was so obviously sick that no one could miss it and he simply couldn’t spin the news any other way.


Or, well, anyway…I could be wrong, but that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.


But…



In Theory...


I wonder…does it make any difference whether I’m right or wrong? I’m guessing maybe not.


Here’s why: Even if Trump is faking being sick, it still looks like he’s got it. And his appeal to his supporters…or at least some of them…is that he is a truth-telling hard-ass…strong, rich, smart, and forthright. Well, in a great rush, we learned (from Woodward) that he isn’t forthright. Then we learned, from Biden, that he isn’t particularly smart, at least if you mean by smart the ability to think fast on your feet and speak coherently. Then we learned, from the Times, that he wasn’t as rich as he said he was…in fact, that he’s pretty stoney-assed broke.


Now we know, thanks to his trip to Walter Reed, we learn that he wasn’t smart enough to wear a mask, rich enough to buy immunity, strong enough to fight off the virus…or forthright enough to warn his own followers to take precautions.


I wonder how all that will sit with them?


All those Trump supporters…


Who thought they were Making America Great Again…


When all they were doing was buying second hand fantasies from a moth-eaten old con artist…


Who lays babbling in a hospital bed at public expense…


And can barely make it to the john.


***


One last note. Here’s something I posted to FaceBook over the weekend:


One thing this shows. Trump and his White House believed they could treat scientists and science with contempt. Scientists they might perhaps safely ignore. But science is mighty, and proud, and it will not be disrespected. Thus, in due time, it came for him.



Onward and upward


~mjt




Science will not be disrespected...

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