Fauci’s Foes, or, Trashing Heroes
I’m writing this in mid-June of 2021. By the time you read it, I hope that things are bit more settled, and people of Right, Left, and Center are according the good Dr. Anthony Fauci the respect he deserves. In fact, I hope that you’re watching on TV or Streaming (or will it be 3D by the time you see this?) while he gracefully receives his second Presidential Medal of Freedom (he got his first in 2008) from President Whoever in 2030.
I say that because right now, Dr. Fauci is by contrast once again the subject of Trumpian hate. Members of the Orange One’s A**kissing Fan Club are targeting the man as if he were the Anti-Christ, or at least a False Prophet, and gnashing their pointy little teeth at the mere mention of his name. (See below for a few representative articles on this. Suffice to say that they are accusing him of everything from “spinning a false narrative” about Covid, to obscuring the actual origins of the virus…which, they say, was generated in a Chinese bio-war lab.)
To See This Entry A Video, clip on the image above.
This is all a total mystery to me. I simply cannot fathom the level of hate which these people, including Trump himself, have for Dr. Fauci, a man who has basically done nothing wrong, and who has, in fact, spent most of his professional life shielding Americans from every sort of disease and contagion. This is the man who, after all, worked heroically to fight HIV/AIDS, helped to stop things like Swine Flu and Ebola at our borders, and did as much as any single individual to curtail Covid. Quite frankly, a lot of Americans would be dead today if it were not for him, and a good many more Americans would be alive if the Trump Administration had listened to him from the beginning.
Yet, he is hated.
And it is hatred, by the way, not just disagreement or dislike. You read the comments in the news, or from Rightist commentators on social media, and you have to feel that they more than despise him. I won’t reproduce some of the things I’ve seen on the web that they’ve written about him, but I will say that I hope he continues to receive Secret Service protection. I seriously think he could be in real danger.
Which, by the way, is weirdly fitting. The Trumpian Right and General Deplorables have a long history of acting against their own best interests. How appropriate, then, for them to be gunning for the man who has been protecting them all along. It’s like the citizens of Metropolis tossing kryptonite at Superman, even while he catches the Giant Asteroid that would have otherwise smashed the city into bits.
But again, why? As I say, I don’t know. But I wonder if the answer could be, at least in part, in something that the Doctor himself said a while back. In an interview with Chuck Todd on MSNBC, he finally lost his temper a bit and said that the attacks on him by the Right were also, or perhaps were in fact, attacks on Science itself.
And there’s something to that. Fauci is a convenient target for the Right in that he provides a human face for the medical profession which criticized Trump for his ineptitude throughout the pandemic. He is doctors rather than just a doctor, and thus by savaging him, they can get ‘em all.
Yet…also, he is a personification of science. And science, in turn, is the honest perception and the rational interpretation of life in the universe. Which is to say that Fauci is the living incarnation of the sad truth that you can’t change reality just by wishing.
Which is a hard thing for some people to admit, particularly a certain former president. On TV, even if it is “reality TV,” you can just instruct the writers to revise to script so that the host looks extra-tough, the sexually attractive “apprentice” wins, and the homely one doesn’t. But, in life…in the real world…you can’t do that. The virus is immune to threats and directives from network executives or anyone else. If you order it about, well, everyone just gets sick, and maybe half a million Americans die.
So, maybe, that’s the problem. Right now, the Orange One and his Zealots inhabit a curious world in which magic happens. All you have to do is wish hard enough and somehow the economy will be better, China and Russia will stop being so dang dangerous, Jihadists will stop blowing up things, “real Americans” (i.e., white people) will be privileged again, and …Covid will just go away. Or maybe it will just not exist in the first place. It was “just a hoax.”
Fauci is the hardheaded realist who explains, however gently, that the world doesn’t work like that.
And, like an overgrown toddler, spoiled and vicious, the Deplorable (or the former president himself) reacts with blazing fury and deadly hate…
…because, the doctor, that monster…has said that, after all, there are no magic beanstalks, no Jacks to climb them, and, worst of all…
No cannibalistic giants in the sky…
For him to slay.
Until next time.
Onward and Upward.
PS - just after I wrote this piece (on June 12, 2021), I discovered that Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan had addressed the same topic and come to the same conclusions, albeit more effectively than I did. So, when you get a chance, check out her column “Only in our anti-truth hellscape could Anthony Fauci become a supervillain” at https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/media/sullivan-fauci-emails/2021/06/09/8b0724a8-c93a-11eb-81b1-34796c7393af_story.html?outputType=amp
Copyright©2021 Michael Jay Tucker
“Anthony Fauci: America’s doctor under siege,” by Kiran Stacey, Financial Times, June 5 2021, https://www.ft.com/content/e93fb980-acc7-4887-bacc-5a1994fe42cb
“Rand Paul and the GOP effort to blame Fauci for the coronavirus,” by Aaron Blake, The Washington Post, May 12, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/05/11/tucker-carlsons-gops-efforts-blame-fauci-coronavirus/
“In rare public outing, Trump denounces Fauci, China; dangles 2024 prospects,” Reuters, June 6, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/world/us/rare-public-outing-trump-denounces-fauci-china-dangles-2024-prospects-2021-06-06/
“Attacks on Fauci grow more intense, personal and conspiratorial : Conservatives are amplifying attacks on Fauci after the release of his emails. And they’re fundraising off of it too.” By Natasha Koreci and Sarah Owermohle, Politico, 06/04/2021 11:00 AM EDT. https://www.politico.com/news/2021/06/04/fauci-attacks-personal-conspiratorial-491896
“Fauci: Attacks on me are really also 'attacks on science’,” by Peter Sullivan, The Hill, 06/09/21 02:36 PM EDT, https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/557602-fauci-attacks-on-me-are-really-also-attacks-on-science?rl=1
“Only in our anti-truth hellscape could Anthony Fauci become a supervillain” by Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post, June 10, 2021 at 7:00 a.m. EDT, https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/media/sullivan-fauci-emails/2021/06/09/8b0724a8-c93a-11eb-81b1-34796c7393af_story.html?outputType=amp