Trump, Power, and Darwin | Tom H. Hastings

  • Sunday, March 29, 2020 11:09am
  • Opinion
Trump, Power, and Darwin | Tom H. Hastings

Donald Trump vows to see “packed churches” on Easter Sunday.

That would be April 12. If his mostly Christian base listens to him and follows his urging, we may see a world record outbreak of coronavirus by about April 26 or so, given the approximately two-week period between infection and manifestation of symptoms.

Assuming the fatality rate of roughly 1,000 for every 70,000 infected (our current stats in the U.S. as of this writing), will we see the 167 million American Christians follow Trump? Dubious, since only a total of 63 million Americans voted for him in 2016. How many of those 63 million will do Trump’s bidding, go to pack their churches on Easter Sunday, and bring home a few million new cases of coronavirus?

This is beginning to look like natural selection may be working against the Trump University plan for re-election.

According to exit polls, some 81 percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump. Since there are approximately 50 million white evangelicals in the U.S., what will happen to Trump’s base if a significant number “go on to their greater reward” before November 3?

As someone who desperately wants someone else in the White House, I still want to urge my fellow Americans, many of whom support Trump, to stop listening to him. He is not giving you adaptive advice nor is he looking out for your interests. Do not sacrifice yourselves because some rich white men (and a few others) are telling you that it’s all good and that sacrifices need to be made for the good of the economy.

“Question authority” was a popular bumpersticker when I was a teen back in the 60s. That is never more true than right now. Question authoritarians too.

Evangelicals, please understand that Fred Trump left his boy Donald a fortune and that Donald’s main role in life was to be a spoiled rich playboy who squandered much of that inheritance. I have faith that you have more God-given good sense than to follow Trump over the coronavirus cliff — he will be the only one with a parachute but he’s willing to sacrifice you on the altar of Wall Street.

Right now, globally, some countries have done an amazing job of mitigating this scourge, with South Korea at the lead — testing thousands daily and providing ample personal protective equipment, all without the draconian government edicts that China needed to use in Wuhan to finally halt the incidence of new infection. Germany is doing well, but Italy and Spain are in terrible shape.

Right now, however, we are number one. Yes, the U.S. now leads the world in the fastest rise of new cases of this plague, statistics you do not hear from Trump in his daily briefings. Those briefings are so full of disinformation and braggadocio that some channels that have been carrying them announced they no longer will do so.

The lies are legion, as usual, but lying about the size of your inauguration crowd is just harmless ego-inflamed stupidity. Lying about how to address this viral invasion and spread is lethal, arguably criminal, and perhaps we may see Trump charged with Crimes Against Humanity one day.

Meanwhile, think about how natural selection works and act accordingly. Please.

Dr. Tom H. Hastings is PeaceVoice Director and on occasion an expert witness for the defense in court.

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