It’s painfully obvious that even before the outbreak of COVID-19 this country was suffering from a deadly plague — the plague of ignorance and incompetence spreading from the White House, its allied media, and an all-too-familiar Twitter account.
Unlike COVID-19, this sickness is manmade (and I use the word “manmade” with all due gender sensitivity). While I would hesitate to categorize the United States as anything better than a semi-democracy, millions of people (the majority of them men) voted for a man with no experience, no original ideas, and no compassion to lead their country. Many did this as a form of protest — they correctly rejected a status quo that for years privileged Wall Street at the expense of Main Street; wasted trillions of dollars and millions of lives in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other theaters; and refused to provide health care, higher education, and gainful employment to large swaths of the citizenry.
Nonetheless, they were tragically mistaken to think Trump would do anything other than what he has done: Turned the United States into his own (pathetic) reality TV show, where he gets to be the hero and constant center of attention. Never mind that he is a fourth-rate entertainer at best, and never mind that thousands are dying from a pandemic that could have been prevented by — Hillary Clinton, perhaps? — or anyone competent enough to listen to their own staff or experts.
But Trump can’t do that. He can’t listen. He is immune to reason — unless the reason is that it makes him look good. He’s a hopeless narcissist. A malignant fool. A jester masquerading as president. Even worse, he is a parasite that thrives off human misery. He pushes others down, so that he can look taller (just think of all his staff who resigned or were fired). Would anyone doubt that he would climb on and drown everyone around him if he fell into a pool and couldn’t swim?
I want his supporters to know that they can stop this. They can flatten this curve. All they must do is turn off FOX and find a new messiah. Or reflect on why they need a messiah. That’s all. I won’t even ask them to admit they were wrong because it accomplishes nothing.
I want Trump gone. I want him gone in some senses even more than I want COVID-19 to subside. At least COVID-19 is a silent killer who doesn’t infect our airwaves with lies and tantrums, all the while blustering war talk with countries big or small. I want Trump gone more than I want my stimulus check — or even my paycheck. I want him gone more than I want this football season to move forward as planned. I want him gone more than I want a beer at my favorite dive bar. And that’s saying a lot.
The Trumpers hold the key to victory. They should do on Election Day what we are already being ordered to do now: Stay home. Stay the hell home.
You’ve done enough damage already.
Matt Johnson, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is co-author of “Trumpism.”