Trump to Over Half of America: You're Not Americans

One reason that Donald Trump ignored the COVID-19 pandemic in the early phases was because it was primarily affecting blue states. He saw an opportunity to punish the places that didn't vote for him, and he decided to let them suffer. It's likely that he thought the rest of the country would be marginally affected, and when the virus spread in the way that every legitimate medical expert said it would spread, it was too late to close the Pandora's box he had opened. Rather than admit error and change strategies, Trump merely did the bare minimum to make it look like he wasn't the accessory to murder that he was. And is. 

Now, after saying it in one of his meaningless press briefings, Trump has made it a line in his cut-rate Nazi rallies: remove the states that didn't vote for him from the count of COVID cases and deaths, and he's saved the country. As he said in his Wisconsin speech last night, "But if you want to really see a great job, take New York and some of these other Democrat run states out of it." 

Putting aside the absurdity of the remark - as comedian Laurie Kilmartin put it, "Hurricane Sally has not flooded a single American city if you only look at the Blue States" - and putting aside that, even by that measure, the United States would still have one of the worst records when it comes to the coronavirus, think for a moment about a president saying that deaths and disease in half the country shouldn't matter as much. Think about the cruelty of it, yes, but think about the rank dismissal of even the people who voted for Trump in those states. Think about what that says about how this president, this administration, these Republicans view us. 

Essentially, Trump has been saying that we're not Americans, that we are intruders in his country, the one that worships him and believes every word he says and despises anyone who claims he's wrong and a failure. 

When Attorney General and Man Most Likely to Be Mistaken for a Mound of Moldy Mashed Potatoes William Barr told a group of prosecutors to consider charging allegedly violent protesters with sedition or with plotting to overthrow the government, it was clearly an effort to squelch dissent for the left and to make protest synonymous with treason. Violent right-wingers who have moved to challenge authorities as an armed force haven't been charged in that way. In Oregon, in the midst of the fires, armed vigilantes created road blocks to stop those they thought were Antifa looters. They weren't arrested for essentially imprisoning every single person they forced to pull over at gunpoint. 

The rhetoric Trump is using toward anyone slightly left of Violently Racist is getting increasingly unhinged, frantic, and dangerous. I've been watching politicians rant about socialists and liberals taking over since at least Ronald Reagan (who, as we constantly need to remind everyone, was terrible). It's a tradition in right-wing politics to fearmonger about how leftists will force you to use the American flag as toilet paper while making your lily-white daughters breed with non-whites and give birth to mongrels while taking all your money to give to lazy poor people. In some ways, Trump is giving morons the SparkNotes version of the entire history of anti-liberal lies. "If Biden wins, the mob wins. If Biden wins, the rioters, anarchists, arsonists, and flag burners," he said last night and at other times, tossing every buzzword from the 1920s to the 1990s into the pot. Meanwhile, the people who attend his rallies are "loyal, hard-working American patriots." In other words, you can't be a patriot if you don't support him. You can't love your country unless you love him. 

Yesterday, in his culture war speech that was really straight out of the 1980s and Allan Bloom's Closing of the American Mind, Trump said, "Whether it is the mob on the street, or the cancel culture in the boardroom, the goal is the same: to silence dissent, to scare you out of speaking the truth, and to bully Americans into abandoning their values, their heritage, and their very way of life." He called an approach to learning about the nation "tyranny." He attacked the 1619 Project, Howard Zinn, and critical race theory, three things you can pretty much be guaranteed he knows nothing about. And he proclaimed that a commission would be formed to come up with a whitewashed history curriculum. In the most absurd of the many absurd parts of the speech, Trump said, "The left-wing rioting and mayhem are the direct result of decades of left-wing indoctrination in our schools," as if school boards in Mississippi are forcing the teaching of critical race theory. 

But this is part of what Trump is attempting to do: all things must be filtered through his perspective, the one that refuses to recognize that this nation makes mistakes, sometimes huge ones, like slavery, like internment camps, like the wars against organized labor, like intentionally allowing people to die from a virus.

I have come to believe that Trump and his lackeys want us on the left, and even you in the center, dead, imprisoned, or thrown out of the country. He wants us erased and eliminated unless we get with the program of Trump-worship, which is the only thing that can show you love the United States. Let's remember that Trump has mused about issuing an executive order ending birthright citizenship and some right-wingers have approvingly said he could do that. The thing is that his supporters would love that idea, although it might make them sad that they didn't get to shoot us.

And if you don't think that's possible in a potential second term for Trump, well, I'll walk up to you at the re-education camp and say, "I told you so."