JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: COVID ENTERS THE ELECTION – CHANGES THAT IT BRINGS – NOTES ON TRUMP’S COMPLETE LACK OF EMPATHY FOR OTHERS – A WORD ON A SHABBY, EMBARRASSING DEBATE – MUSSOLINI DOES A STAGY EVENING RETURN-HOME SCENE FROM THE WHITE HOUSE BALCONY – THE MOST TROUBLING THING ABOUT TRUMP’S TIME IN OFFICE   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT – COVID ENTERS THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Polls showed that a majority of Americans thought Biden won the first Presidential debate, and he gained a little boost vis-à-vis Trump from the fact.

But it was nothing large or decisive, and I think victory in such a shabby, embarrassing event means very little in the scheme of things. Biden just scraped through. All perceptive commentators called the event a record low point in the country’s politics, which is exactly what it was. You don’t gain a lot of credibility just getting through something like that.

Now, we have a new entrant in the contest, COVID-19.

Trump’s coming down with what appears to be a relatively mild case of COVID could have some significant effects on the election.

First, Trump may well gain a certain “sympathy vote.” That is just the way large populations of people react. We already see lunatic prayer vigils for him. We can be certain he will milk the situation for all it is worth.

The irony is in his being a person of zero empathy or sympathy for anyone else, something we see demonstrated almost daily.

Months ago, it was projected that there would be 200,000 American COVID deaths by Election Day, November 3. But we have already surpassed that number with about 210,000 deaths at this writing and a daily toll of about 700 nearly thirty days before the election. Plus, all the experts expect a new surge in cases during the Fall. Yet these are matters Trump never addresses in his briefings, which are pretty much about himself, his own attitudes and uninformed views.

Other countries gained control early – outstanding examples include China, Singapore, Thailand, and New Zealand – but not the United States. Trump literally sat on accurate information early in the year, taking no meaningful measures. Any journalist who asked questions around those matters received anger and contempt as a response. Trump contradicted and opposed every true expert at home and abroad. He made efforts even to suppress American experts offering their views to the public. His ostentatious quitting – he called it “terminating” – the World Health Organization in May has to rank as a policy-act equivalent to his manic debate performance.

He has offered a world-class display of incompetence. And the reason? Because bad news would damage his re-election chances. So, tens of thousands died needlessly in order to help Trump get re-elected. See what I mean by demonstrated lack of empathy and sympathy?

Aspects of that could work against him, as I very much hope they do. There is a relatively large list of White House staff and others now revealed to have been infected by his recklessness. Some important Republican donors were exposed. Many Secret Service Agents have been infected with all his travel.

We had a story about Secret Service Agents anonymously saying Trump didn’t give a damn about what happened to them.

His little limo drive-by in front of the hospital certainly demonstrated how little concern he had for staff and those assisting him in a needless stunt. That armored limo is hermetically-sealed against gas attacks and provides an ideal transmission environment for people inside with a virus according to one expert.

The approval for his nominee to the Supreme Court is going to be slowed down owing to virus concerns in the Senate, quite possibly making confirmation of the appointment before the election impossible.

He may not get his tie-breaking vote for an election thrown into the Court. Will he still throw the election into the Court if Biden is elected without an overwhelming lead?

Who knows, but I suspect so. Trump will pretty much do anything offering him a chance at victory he would not otherwise have had.

He is an utterly unscrupulous man.

Perhaps, the most troubling fact about Trump’s time in office is seeing how many Americans still enthusiastically support him.

It does say dark things about a very large fraction of the American people because the enthusiasm comes after almost four years of demonstrated ignorance, incompetence, and lies. Plus, public murder, theft, and unrelenting aggression against hundreds of millions of people, unprecedented crudeness and incivility in international affairs, including towards traditional friends and allies, and generous support for some of the world’s bloodiest tyrants.

NOTE

As I write these words, Trump has left the hospital and shown up at the White House, where on the balcony in front of a row of flags he stagily removed his mask for a gang of photographers, assumed one of his grim-jawed Mussolini poses and pronounced, “Don’t let it dominate you.”

Such profound advice from the man who has been pumped full of exotic drugs and experimental treatments for four days at taxpayer expense. I am sure that relatives of the more than 210,000 dead Americans will appreciate his words.

Separately, the Senate Judiciary Committee announced confirmation hearings for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, will begin in a week.

Posted October 6, 2020 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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