We are being eaten alive from within. Like the COVID-19 virus that hijacks cells of the human body to do its dirty work, the Republican Party has devolved into a Trump virus, endlessly replicating itself until it overwhelms the American body politic. It originated in several labs across the world, one in Saudi Arabia, another in Russia, Turkey, and yet another in China. But the super spreader is Trump, literally and figuratively. Trump is patient zero. How else do you explain the lack of condemnation over the murder of Kashoggi? How else do you explain the lack of condemnation over Russian bounties on the heads of our soldiers? The lack of response over the brawl in front of the Turkish Embassy? The capitulation to China? How does an enemy take down the preeminent superpower in the world? Just find the softest spots in our society. The ignorance, the partisanship, the systemic racism, frame it, cultivate it, then dispense it with the delicacy of an air horn in the form of Fox News, Facebook. Gin it up with some religious fundamentalism, oh, the irony, and American oligarchs who find more in common with our nation’s longest standing arch-enemy than with the tenets of our own democracy. Twist it up with our country’s warped definition of true masculinity and patriotism, and we find ourselves here. Find the most influential right wing extremists in our country and plant them deep within the White House and dress up their hateful words with the august trappings of the office, press conferences, executive orders. The media follows. Wrap the legislation in the flag, whore out the ideology to the lowest common denominator, and hollow out all of the offices with incompetent and malevolent actors, using the tools that were formerly used by a responsible government. Both sides it to death and call it the “right to free speech.” Normalize racism, misogyny, and cruelty towards immigrants. Vilify true patriots and the scientists who are trying to keep our society safe. There is no other explanation.
How do you explain the hollowed out cells of Ron DeSantis? Doug Ducey? They replicate and replicate, and cases and deaths multiply exponentially, because that’s how pandemics work. The immune response seems to have kicked in with Greg Abbott, perhaps because the realities had become so bleak. His come to Jesus moment arriving as so many of his own citizens were prematurely sent to meet their maker. What else explains this lack of a federal response? As if a portion of our society decided to take up the New Hampshire motto “Live Free or Die” instead of “E Pluribus Unum.” What an easy mark we are. Like taking candy from a baby. The disconnect is real. Larry Kudlow and Betsy DeVos screaming about sending kids back to school when none of the proper actions have been done to stem the viral tide. Parents are desperate. Teachers are rightly afraid. What have we done? What has the federal government done? Nothing. And not only has it done nothing, but it has actively made things worse by its inaction. The virus obliges. The bullies bully. Everything has been so obvious from the beginning. Trump and his minions were put in place to destroy us. This is not just politics, this is an existential threat to our democracy and all of our lives.