Dark Winter? Honey Badger Trump Don’t Care

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair

“This coalition of the business elite, right-wing Christian evangelicals, and white nationalists and other white supremacists is very dangerous. Fascism is ultimately a death cult.” – Jason Stanley , May 11, 2020

From the Annals of “The Most Dangerous Criminal in Human History”

Despite timely alerts given by senior public health experts and warnings from top White House advisors, the demented fascist oligarch Donald Trump played down the threat posed by COVID-19 again and again in the opening months of 2020. On January 30, the noxious orange-colored jackass called his health and human service secretary’s warning of a pandemic “alarmist.” He went on to proclaim the novel coronavirus a “hoax” and to childishly claim it would “go away” with the arrival of warm weather.

The Twitter-tantruming president wouldn’t listen to medical and public health science. The Stable Genius (who can’t read aloud a short passage from the United States Constitution or follow a briefing with full sentences or numerical data) knew better.

The white-nationalist-in-chief felt that acknowledging the threat (insofar as he was capable of grasping it) would undermine the Obama economic expansion he hoped to ride to re-election.

The sadistic idiot Trump, “the most dangerous criminal in human history” (Noam Chomsky’s accurate description), would go on to corruptly promote hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, as a magical cure.

Trump fired Dr. Rick Bright, his top vaccine official, in retaliation for Bright’s warnings about the virus and Bright’s resistance to plugging hydroxychloroquine.

Demented Orange even sunk to the ape-like level of suggesting (in front of his top medical adviser) that COVID-19 victims might get relief by injecting disinfectant. The fascist buffoon’s subsequent claim to have been joking about a Clorox Cure was a transparent lie.

Meanwhile, the subhuman president failed to command a properly massive testing regime so that authorities could identify the virus’s victims and contain its spread. While golfing, tweeting, and spending endless hours monitoring his television coverage and ratings, the Bedminster Beelzebub failed to order an appropriate production of medical equipment as the United States skyrocketed to the top of the global COVID-19 chart, hosting nearly a third of the world’s cases while home to just over 4% of humanity (“America First”!).

Tens of thousands of U.S.-Americans have needlessly lost their lives thanks to the Dastardly Donald’s despicable dithering and unforgivable narcissism.

What Really Shook the S.O.B.

When Danger Clown finally agreed to recommend social distancing across the U.S., thereby helping end the “Trump boom,” he was (according to White House insiders) “shellshocked,” “deflated,” “subdued,” and “baffled” by the spread and power of the virus. We can be sure that scale of the human tragedy he’d helped unleash was not what shook “The Lord of the Pigs.” Trump is an off-the-charts Malignant Narcissist, incapable of human empathy. What rocked the Sick Orange Bastard’s (S.O.B.) world was the prospect of his presidency being undone by the collapse of his beloved “Trump economy” and its holy high stock market and low (official) unemployment rate. Even if the dismal dollar Democrats are shamefully running a cognitively crippled corporatist most of the electorate properly views with disdain, historic mass unemployment on a Great Depression scale does not bode well for Trump getting a second term without cancelling the 2020 election or refusing to honor its outcome (both are distinct possibilities).

Trumpy Badger Don’t Care: Bring on “the Darkest Winter in Modern History”

Hence S.O.B.’s perverse push for state governments to “re-open America” over and against the advice and pleading of public health experts. So what if the United States lacks the testing required for a reasonably safe re-opening?

So what if Dr. Bright says that Trump and the Trumpified Republican Party’s obsession with “opening up America” without a proper coordinated national response means that we’re going to have “the darkest winter in modern history,” with “unprecedented illness and fatalities”?

Trumps applauds and eggs on fascistic thugs who bring assault weapons to state capitals to demand “liberation” from communist coronavirus restrictions imposed by “the socialist Democrats.”

Like the ruthless Honey Badger of onetime Internet fame, Trump don’t care. The Nasty Bad-Ass Trumpy Badger don’t give a shit.

Donald “Live and Let Die” Trump wants tens of millions of American workers and consumers put at risk of lonely ventilator deaths for the sake of his re-election – this even while the germophobic president enforces a militant testing, mask-wearing, and social-distancing regime in his own “workplace” (if that’s what we really want to call the insane asylum that is Trump’s White House).

Trump supports the denial of unemployment compensation payments to workers who are reasonably too afraid of infection to return to their jobs. Because of course he does.

When if all goes bad, the S.O.B. can blame it on the state governors who foolishly heeded his call.

Along the way, he is upping his record-setting pace of Orwellian deception with absurd claims that he always understood the danger and is leading the world’s effort to contain the “virus from China” – the virus that he has so horribly fueled and fanned. Big Brother says that 2+2+5.

White Nationalism: A News Report Trump and his Volk Love

How has Trump managed to retain approval from more than 40 percent of the U.S. population in the wake and in the ongoing midst of his criminal response to COVID-19? Beyond the insidious role right-wing media play in disseminating his endless fabrications and deceptions (including his suggestion that the virus is a Chinese attack), part of the answer lay in the simple and revolting fact that Trump’s support has never really been about an expectation that he would be an effective policy maker and manager on behalf of the common good. It has always been mainly about his white nationalism: his promise to be an authoritarian “strong leader” who will smite supposedly “undeserving,” unjustly entitled, and “line-cutting” people of color and their purported allies and champions in the snotty, know-it-all, wine-drinking and New York Times-reading liberal-professional class.

Beyond discomfort over the problem of racial disparity and oppression, there’s another reason to cringe at reports showing that COVID-19 has had a disproportionately lethal impact on Blacks, Latinx people, and Native Americans in the U.S. The reports encourage the malevolent racist and instinctual fascist Trump and his proto-fascistic base to demand a premature, potentially catastrophic “re-opening of America.” Let’s not beat around the bush: The Big Orange Cracker and his white-nationalist Trumpenvolk love it that COVID-19 has been wreaking special havoc in nonwhite communities. Trumpism is about a Social Darwinian mindset of “us and them,” with “them” referring to urban nonwhites and their purported elite liberal and left “big government” (“socialist”) allies and “us” signifying the supposedly virtuous, hard-working, victimized, and pure whites of the Amerikaner homeland/Fatherland. The Chosen One and his Trumpenvolk want the Black and brown “them” to die and the white “us” to feed on “their” demise.

“Fascism is a Death Cult”: Trump, a “Reichstag Fire Moment,’ and Hitler’s Birthday

COVID-19 has meanwhile provided Herr Donald with a grand opportunity to deepen his fascistic power. Orange King Covid has used the crisis he helped generate as cover and pretext for new and deadly assaults on the quaint bourgeois “rule of law.” As the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) of America accurately noted four days ago: “The regime headed by Donald Trump and Mike Pence has seized on the crisis brought on by the coronavirus to go on the offensive—upending the rule of law, and emboldening different components of the fascist social forces cohered around the regime.”

Quite so. Don’t want to listen to the RCP? Read Chauncy de Vega’s recent interview with the Yale philosopher Jason Stanley, which includes the following exchanges, which deserve extensive quotation:

de Vega: The 2020 election is quickly approaching. Nearly four years into Donald Trump’s rule, how is American democracy doing? Where are we in the story of Trump and American authoritarianism?

Stanley: Propaganda is the denial of reality. For example, when Donald Trump says, “I’ve done the best job ever.” His surreal press conferences are another example. Trump has been able to use the coronavirus pandemic to transfer the country’s news media environment into one big authoritarian spectacle. He was able to be on television for two and a half hours a day for a month. Such a thing happens in authoritarian societies….

de Vega: How do you make sense of this nightmare confluence of events, with the combination of an authoritarian regime and the coronavirus pandemic?

Stanley: The concept of “emergency” is essential to fascism. Trump is able to use the pandemic to rule by decree. Another example of authoritarian takeover through “emergencies” is a Reichstag fire moment, such as how Hitler and the Nazis took control in Germany, where one manufactures the “emergency” and then claim a need to seize full power.

By comparison, the coronavirus is a real emergency. Authoritarian governments all over the world are using the pandemic as an excuse to seize more power. In the United States this has taken place with Trump and the Republicans using the pandemic as protective cover for massive corruption. With Trump’s purge of inspector generals there is really no independent oversight of his administration.

The public does not know, for example, where the money from the coronavirus relief bill is really going. As with other authoritarians, the coronavirus emergency is a way for Trump to enact his goals and policies much faster and with less oversight and possibilities for resistance.

de Vega: Trump, the Republicans and many of their supporters have argued that older people and others who are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus should be willing to face death as an act of “loyalty” and “patriotism” to save “the economy.” How does this relate to authoritarianism and fascism?

Stanley: This coalition of the business elite, right-wing Christian evangelicals, and white nationalists and other white supremacists is very dangerous. Fascism is ultimately a death cult.

Social Darwinism is the heart of fascism as well as the heart of capitalism. With the pandemic, and the way capitalism is a type of religion in America, the Darwinian idea of “survival of the fittest” is made even more central. The notion that “Life is always a struggle, the weak will die” is central to fascism. That idea is also common to certain ways of thinking about capitalism. Remember, Adolf Hitler’s book was called, “My Struggle” — that “struggle” was survival of the fittest. That is exactly what we are seeing in this moment with Trump, the Republican Party and the coronavirus pandemic.

de Vega: Crisis is an opportunity for Donald Trump. Several weeks ago, Donald Trump announced via Twitter that the United States was ending all legal immigration because of the coronavirus emergency. Of course, that is part of Trump adviser Stephen Miller’s white supremacist agenda. Notice Trump’s verbiage when he describes the coronavirus: He calls it the “invisible enemy”. That language is an allusion to Jewish people. For centuries anti-Semites and other hate mongers for centuries have used such eliminationist, conspiratorial language. Trump’s announcement “banning” legal immigration — which was likely written by Stephen Miller — was also made on Hitler’s birthday. Miller has repeatedly signaled through his policies, language, emails and use of codes such as “14” and “88” in government documents and announcements a deep affinity with Nazis and other neo-fascists.

Stanley: It is obvious that the Trump administration was going to move from stopping “illegal immigration” by nonwhite people and other stigmatized groups to then finding a way to stop legal immigration. Now Trump and Miller are using the coronavirus as an excuse to do just that. That Trump announced such a change on Hitler’s birthday should have been much bigger news. That the news media did not pick up on that date and the announcement, quite frankly, is shocking to me.

This is happening here. Now.

But, hey, vote for the cognitively crippled corporatist Joe “You Know the Thing” Biden!

Postscript – On Invisibility

COVID-19 shares something deadly with climate change in the current U.S. context. Invisibility and a lack of immediate related smell, feel, touch, and sound means that one needs to be capable of some measure of intellectual abstraction and reasoning beyond immediate primitive sensorial input to grasp the danger. This makes it tough to get across to a considerably section of the U.S. population when the ruling class and its corporate marketers and media have for many years been pouring huge resources into turning untold millions of corporate-managed citizens/ex-citizens into hopeless morons incapable (like Trump) of abstract reasoning and critical thought.

Regarding climate, we might want to give Trump some credit. By helping fan the flames of the COVID-19 pandemic, he has done more to slow the pace of the climate catastrophe than any recent president: carbon emissions have fallen significantly in the wake of the virus’s assault on capitalism’s manic pursuit of endless “growth” (accumulation) “Growth,” the great environmentalist Edward Abbey once noted, “is the ideology of the cancer cell.”

Paul Street’s latest book is This Happened Here: Amerikaners, Neoliberals, and the Trumping of America (London: Routledge, 2022).