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The Virus and Voting Will Not Suffice to Fell This Beast

Photograph Source: zeevveez – CC BY 2.0

No Sympathy for the Devil

Many online liberals and lefties celebrated news that the pandemo-fascist Donald Trump contracted his own virus. I’ve held back. It’s not that I find wishing bad things for the president morally offensive. I think doing so is politically problematic, but I don’t see it as morally incorrect. Not at all. Donald Trump is a malignant narcissist, an eco-exterminist, a virulent genocidal racist, a vicious sexist, a savage nativist, and an at least instinctual fascist who richly deserves Noam Chomsky’s description of him as “the most dangerous criminal in human history.”

Covid-45 (Trump) has deliberately fueled and fanned a pandemic that has so far killed at least 210,000 Americans. As Bob Woodward’s tapes and latest book reveal, Trump understood very well the lethality and danger of the coronavirus back in January but proceeded to treat the disease as a “hoax” and a minor matter that would soon disappear. He has consistently refused to advance national testing and medical production measures that would have massively reduced the coronavirus body count. He has promoted quack cures and opposed public health measures, offering support to neofascist militia lunatics who have carried assault weapons into state capitals to protest necessary lockdowns and masking requirements. He has openly flouted masking recommendations, holding big super-spreader rallies and other mass events where masks are not required. Trump mocked Joe Biden for wearing masks just three days before it was announced that Trump had tested positive.

Trump has done all this for political reasons. His administration calculated that the virus would inflict most of its damage on metropolitan Democratic areas and therefore work to his advantage. He has seen a serious public health response as a threat to his claim to have overseen a strong economy and therefore to his electoral viability in the upcoming election.

At the same time, the president’s racism has likely combined with pathological Social Darwinism to make him privately like how the virus has disproportionately killed Black, Latinx, Indigenous, old, and infirm people.

It is thanks in no small measure to Trump’s insane and vicious mis-leadership that the United States has generated a fifth of the of the world’s coronavirus deaths while being home to just roughly 5% of humanity.

This monstrous fiend has a lot of death and disease on its sick little hands. He is perfectly happy to infect his campaign donors, his staff, his Secret Service protectors (see below), his political allies, and others. If Trump goes from being #45 to #210,045, it will be one of the greatest historical examples of Karma in righteous play.

And, by the way, if it was Joe Biden instead of Trump with COVID-19, the sadistic president would be holding hate rallies where he’d be making fun of Biden on a ventilator and calling the Democratic nominee “a loser.”

We cannot feel sorry for the tangerine-tinted Antichrist who menaces the world from the hospital ward than is now the White House. No sympathy for the devil, here, sorry.

“He’s Never Cared About Us”

Can somewhat start a big GoFundMe to make it possible for White House staff and Trump’s medical team to withhold their labor power in “the people’s house”?

Given all the frontline health care employees Trump has sacrificed on the altar of political self-interest, this would be a good time for a certain group of medical workers to stage a walkout.

The Secret Service and others tasked with the protection and comfort of Trump should also consider striking. Trump put his bodyguards at risk by insisting on being taken for a closed-in SUV joy ride to wave at his supporters outside Walter Reed last Sunday – a truly disgusting act.

Trump doubled down on his pathogenic viciousness on Monday, returning to the White House during his highly contagious infection. He ripped off his mask for a bizarre, fascist-style photo-op on a White House balcony. His face was painted full and bright orange, giving him the appearance of a demented comic book villain before he went back inside, unmasked, to menace White House employees with the Trump Virus. Whoever had to lather on the face-tint must have been put at grave risk.

The president’s support staff is terrified, with reason. As the Associated Press reports:

“The West Wing is a ghost town. Staff members are scared of exposure. And the White House is now a treatment ward for not one — but two — COVID patients, including a president who has long taken the threat of the virus lightly…President Donald Trump’s decision to return home from a military hospital despite his continued illness is putting new focus on the people around him who could be further exposed if he doesn’t abide by strict isolation protocols.”

“Throughout the pandemic, White House custodians, ushers, kitchen staff and members of the U.S. Secret Service have continued to show up for work in what is now a coronavirus hot spot, with more than a dozen known cases this week alone. Trump, still contagious, has made clear that he has little intention of abiding by best containment practices. As he arrived back at the White House on Monday evening, the president defiantly removed his face mask and stopped to pose on a balcony within feet of a White House photographer. He was seen inside moments later, surrounded by numerous people as he taped a video message urging Americans not to fear a virus that has killed more than 210,000 in the U.S. and 1 million worldwide.”

“…Several [Secret Service agents] who spoke with The Associated Press expressed concern over the cavalier attitude the White House has taken when it comes to masks and distancing. Colleagues, they said, are angry, but feel there’s little they can do. One, speaking after White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany tested positive on Monday, said it felt like he and some of his colleagues had been spared only by a measure of good luck.”

White House Secret Service staff have gone online to complain about Trump’s disregard for their health and safety. “He’s never cared about us,” an agent told a confidant, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “This administration doesn’t care about the Secret Service,” another agent said in an internal discussion group. “It’s so obvious.”

Secret Service agents protect the president’s life, and he sees them as expendable both in Washington and at his mask-less campaign hate-and death rallies around the country.

“This Place is a Cesspool”

“He never cared about us”? Someone should tell the agent who said this that Trump has never cared about anybody other than himself. The man has long been plagued by malignant narcissism on steroids, so to speak. Now he is that literally, his triumphant “recovery” (far from complete) induced by steroid treatments that seem to have driven him over the edge of Kurtz-like lunacy.

Besides being a malevolent arch-narcissist, Trump is also a virulent racist and Social Darwinist who welcomes the death of “weak” nonwhites, the sick, and the old. Since “White House residence staff members are largely Black and Latino, and often elderly,” we can be sure that Trump is perfectly happy to expose White House workers to a lethal pathogen.

But Trump can’t feel concern even for his rich white backers. His White House, where 20 or more have been infected, is not doing serious contact-tracing for the many elite right-wingers who attended his super-spreader no-mask reception for Amy Coney Barrett on the White House lawn two weeks ago.

From Mike Allen at Axios:

“Reflecting widespread dismay among administration officials, a White House source told Axios:

+ ‘It’s insane that he would return to the White House and jeopardize his staff’s health when we are still learning of new cases among senior staff. This place is a cesspool.’

+’He was so concerned with preventing embarrassing stories that he exposed thousands of his own staff and supporters to a deadly virus. He has kept us in the dark, and now our spouses and kids have to pay the price. It’s just selfish.’”

Fascism is a death cult.

The Best Socialized Medical Care Your Money Can Buy – for a Man Trying to Kick Millions Off Health Insurance

The notion of the mass-murderous antichrist Trump getting the best socialized medicine and medical care (Walter Reed is socialized government health care) that our taxpayer money can buy should make us all sick to our souls. This loathsome fiend is doing everything he can to kick millions off health insurance in the middle of a pandemic he fomented. He would reinstate health insurance corporations’ right to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions – this while his virus has created 7 million new such conditions.

Don’t Fear the Reaper

After “recovering” – he thinks (the virus still lives in him and even his politically controlled doctor admits “he’s not out of the woods yet”) – with the help of the best health care in the nation (provided by a partial version of the socialism he constantly rails against), with drugs and medical personnel unavailable to ordinary and poor Americans, this sociopathic mother*#ker then has the genocidal gall to proclaim his deadly virus no big deal. The message from Orange King Covid: Hey, America, to quote Blue Oyster Cult (BOC), Don’t Fear the Reaper:

“Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago! [October 5th Orange Freak Tweet] …Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!” [October 6th Orange Freak Tweet].

I am reminded of another BOC lyric: “Oh no, they say he’s got to go, oh no, there goes [Chicag]o, go go, [Trump]zilla!”

Dark Expectations Fulfilled

Even with all his co-morbidities, COVID-45 will likely survive the coronavirus, physically at least. From the first news that his pandemic had caught up with Trump and bit him in his lungs, I have expected the novel corona-fascist to survive (thanks largely to the quality of the government medical care he is absurdly granted) and to then claim an “unbelievable” recovery thanks in part to his supposedly superior genes. My further expectation was that the genocidal racist beast, released back into the world, would continue to downplay the deadliness of the disease it fueled and fanned and that it would use its survival as Fake News “proof” that Covid-19’s not really all that bad. “In the Trump triumph narrative,” a friend wrote me last weekend, “he not only survives but uses his survival to make the case that the virus is not that bad, just a bunch of liberal/socialist/BLM nonsense intended to harm the Anointed One.”

The Coup Continues – Kiss Your Cause Goodbye

We pretty much called that. Great. Meanwhile, the rolling coup continues. Yes, the contaminated ogre must stand down from the campaign trail for a bit. Fine, but recall that the Trump-Barr plan is to cripple, terrorize, contest, and steal the election, winning the 6-3 vote in the far-right Supreme Court. He’s not trying to win the election in a normal way. As the pathetic Joe Biden campaign cancels its negative ads and groveling neoliberals from Barack Obama to Rachel Maddow express their slimy “best wishes” for the tangerine tyrant (who would love to see Biden, Obama, and Maddow tortured), the Trump administration and its party’s rolling coup – the open assault on a normal bourgeois election – continues. The double-headed Trump-Barr monster has made it clear that it is not going to accept an election count that does not go its way. It’s telegraphing it to us, it’s waving the red flag, it’s flat out telling us the ogre will not leave the White House peacefully. Its claim that the only way it can lose the election is if the contest is rigged is a call to civil war and martial law. As Umair Haque explains in a recent reflection on why full “authoritarian collapse” is NOT “a low probability event” in a nation where electoral “democracy” has long been badly weakened:

“Trump has a complex, sophisticated, meticulous, multilayered strategy to finish the job of destroying American democracy. To those of us who’ve lived all this before, it is a battle plan par excellence, extremely well designed, carefully thought out, meticulously planned, redundant, interlocking, self-reinforcing. That should make you shudder. Yes, really. It’s in open view, for anyone who cares to look… It consists of five interlocking elements. One, delegitimize. Two, refuse to accede to a peaceful transfer of power. Three, use one and two to mount legal challenges, at a granular level which gum up the works, throwing the election into legal jeopardy. Four, arm-twist electors to vote Republican on the basis on one, two, and three. Five, wait for the Supreme Court to decide the election in Trump’s favor — as it inevitably will now” (emphasis added).

The tyrant and its constitutional Darth Vader Barr (how does he not have the virus?) are counting on a far right 6-3 Republican Supreme Court to certify the theft of the covid-crippled election early next year. That’s no small part of why the administration and its party are determined to ram the Amy Coney-Barrett nomination through as fast as possible.

The white-nationalist crime boss (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell will trash existing Senate rules to make sure that the three Republican Senators recently infected by COVID-19 at Trump’s super-spreader Coney-Barrett announcement – white-nationalists Ron Johnson (WI), Mike Lee (UT), and Tom (NC) Tillis (the last two sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee) – can cast their votes to put a far-right Handmaid jurist on the Supreme Court to certify Trump’s theft of the election (and then later to steal women’s right to an abortion and outlaw Obamacare). The stakes are too high for them to relent.

If this neofascist regime gets away with this, if we let that happen (as we will if we rely on cringing clarions of Inauthentic Opposition like Barack Obama and Joe Biden to save us), then we can kiss all our different and diverse causes goodbye. In a second term Trump-Pence-Barr America, Black lives won’t matter. Women’s lives won’t matter. LatinX lives won’t matter, gay and transgendered lives won’t matter, workers’ lives won’t matter. Livable ecology won’t matter. Antiwar movements won’t matter. Truth and justice won’t matter. Intellectuals won’t matter. The rule of law won’t matter. The police and militias will be unleashed. And elections (which suck in America even at their best) won’t really matter.

Voting is Insufficient

I understand, expect, even (in this rare quadrennial case) support people voting to remove Donald Trump even if that means marking a ballot for a conservative and uninspiring candidate like the corporate clown and racist warmonger Joe Biden. But we should understand that you can’t just vote fascists like Trump, Pence, Barr, Stephen Miller, and Betsy DeVos out of power. Authoritarian rulers like Trump and Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and Victor Orban in Hungary and Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines and Jeanine Anez in Bolivia don’t just go away because of elections. You have to force then out with mass action in the streets like the people of Puerto Rico forced out Rickey Rosello in Puerto Rico in 2019, like the people of Tunisia forced out Ben Ali in 2011, like how the people of Lebanon forced out their corrupt prime minster last year, like the people of Belarus are heroically acting to force out Alexander Lukashenko right now.

The Democrats have little willpower to do what’s required to remove Trump. Keeping people off the streets is as much part of their deeply conservative mission as their determination to keep majority progressive public opinion (on which Bernie Sanders ran) unrepresented on the nation’s holy ballots.

So, vote, try to vote Trump out. Sure, of course. But understand that it’s going to take people in the streets, in the town halls, in the public plazas, in the workplaces, in the fields, in the offices, on the campuses, on the Internet, in their neighborhoods. marching, chanting, striking, blocking, fighting, pushing, street-preaching, struggling, joining, organizing, mobilizing day in and day out before, during, and after this election to remove Trump and/or (if the beast dies and it could) Pence and their evil brain William Barr.

And we can’t stop there. It’s going to take the same damn thing to get anything decent from the neoliberal doofus Biden, and to prevent a return of the fascists after him or Harris. The struggle we need to wage cannot just be about removing the Trump tumor and saying “okay, all good now.” It must be about setting a precedent of popular power that activists and citizens to take on the whole damn system – the Democrats and entire major party and elections political regime included – that gave rise to Donald Trump and Trumpism-fascism in the first place.

The sooner we start organizing for this, the better. If we don’t start organizing until after the election is stolen by a far-right wing president, a far-right-wing U.S. Senate, numerous far right-wing state governments and a far-right-wing Supreme Court, it may be too late.

Sorry, But Cutting Out a Tumor is Not Embracing Cancer

Would you accuse a surgeon who removes a patient’s malignant and imminently fatal tumor of supporting cancer? No, you wouldn’t, or at least you wouldn’t unless you were a certified moron (or something worse). Such tumors must come out or patients will die even if the conditions that give rise to cancer continue.

Why then say, as I am still hearing from some people who claim to be on the left, that they think efforts by leftists to remove Trump amount to support for the conditions that gave rise to Trump? The Trump regime is a malignant (I would say fascist) swelling that needs to be cut out in the hope of living on to undo the circumstances — class (capital and commodity) rule, imperialism, sexism, racism, nativism, bourgeois political institutions and culture — that give rise to authoritarianism and fascism. To say that one backs neoliberal (or any other model of) capitalism and the insulting corporatist/imperialist Joe Biden because one acts to remove Trump is like telling a surgeon that he supports cancer and/or the conditions that give rise to cancer by removing a patient’s malignant tumor. The bizarre passivity that is induced by this moronic claim amounts to saying that “it would be better for the patient to die.”

I have NOT spent many years of investigating and skewering the corporate Democrats from the radical Left (with no holds barred) in order to help fellow leftists become too mentally and morally ill – too spiritually dead – to reasonably protest and otherwise resist white-nationalist Amerikaner fascism ala Trump/Trumpism. I don’t need their f*#king lecture on the awfulness of the dismal imperialist Dems. I’ve written and delivered the lecture and some of the listeners seem to have badly misunderstood the point.

Some people on “the left” don’t want to deal with what’s happening for a simple reason: if they really faced up to it, why then they’d have to get off their asses, leave their bunkers, turn off their computers, turn off their Netflix, stop Zooming, mask up, go out in the cold, gear up, leave their bubbles, and fight back.

It helps that most of the Trumpenlefty sorts I hear from (regularly) are white and upper-middle class. The cost of a second Trump-Pence regime will fall much more heavily on poorer and darker people.

Even Jesus Would Never Forgive This Fascist Atrocity

For three years and nine months now, Trump has waged war on truth on science. He wages war on independent media, intellectuals, teachers, and academics. He wages war on leftists and liberals, activists, socialists, and Democrats. He wages war on Black America, LatinX America, and Native America. He wages war on immigrant rights. He attacks animal rights. He attacks our gay and transgendered brothers and sisters. He’s waging war on schoolchildren, school workers, frontline health care workers, meatpacking workers, senior citizens and the sick.

He wages war on the working class and economic justice. He wages war on the rule of law and on constitutional checks and balances. He wages war on nuclear arms control and on livable ecology. He’s been waging war civil and human rights activists, absurdly calling Black Lives Matter protesters terrorists while backing actual white-supremacist murders and terrorists like Kyle Rittenhouse and neofascist organizations like the Proud Boys.

Donald Trump has waged war on public health by fanning a pandemic that has so far killed more than 210,000 Americans, the victims disproportionately Black, LatinX, poor, and Indigenous. And now he is waging war on the nation’s core longstanding electoral process, as we know. The sooner the indecent beast called Trump passes from the stage of history, the better. To quote Bob Dylan:

How much do I know

To talk out of turn?

You might say that I’m young

You might say I’m unlearned

But there’s one thing I know

Though I’m younger than you

That even Jesus would never

Forgive what you do

Let me ask you one question

Is your money that good?

Will it buy you forgiveness?

Do you think that it could?

I think you will find

When your death takes its toll

All the money you made

Will never buy back your soul

And I hope that you die

And your death will come soon

I’ll follow your casket

On a pale afternoon

And I’ll watch while you’re lowered

Down to your deathbed

And I’ll stand over your grave

‘Til I’m sure that you’re dead.

“There’s [Always] an Election Coming Up”

The nation has now reached its historical highwater mark of peak insanity. Where in the name of God and Thomas Paine are the people in the streets? The learned helplessness and “democratic” delusion inculcated among other things by two-plus centuries worth of the savagely time-staggered and precisely scheduled quadrennial electoral-collegiate extravaganza keeps millions pathetically sitting on their asses as the government plummets even further into utter madness. Millions should long have been in the streets collapsing the gruesome Trump-Barr-Pence-Miller-Hannity government. Anything less than that is mass lunacy.

“Oh, well there’s an election coming up” is the constant passivity-introducing mantra. And the mantra reaches at least two years back from the election date now. It’s not just an October thing. Hell, it damn near starts the day after each once-every-1,460-day ritual. “Well, we’ll get another chance to have our say in 1.460 days.” “You’ll have your say”…for two minutes, once every four years, by making marks next to names selected in advance for you by the ruling class. In the meantime, well, “that’s democracy,” “that politics.”

This country has nothing to do with democracy. And it was never supposed to: real popular sovereignty was the slave-owning 18th Century Founders’ nightmare, and they devised a still living national charter brilliantly designed to keep it at bay. America has been about class rule for every single day of my life – and well before that.

The claim that “Trump is stealing our democracy” is false. Yes, the orange beast is an arch-authoritarian who is not joking when he says he’d like to president-for-life. Yes, he is not going to be removed without violence. But there was no functioning “democracy” in the U.S. before Trump. Long before this demented and now literally diseased antichrist strode on to the stage of history with the Clintons and Barack Obama as his neoliberal-Weimarian ushers, this nation was subject to abject corporate, financial and military rule rooted in a “deep state” context of capitalism and imperialism: the rule of the nation’s unelected and interrelated de facto dictatorships of money and empire. And by the way, Americans still, in 2020, don’t even directly elect the U.S. president through a popular vote. All of this is how this freak got in the White House in the first place.

The New Dark Age is Upon Us

Now, Trump is assaulting the “normal” bourgeois “rule of law” and constitutional checks and balances and the deeply flawed US. electoral process itself. He and his team and allies are actively trying to undermine and cripple the already compromised we call “democratic elections” because he expects to lose if a “normal” election is carried out. So maybe this time the inauthentic opposition (the Dems) can see the need to put millions in the streets to defend the process that usually functions to keep millions off the streets: the electoral extravaganza. I doubt it. It’s just not who they are. They don’t have it in them. They cave like pitiful old Al Gore, who found it too inconvenient (that’s the truth) to fight to save electoral “democracy” in 2000-01.

Recommendation: millions should take to the streets to throw out King Covid and then stay there well beyond the holy election cycle to overthrow American capitalist class rule, racial oppression, patriarchy, imperialism, and ecocide. As Chris Hedges wrote two and a half years ago, in an article bearing the prophetic title “The Coming Collapse”:

“The Trump administration did not rise, prima facie, like Venus on a half shell from the sea. Donald Trump is the result of a long process of political, cultural and social decay. He is a product of our failed democracy. The longer we perpetuate the fiction that we live in a functioning democracy, that Trump and the political mutations around him are somehow an aberrant deviation that can be vanquished in the next election, the more we will hurtle toward tyranny. The problem is not Trump. It is a political system, dominated by corporate power and the mandarins of the two major political parties, in which we don’t count. We will wrest back political control by dismantling the corporate state, and this means massive and sustained civil disobedience, like that demonstrated by teachers around the country this year. If we do not stand up, we will enter a new dark age.”

The new dark age is upon us. Only mass action to dismantle the corporate and imperial state of can save us.

Paul Street’s new book is The Passive Resistance: Obama, Trump, and Politics of Appeasement.

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