My skin isn’t thick enough to endure criticism trailblazers like Harris, Pelosi, Gandhi, Meir, and Thatcher have had to suffer; but I have been inspired to follow in their footsteps, in my own ways. As Harris told Marie Claire magazine, “I want [young] women to know, you are powerful and your voice matters." Amen, Sisters. Amen.
Last week’s Republican Convention revealed a remarkable achievement: herd immunity. Unfortunately, not from COVID.
President Trump has virtually vaccinated the GOP herd. Unfortunately, not protecting them from COVID. New cases and deaths (currently 186,000) continue – though immune from much attention anymore, except from loved ones.
No, Trump inoculated Republicans with immunity from science, medicine, and truth:
Almost all credible scientists agree climate change is real, accelerating, and caused (partly) by humans. Trump denies it, withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement – now we’re the only nation absent.
Extreme weather events (though not caused directly by climate change) in recent years reflect dramatically changed conditions, making extreme events MORE LIKELY. California wildfire seasons are two months longer, “starting earlier and ending later” with “climate change a key driver of this trend”.
Catastrophic wildfires everywhere (from Gatlinburg to Greece) have grown in size and intensity so much they now have an official name: Extreme Wildfire Events (EWEs).
Intense droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, derechos; all are exacerbated by climate change.
Yet GOP immunity from science supports Trump’s insistence he knows better, and climate change is a hoax.
Most recent example of GOP immunity from medicine: new COVID testing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Revised requirements – that people without symptoms abstain from testing – contradict experts.
Most agree America needs MORE testing, not less; especially since “people without symptoms could be the most prolific spreaders” of Coronavirus. Observers worry CDC, America’s preeminent health agency, has been pressured by the Administration to make politically-correct recommendations.
Early in the pandemic, health experts insisted wearing masks, staying home, and socially distancing were necessary to prevent virus spread. Trump led by example, NOT wearing a mask nor requiring staff and supporters to socially distance, and demanded the economy and schools reopen – resulting in THOUSANDS more American deaths.
Trump has told over 20,000 falsehoods since taking office, according to nonpartisan fact-checkers like the Washington Post. All politicians lie, you reply? In 2017, the New York Times reported Trump, in his first 10 months in office, “told nearly SIX TIMES as many falsehoods as Obama did during his entire presidency” (8 years).
Trump examples include whoppers about COVID, (“it’s under control”; “it will go away”) and opponent Joe Biden (“he will defund police”, after Biden stated emphatically he would NOT).
Yet the GOP achieved immunity from facts, with many Republicans parroting Trump’s falsehoods, like lemmings following him off the cliff – potentially taking our country with them. Cynics speculate they know he’s lying, but enable him because it’s politically expedient.
How was Trump able to fool so many intelligent Republicans into submitting to his virtual vaccination?
He SCARED them.
In his 2016 campaign, Trump fostered the belief America was no longer great (especially after a black president?) – and their place in it no longer assured.
That immigrants were stealing their jobs (though immigrants typically take jobs Americans won’t).
That the government would “take your guns away” (though no one seriously proposed that).
Even in his inauguration speech, when presidents deliver uplifting messages (like JFK’s “ask not what your country can do for you”), Trump darkly described “American carnage”.
He ANGERED them.
Name-calling, like “Lyin’ Ted” (Cruz, Republican challenger) and “Crooked Hillary” (Clinton, Democratic nominee) planted seeds of resentment that opponents had gained unfair advantages, enraging his base.
Trump encouraged “lock her up” chants at rallies (although Clinton was never charged with any crimes, much less convicted). At one debate, Trump sneered if he were president, she “would be in prison”.
Classic dictator playbook: threatening to jail opponents – and convincing followers they deserve it.
He SOLD them.
Salesman Trump (who made his fortune selling real estate) persuaded followers “nobody knows the system better than me, so only I can fix it”. His salesmanship convinced enough people to vote for him – and now, possibly elect him again. Unfortunately, Trump’s GOP herd vaccination also inoculated them with immunity from credibility.
Almost three million more voters did NOT believe or vote for him, demonstrating limited credibility. Only our arcane electoral-college process enabled his victory. Recent polls showing overwhelming majorities of Americans believe Trump mishandled COVID indicate he (and followers) have little credibility.
TMM believes America needs TWO truthful, believable parties to balance each other and compete in the political marketplace. Unfortunately, while the once-proud GOP remains the newly-rebranded COT (Cult of Trump), that’s not the case.
Moderates, consider that – and VOTE.
Images: Google Images
Trump with fans: Mark Wallheiser – Getty Images
GOP Convention/White House: Vox
Coronavirus: Times Higher Education
Extreme weather events: NASA Climate Change
Medical researcher: Contract Pharma
Trump and Fauci: Tampa Bay Times
Lady Justice with scales: Courthouse News
Obama and Trump: CNN.com
Biden and Trump: Casino.org
JFK Inaugural Speech: BBC.com
Trump Inaugural Speech: slate.com
Lock Her Up sign: Newcastle Star
Trump with MAGA sign: Christopher Gregory – Getty Images