Trump Turns on a Dime: Massive Loss of Life Is Now a Political Problem for Orange Man Because it Threatens His Reelection


turn on a dime

So, last weekend Trump pivoted toward keeping us on lockdown, in order to see whether we can hold down total deaths to somewhere in the neighborhood of 200,000—and to keep new outbreaks from spreading into rural red states during the summer and fall. Multiple sources say he finally listened to the scientists because he finally grasped the political implications of ignoring them.

Trump continues to lie like a rug, but his decision to turn on a dime on the social distancing issue has left many of his cultists in a confused psychological state. For example, will Jerry Falwell, Jr., having reopened Liberty University in what has aptly been called an act of right-wing performance art, now close it again? Will the governor of Oklahoma now stop telling people to to go out to restaurants? Will the governor of Florida make sure the beaches are closed?

Who can say? But let me recommend this incisive analysis of The Coronavirus and the Conservative Mind: The pandemic has put psychological theories of politics to a very interesting test.