You will remember how Trump spent the last month or two of the 2018 campaign whipping up fear over fictional caravans coming from Mexico, spreading leprosy. You will remember how a whole lot of the educated Republican suburbanites, and especially those of the female persuasion, experienced a massive collective gag reflex—and came out in droves to vote Democratic.
Now he’s doing it again. But this time his bogus claims are not only nauseating, but also affirmatively dangerous to public health. They are deadly.
They are leprosy caravans on steroids. Because the leprosy caravans were fictional, and thus incapable of spreading disease. But the mass public protests Trump is encouraging are real, and are highly likely to endanger the lives of the participants and of their neighbors.
At a time when it would have been childishly easy for Orange Man to do the right thing, strut about playing the hero, and cakewalk to reelection, he has chosen to side with a relatively small minority of our population.
Among the best posts I have seen today is Charles Sykes, How Trump Turned the Pandemic Into Identity Politics: Forget the people dying. Forget the economic collapse. Trump, Republicans, and Conservatism Inc. have turned COVID-19 into just another front of the culture war. Sykes is especially good on the race-baiting aspect of this. The graphic at the top of this post is how Sykes ends his piece.
Also worthy of note: Greg Sargent, Trump’s support for right-wing protests jst got more ugly and dangerous.