Paul Waldman, Trump’s accidental culture war over wearing masks
As the headline says, Waldman argues that the culture war over masks is something that Trump accidentally started. He writes, “It’s as if he fell into a culture war he knows he’s losing and would like to withdraw from, but he can’t quite bring himself to do it. He’s a slave to his own character flaws.”
I really must insist on this: he is a slave, not so much to his character flaws, as to his delusions. In the sewer that constitutions his mind, the existence of the pandemic falls into the category of information that makes him look bad—and, therefore, information that is untrue.
First, he acted as if the pandemic threat was unreal—see preceding paragraph.
Next, for a few weeks, he pretended to believe in the reality of the threat—hoping to garner the glory that would follow from appearing to defeat a foe that was (in his delusional mind) non-existent. In short, he acted on the assumption that most everyone else was delusional.
But that did not work. The glory did not come. So, now he is back to the default position. No one is giving him credit for defeating the enemy, so he reverts to the delusion that the viral enemy does not exist and never existed, because if it does and did exist, then that would be information that would make him look bad, and that, by irrefutable Trumpian logic, is untrue information.
Folks, he does not wear a mask because he does not believe there is a pandemic.