Another Day, Another Super-Stupid, Super-Spreader Trump Rally
Donald Trump's inane super spreader campaign rally in Michigan Thursday broke the spirit of Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health. During a CNN town hall, Collins expressed how “disheartened" he was that thousands of fool-flavored suckers came out to stroke the president's ego without wearing masks or social distancing.
COLLINS: How did we get here? Imagine you were an alien who landed on planet Earth, and you saw that our planet was afflicted by an infectious disease and that masks were an effective way to prevent the spread.
And yet, when you went around, you saw some people not wearing them and some people wearing them. And you tried to figure out why, and it turned out it was their political party. And you would scratch your head and think, "This is just not a planet that has much promise for the future, if something that is so straightforward can somehow get twisted into decision-making that really makes no sense."
Collins is being a little unfair to space aliens. Any advanced civilization capable of interstellar travel would've had the sense to stop visiting after America's brilliant Electoral College made Donald Trump president. But maybe some space travelers are gluttons for punishment and these COVID-era Trump rallies are their version of "Jersey Shore." They had quite a treat this weekend.
Just arrived in Minden, Nevada where the President is rallying thousands of mostly maskless supporters in defiance… https://t.co/kOLYLJWech— Jeremy Diamond (@Jeremy Diamond) 1599963915.0
While the west coast literally burned, the president fiddled around in Nevada for another COVID-denial fest. Trump held a rally Saturday in Minden and another one — indoors! — in Henderson on Sunday. Dummies waited in line for hours, crowded together and without masks. Because of the fires in California, Nevada's air quality was also less than ideal. None of this was healthy, either physically or emotionally.
CNN interviewed Trump supporter Maria Ainsclugh and was polite enough never to say she's out of her mind. They let her words speak for themselves.
AINSCLUGH: I see people wearing masks on the street, avoiding getting close to other people — it's sad. We have to be out and interacting, that's how we become immune. We need to develop immunity.
That's Bizarro World logic.
AINSCLUGH: It's been eight months — I think I'm immune. And if I get it, I go to the hospital a few days. It's not that bad.
The coronavirus isn't a nose job. It is in fact “that bad."
I spoke with a few of the thousands of Trump supporters streaming into his indoor rally just outside Las Vegas. Her… https://t.co/1r6wjwTXCl— Jeremy Diamond (@Jeremy Diamond) 1600052498.0
What would puzzle the invisible alien onlookers is that Trumpists are terrified of things that haven't killed 200,000 Americans and aren't serious threats, like antifa or Cory Booker's suburb-invading mobs. Trump, who never wants to cause a panic, scared his supporters white(r) with baseless claims about monsters coming to "terrorize y'all's neighborhood."
TRUMP: I was talking the other day: "Darling, somebody just moved next door." “Who is it?" "Oh, it's a representative of antifa." She will look at her husband and say, “Darling, we're out of here." Antifa!
This was the same routine from his Michigan rally, only workshopped to hone its deranged edge.
TRUMP: [Antifa] are bad people. And they have to pay a price for the damage and the horror that they've caused.
What damage and horror is he talking about? While the president is doing a bad Shecky Greene impression, 33 Americans have died in the wildfires. Antifa didn't "substantially destroy" entire towns in Oregon.
"It is about forest management. Please remember the words, very simple -- forest management." -- Trump searches for… https://t.co/QAjPOS7WqB— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1599970049.0
Trump did get around to addressing the fires but he blamed “forest management." He's talking about raking leaves again, despite all scientific evidence that climate change is responsible for these wildfires. But, as the Doctor said, the problem with the very powerful and the very stupid is that they don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views. This is why Trumpists have tried to pin the wildfires on antifa. A coordinated terrorist attack they can understand, but they can't invade or drop a bomb on a climate crisis the world's most powerful nation willingly ignored.
The combination of fire and plague means we've reached our "Krypton is doomed" moment, and most aliens might reconsider sending their children here in the event of their own global catastrophe. No amount of superpowers could make it worthwhile to live among this much stupid.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."