Trump COVID-19 Jamborees Neither ‘Protests' Nor ‘Peaceful'
During his super spreader event in North Carolina last week, Donald Trump thought it was clever to refer to his hate rallies as “peaceful protests." This apparently wasn't a one-time thing. When he violated Nevada state rules about public gatherings this weekend, White House Press Secretary and professional liar Kayleigh McEnany tweeted out this nonsense.
Amazing peaceful protest in Minden, Nevada! Nevada loves President @realDonaldTrump ‼️ https://t.co/nqx2h0OGGb— Kayleigh McEnany (@Kayleigh McEnany)1599972764.0
So, what exactly are these people protesting, aside from Black people's continued existence? Trump's the president. He controls the executive branch of government and has a lease to own the judicial. This is hardly the March on Washington. It's a live performance event, and that's an industry COVID-19 has crushed. My friends in the theatre community who haven't worked in months should consider staging spontaneous protests of Shakespeare in public parks, but they won't because they actually care about human life.
Trump's fake protests aren't even “non-violent" because the maskless boobocracy are smearing COVID-19 all over each other. Trump's first big rally during the COVID-era was in Tulsa, and at least one person who attended died. That wasn't some unknown MAGA hat, either. It was Herman Cain. Trump might've forgotten he existed, but we haven't. The next "peaceful protest" he attended was his own funeral.
It's also galling for Trump and his deplorables to co-opt “peaceful protests" when the president committed war crimes on an actual peaceful protest in Lafayette Square a few months ago.
The police didn't turn up at the Nevada rally (at least not in uniform) and bust heads, but this coronapalooza was more akin to the riots conservatives can't shut up about. True, only intellectual property was damaged — they played songs by Queen, Elton John, and The Village People — but the event is bound to endanger lives.
The Trump campaign did put in place the same piddly-ass rules that worked out so well for the late Mr. Cain.
Aides said that every attendee would have their temperature checked before entering and would be provided with a mask that they were encouraged to wear. They also had access to hand sanitizer.
These guidelines are similar to ones at an anonymous sex orgy in the mid-1980s and likely just as effective at preserving public health.
Democratic Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak ripped Trump a new one on Twitter, declaring the president's indoor rally in Henderson last night “reckless and selfish."
"This is an insult to every Nevadan who has followed the directives, made sacrifices, and put their neighbors before themselves," Sisolak said. "It's also a direct threat to all of the recent progress we've made and could potentially set us back."
Nevada's COVID-19 cases have been trending downward recently but there were still 1,937 cases in the past week and 60 deaths. This just doesn't register with Trump, but you know who's really to blame for the president's recklessness and his followers' stupidity? That's right. People who protested against police violence this summer.
The President rationalizing super-spreader events and Trumpers doing insane things because experts didn't want to c… https://t.co/11CBFvJVf0— Tom Nichols (@Tom Nichols)1600047709.0
“Never Trump" conservative and liberal scold Tom Nichols claimed Democrats and medical experts should've criticized Black Lives Matter protests this summer — as if Trump supporters have a documented history of listening to either group. It didn't matter that no major spikes in COVID-19 cases were traced back to the protests. Conservatives would just denounce any facts with an obvious liberal bias. It also didn't matter that the protesters were outdoors and wore masks. That "misses the point" of the apples and oranges he's busy comparing.
Non-protesters have gathered outside in public spaces for months, but they wore masks and social distanced. Trump has “mocked pandemic restrictions" and doesn't even wear a mask while spitting racist conspiracy theories at people. Nichols can't hang their stupidity on "Black Lives Matter marches," which are as Nichols himself points out in his tweet “marches" where people are moving forward and not lingering, shoulder-to-shoulder in a crowded space for hours.
Nichols also ignores that conservatives were protesting against mask mandates and stay-at-home orders well before George Floyd died. Unmasked protesters gathered in Lansing, Michigan, in mid-April, and armed men stormed the state house a couple weeks later. We could've held Zoom marches and Trump's death cult still would've shown up for an indoor COVID soak. These fools don't listen to “experts" nor do they believe any rules governing the actions of Black people apply to them.
Trump will always find ways to ignore and break the rules. That's his jam.
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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."