I’ve been trying for the last couple of days to wrap my head around, well, fucking everything. Yes, there are the ways the coronavirus pandemic affects me personally and professionally (I’m not just a tenured liberal professor; I’m the tenured liberal chair of a whole goddamn department). But I’ve been trying to get used to the idea that if this turns out to be even a fraction of the crisis that it may very well turn out to be, the ignorant, barely literate goon in charge is going to make it far, far worse.
To say that Donald Trump has been flailing about like brain-damaged squirrel is an insult to all those brave squirrels with brain damage. After lying about COVID-19 for weeks, his speech on Wednesday night was the rhetorical equivalent of a shitty older brother being forced to apologize to his little sister for ripping the heads off her dolls. He doesn’t mean it, he doesn’t really give a shit about her feelings, and, given the chance again, he’s gonna rip off more heads, but, hey, fine Mom, here’s an apology: “I’m sorry and go fuck yourself.” (Trump would never utter the words “I’m sorry,” but go with the analogy.) The cascade of lies and misstatements was so reprehensible that I’ve actually heard from people that some of their MAGA cretin relatives have finally lost faith in their Orange God. But, then again, they’ve been gobbling shit from his bleached anus for years now, so I don’t trust a fucking word from their brown-stained mouths.
And then at his press conference yesterday, he uttered perhaps the Trumpiest line ever: “I don’t take responsibility at all.” It was in answer to a question about the pathetic failure of the United States to start widespread testing until now. He continued, “We were given a-a set of circumstances and we were given rules, regulations, and specifications from a different time. It wasn’t meant for this kind of an event with the kind of numbers that we’re talking about.” And that’s just another fucking lie. It’s been three and a half years since this bitch lumbered into office. It’s been two years since he shitcanned the officials who looked out for pandemics and such, which Trump pretended he had nothing to do with and knew nothing about (which, if true, is even more damning than having done it). The only way Trump could be more responsible for the situation the United States faces is if he went around personally infecting everyone, which, at the rate he’s prancing around in public and shaking hands and more, he may very well be.
There was always going to be some reckoning for the American conservative philosophy of “Government is bullshit.” Republicans spent decades tearing down and turning enough Americans against the very things that could help us – a national heath care program, a fair taxation system, family and medical leave, and so much more. Now you can add into that a cruel immigration system that discourages millions of people in the country from seeking medical attention for fear of deportation. This was always going to happen, like a cataclysmic earthquake on the west coast, and that inevitability shows just how fucking idiotic that ideology of individual over society has been, how deadly it has always been. The coronavirus response has been like our gun policy: we’re watching other countries take logical steps that will reduce deaths and suffering, but, fuck it, we’re not doing it because America or some such shit.
There is a rage that I can’t get past here. I’m trying. Really. It’s not just a rage at the Trump administration, which is as blitheringly incompetent and dangerous as we always knew it would be. No, it’s a rage at the people who voted Trump into office. Seriously, at this point, if you still support Trump, you are a savage, deranged idiot who needs help. It’s gotta be madness. It has to be some kind of mental illness when you keep believing that someone is good when they are trying to kill you, like some kind of dissociative disorder. Diagnose this shit and get them some help. Oh, wait, we fucking can’t because we don’t have a health care system that could handle it.
And I’m just fucking embarrassed for this country, ashamed of how we have mistreated our allies, how we have isolated ourselves from the world in order to feed the ego of this sniveling mancunt who forces people to praise him endlessly, who sees himself as impervious to everything: sickness, responsibility, the law, and whose very affect and tweets demonstrate that he couldn’t give a single dry rat turd about the lives of the people he allegedly leads. He’s fucking golfing as I write this. Don’t say a goddamn word about him unless it’s preceded with, “Fuck that guy. Fuck him with every dick everywhere.”
We don’t know how fucked we’re going to be by the coronavirus. But we know, with absolute clarity, that those we depend on fucked up the response. We know that Democrats are saving our asses again with the bill that Nancy Pelosi got through the House (after Republican fuckery weakened it) and that Trump has said he would sign once Mitch McConnell gets his saggy ass back to DC to pass it in the Senate. We know that Democrats are once again going to have to clean up the wreckage that Republicans and their fucking mindless voters have created.
It’s what we’re damned to do.
Trump isn’t really fighting the virus. Trump is fighting with us, the people in this country, for demanding that he do a job that he simply can’t do, for asking him to feel things like empathy that he is incapable of feeling. He’s never had to give a shit about anyone but himself, and now he’s found himself in a situation where he has to. He’s a fish out of water or, more appropriately, a cow drowning in a flooded stream that gonna drag him away.
(Note: If you want to know more about the shit I’ve been dealing with as my college shuts down, it’ll be up at the ol’ Patreon page, but you gotta sign up and become a donor. Hey, you’ve got extra time and some money you’re not using on movies or concerts or dinners out.)
Editor’s Note: This essay originally appeared on March 14, 2020 on The Rude Pundit, a website featuring commentary by Lee Papa. It was reproduced here with the consent of Mr. Papa.