“No man is an island.”
This truism is currently being tested. If the experiment was in a controlled laboratory with learned people in white smocks, I’d feel better. But, since the Oval Office is today’s petri dish for radically unscientific squabbling, instead I’m terrified. What drives the current president’s mental seclusion? For most of us, such radical isolationism is personal and the province of mental health experts. Unfortunately, the current handling of the COVID-19 pandemic is like we’re on the Titanic and the captain has decided that the best way to get through the North Sea is by ramming the biggest iceberg.
Our first clue was Trump’s malignant narcissism. Being consumed by self-interest and devoid of empathy, our presidential Narcissus as become a Robinson Crusoe. This fits well with the subject at hand. For the sake of readability, Dafoe gave his white European hero a black man as a foil. Of course, the white man would be in charge. Trump’s views on non-whites of all stripes is well known, so he passes this island test with the kind of grades he never got in prep school.
Being a germophobe also speaks volumes about the suspicious actions of the “Leader of the free world,” this “Man of the people.” His phobia literally forces Trump to keep everyone at arm’s length. In 2018 Trump laid waste to the Center for Disease Control’s budget, fired whole epidemiologist staffs and tried to force our scientific community to relocate from Washington, D.C. to the Midwest, hoping that most would quit instead. He said that he didn’t want them lounging around; his administration would find good help when he needs it. The operative word is “he” not “we.” This is the logic of a man who sees our 360 million population as his subjects and proudly shows his royal disdain for science and education.
The U.S. is last in the world on COVID-19 testing. This is beyond belief until you look at who’s supposedly in charge. After several contacts tested positive for the virus, Trump said he didn’t need to be tested. Today, yeah, he has been tested. Tomorrow? Who knows, he sure doesn’t. Trump’s narcissistic illness makes him worry more about how the post-test pandemic numbers will affect his votes for reelection instead of the well-beings of the voters themselves.
One man, one island? Queen Elizabeth has more military service than the whole Trump clan combined. All of them. Remember that the next time he does the vertical bop with our national emblem at a rightwing rally. His Oval Office speech banning Europeans from entering this country was co-authored by Stephen Miller, his expert on immigration. Remember the “caravan invasion” hysteria? Of course, during that COVID-19 speech Trump exempted the U.K. where he has several resorts and hundreds of hotel rooms he needs to keep filled with rich clients.
I was not surprised that Trump’s kneejerk reaction was to call the virus a “hoax.” Any news that doesn’t immediately canonize him as Saint Donald is fake news, remember. And, as the news expands and clarifies, his base has his back; he never said what he said, then he said it but was joking, then the joke was taken out of context. Later the pandemic is a Democrat, George Soros conspiracy anyway. Finally, Obama made him do it in the first place.
So, is the president a man of the people or a self-exiled rich man on a deserted mental isle? As for the side effects of his aloofness, I’ve heard plenty baby boomers say that they aren’t worried about the environment because they will be dead when the waters rise, so climate change is a non-starter. That they are dooming their grandkids to a horrible, short experience on what used to be an amazing globe (globe means round and not flat like some of them believe the world to be) means nothing. Anyway, up here in Calaveras County our hills will stop all that rising water anyway. Right?
Trump as a population of one has implications for our local government as well. Lest you think that this is just a D.C. issue, look at how our representative, Tom McClintock, has voted and stumped and excused away this current administration/crime family’s political antics. He has gone all in on Trump, but history has shown us that there is a bus waiting for him as well if/when Trump finally does something so insane that even McClintock has to break ranks and actually defend the rights and safety of his constituents. Luckily, this is an election year which means more than one person will be voting. I plan to vote for Brynne Kennedy as District 4 representative to Congress and Jack Garamendi for supervisor. If you wonder how I’ll vote in all national concerns like the presidential race, you haven’t been paying attention. Read the 25th Amendment lately?