The “pussy video” didn’t do it. The Stormy Daniels’s revelations didn’t do it. The Mueller investigation didn’t do it. The impeachment trial didn’t do it. The cruel handling of children and the desperate at the border didn’t do it. The unrevealed tax returns didn’t do it. Will Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus epidemic finally burst the bubble of the Trump presidency and restore an element of reality to the United States? Will the coronavirus finally bring down Trump’s virtual presidency?
Forget the 15,000 and counting lies. Forget the increased deficit and national debt. Forget the chaos surrounding the White House and the global image of a world power that has lost its bearings. Forget the above illusions. North Korea is still testing. The Middle East peace plan is dead on arrival. There is no trade deal with China. Afghanistan is nowhere near peace. The new NAFTA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement) is much like the old one. Stop counting the lies. Stop showing the dissonance of what he says and his followers believe. Forget alternative facts; forget alternative realities.
Facts have not demystified the illusions. The core believers have clung to their beliefs. After three years of sprinkling fairy dust, Trump has managed to create a Disney World of self-promotion. “We are great again. I am the greatest,” Trump trumpets, with no apologies to Mohammed Ali.
Up until now the fairy dust has worked. But now, a simple virus, a simple illness that has spread to a worldwide epidemic has brought a singular reality to the fore. The United States is not a Disney theme park; there is a difference between the virtual and the real. People are dying in real time. Trump World is confronting reality.
The president of the United States is responsible for the welfare of its citizens. Trump may have gotten away with climate change denial as well as the denial of any scientific facts, but he can’t run from the consequences of the coronavirus. He will try to sugar-coat this away, as he has all previous bad news. That’s what the virtual is all about. He will try to blame reports of the gravity of the crisis on the media and Democrats. Kellyanne Conway, his former campaign manager and now counselor-in-chief to the president and the spin doctors will work overtime to try to limit the damage by minimizing the seriousness of the situation and by blaming someone else.
But there is no running away from this one. No spin doctors can eliminate his responsibility. The hacks he has appointed will have to confront the reality of the thousands of sick and potentially dying. Vice President Mike Pence and his cohorts are front and center. No illusions will help the thousands who are sick. No illusions will help to restore funding that has been cut from basic medical care services. No illusions will bring back the money wasted on unneeded military hardware and the Walls.
When faced with the reality of life and death, the virtual president and presidency will be shown to have no clothes. Donald and Melania visited the real Taj Mahal in India, but the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey, went bankrupt. There is a difference between the authentic and the fake.
Go ahead and call Bernie a socialist. Criticize his praise of Castro’s advances in education for the Cuban people. But now wouldn’t Americans like to have the type of health system that Castro put in place for all Cubans? Castro sent his medical teams around the world to help the poor and vulnerable while the United States sent troops around the world to fight unwinnable wars. And for what? How much of the money wasted in Afghanistan could be used now to fund emergency room facilities? How many people who criticize Sanders socialism would like to have the U.S. government now foot the bill for their health care?
The coronavirus is a wake-up call. It is a turning point away from the fantasy world of Trumpian incompetence. The Emperor has no clothes. There are no more illusions in emergency rooms across the United States. Nor should there be in the voting booths next November.