The 2020 presidential election is fast approaching, and Donald Trump can probably count on at least some of the 46 percent who approve of him voting for him.
But as the coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease that manifests from it metastasizes through the country, the very base Trump depends on to defeat former Vice President Joe Biden might not be in any shape to cast their ballots come election day.
And they aren’t practicing social distancing.
Taking their cue from this week’s “operation gridlock” protest at the Michigan state capitol, rally organizers intend to force governors to lift orders designed to stop the coronavirus spread, despite public health officials’ recommendations.
As The Daily Beast reported:
“A protest movement is taking hold targeting states that have extended social-distancing rules, closed schools, and restricted access to large religious gatherings. And it’s being fed by loyalists and political allies of President Donald Trump.”
Trump is, of course, encouraging this militia behavior.
On Friday, he tweeted:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 17, 2020
He tweeted similar incitements for Virginia and Michigan.
This could get violent, and the President of the United States is gleefully encouraging it.
But if all these Trump supporters mill about eschewing the measures put in place to “flatten the curve,” they are putting their own well being at risk, let alone everyone else’s.
By egging them on, Trump is potentially thinning his electoral herd.
That herd is helping Trump and his conservative allies try to prevent a dire prediction that the president has only one month to salvage re-election prospects after an NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll reported a majority of American voters disapprove of his handling of the coronavirus, and feel he did not take warnings of it seriously when he was advised of its consequences as early as November.
Trump is not only taking advantage of his base, as is to be expected.
Like a true cult leader, he’s urging his followers to sacrifice themselves for him.
While he melts down in daily White House press briefings, flouts the Constitution, and demands total allegiance absent any responsibility, his ardent supporters are out there infecting themselves for him and passing their contagion onto their families and us.
Trump is a public health emergency, but his supporters don’t have to be.
He’s using them as he uses his office for profit.
He may not be cognitively robust enough to comprehend his sabotaging his own re-election, but his behavior indicates he is sociopathic enough to not give a damn about anyone out there other than himself (and maybe Ivanka).
Not even his supporters.