Invincible?

This morning (3/29/20), as has become my habit, before looking at any other emails, I read Heather Cox Richardson’s most recent newsletter. I continue to be impressed by her ongoing wisdom and level-headed perception of current events.

In this particular issue, she wrote something that aroused my curiosity:

Key to Trump’s popularity has been a rhetorical strategy identified in 1951 by political philosopher Eric Hoffer in a book called The True Believer.

She then went on and compared some of Hoffer’s perspectives to the current POTUS. Since I had never heard of Eric Hoffer or his book, I decided to do some research.

Of course, the first place I looked was Amazon for a content description and to investigate cost (Kindle version $8.99; Free to Kindle Unlimited members; Hardcopy $169.14!). Unfortunately, the only write-up on Amazon was related to the author so I had to extend my search.

This led me to Google Play where I found a “free sample” and copied the following from the Preface.

All mass movements generate in their adherents a readiness to die and a proclivity for united action; all of them, irrespective of the doctrine they preach and the program they project, breed fanaticism, enthusiasm, fervent hope, hatred and intolerance; all of them are capable of releasing a powerful flow of activity in certain departments of life; all of them allegiance.

Many of us have wondered how and why so many people continue to cling to and defend Trump, no matter what he says or does. Heather put it all together when she wrote:

Trump has mastered this technique. He has kept his base firmly behind him by demonizing immigrants, the media, and, increasingly, Democrats, deflecting his own shortcomings in office by blaming these groups for undermining him.

She references Hoffer and further writes:

[S]o long as they are unified against an enemy, true believers will support their leader no matter how outrageous his behavior gets. Indeed, their loyalty will only get stronger as his behavior gets more and more extreme.

However, as many of us have noticed, cracks are beginning to appear. The coronavirus crisis is making it harder and harder for Trump to maintain his hold on his devoted followers.

Nevertheless, he will continue to play the game. No matter who it hurts because for him, it’s all about winning. Staying on top. And most of all, being idolized as the “only one” who can MAGA.

Yet, for all his bluster, there is one thing Trump cannot ignore. COVID-19 has loyalty to no one. Insults, threats, and blustering will not change its course. And as has been shown thus far, it is no respecter of persons.

Although the invincibility of Trump has astounded many of us on (too) many occasions, perhaps in this instance he has met his match. Only time– and the coronavirus–will tell.

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Image courtesy of Mark Grayson Invincible Image Comics

Part Two: The Lockdown

As I addressed in Part One, many people in the U.S. took heed of the precautions that were issued at the beginning of the coronavirus spread and obeyed the social distancing pleas. They stocked up on food and supplies and settled into somewhat of a routine within their households to get through the forced seclusion.

Now let’s imagine that the pandemic has gotten so bad that it’s become necessary for authorities to step in to ensure residents obey the movement restrictions. What happens now to the people who ignored the warnings? Who believed that it was all a Democratic hoax? Who were convinced they were invincible? Who believed their god would keep them safe?

And especially … who made no efforts to plan for the worst?

Someone once said, “Never underestimate desperate people. You never know how far they will go to get what they want.

I’m not going to go into detail as to the events that could potentially take place if this pandemic continues except to reference the above quote … and to repeat something I wrote in Part One: “Gun and ammunition sales have skyrocketed.”

I’ll let you put two and two together.

At this moment in time … in the day and hour that I’m writing this … COVID-19 is rapidly spreading and the number of deaths are increasing daily. If the health professionals are correct (and there is little reason to doubt them), it’s going to get worse.

Never underestimate the driving force to stay alive
that exists in every human being.

Part One: The Pandemic

I’m fully aware this post is going to be controversial and may cause a rise in the reader’s blood pressure. Nevertheless, I think it’s a subject that needs to be discussed.

As many of you have probably heard or read, gun and ammunition sales have skyrocketed. And not just in the states where people adamantly defend the “Second Amendment.” It’s nationwide … and directly related to the coronavirus situation:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/carlieporterfield/2020/03/16/coronavirus-fears-have-led-to-a-surge-in-us-gun-sales

Many of us are repelled by this action. But I’d like you to take just a moment and think about why this is happening.

We have a virus running rampant throughout the world and efforts to stop it have so far been unsuccessful. In the U.S., part of this has to do with:

  1. An irrational belief among Christians that God will take care of them so they continue to congregate in places of worship to “pray for healing,” and
  2. Some individuals in authority contend the virus is not as dangerous as claimed so they refuse to put any restrictions in place, thus allowing others who feel as they do to frequent public places and rub shoulders with the general public.

In any event, many people are in a panic. Not only are they fearful they might become infected, but “social distancing” has created another layer of stress. Some have even felt an urgency to “stock up” (just in case) on food and supplies. Often to excess.

Even more disturbing is the assertion by health officials that any potential cure is months away. We begin to wonder when–or if– things will ever return to normal.

Now let’s move into the future just a bit. The virus is still not contained. More and more people are getting infected.

Suddenly, the full impact hits. Almost overnight, infections soar and the death rate becomes overwhelming. The country is forced to go into complete lockdown.

So what happens to all those people who were in denial? The ones that didn’t prepare for this possibility … who ignored the necessity of stocking up on essentials.

Two words. They panic.

Hundreds of them start running to the supermarkets in the middle of the night to buy things. The ignore the distancing precautions because they’re desperate.  Food and supplies are still available, but shelves are not fully stocked as in normal times. As supplies dwindle, panic increases. And people get more desperate. Sometimes dangerously desperate.

Now think about those individuals who early-on took this pandemic seriously and planned ahead. They are the ones with adequate food and supplies.

And the desperate people know this.

Continue to Part Two.

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Trump and the Developing Coronavirus Crisis

As a regular reader of The Secular Jurist blog, I’ve found that Robert Vella frequently publishes some very informative posts related to current events and happenings.

As a general rule, Robert begins his posts with some personal commentary, then includes links to several news sources (including brief excerpts) that support his outlook.

I felt his most recent post — “Trump’s Pandemic Failure: First he denied it, then he tried to steal the headlines, now he’s covering it up” was too good not to share. In it, Robert discusses several events taking place in Italy and So. Korea related to the coronavirus pandemic, and also offers some observations on President Trump’s recent speeches and actions (or non-actions) within the U.S.

Feel free to offer your comments on whether you agree or disagree with Robert’s reflections. (A link to the actual post is provided at the end of the commentary.)

On January 20th to 21st 2020, the first reported COVID-19 cases were reported in South Korea and the United States respectively – virtually, on the same day.  Because of its proximity to China, the coronavirus outbreak in South Korea progressed much more rapidly.  However, the democratic government of that Asian nation took an aggressive response to combat the pandemic including massive testing and quarantines to stop the spread of the disease (see:  One chart shows how South Korea got its coronavirus outbreak under control in less than a month).  In the U.S., the Trump administration denied the impending crisis calling it a conspiratorial “hoax” and describing the new virus as nothing more than a seasonal flu.

As the reality of the pandemic became undeniable by late February in the U.S., President Trump was forced into a different strategy.  He appointed Vice President Mike Pence to lead his administration’s response, and soon after began holding daily press conferences where he could steal the news headlines by announcing optimistic breakthroughs and bold proposals.  It sounded reassuring, but Trump’s pronouncements were filled with numerous inaccuracies, outright falsehoods, and promises which could never be fulfilled in the near future.

Just as events overtook his denial early on, events are now overtaking his media strategy.  The developing crisis in the U.S. has become so acute that Trump is returning to tactics he used during the Mueller investigation and impeachment proceedings – that is, to withhold as much information as possible from Congressional oversight and from the American people in order to conceal his administration’s egregious failure on coronavirus ahead of the 2020 election.

For comparison, South Korea currently has 8,652 COVID-19 cases in which 100 people have died, but the rate of new infections is steadily declining.  Its government was able to “flatten the curve” which lessened the pandemic’s impact and prevented its healthcare system from being catastrophically overwhelmed.  In contrast, the U.S. currently has 16,607 cases and 219 deaths, but the rate of new infections is skyrocketing.  The U.S. curve looks identical to that of Italy‘s two weeks ago whose healthcare system is now being dangerously overwhelmed by sick and dying people.  It should be noted that the failure in Italy resulted from similar government inaction even though it has a highly rated (by the WHO) healthcare system.

The following stories help illustrate how big Trump’s failure on this pandemic really is.  They also factually refute his recent assertions that the coronavirus “caught everyone by surprise” and that his administration is doing “everything it can” to remedy the situation.  To put it more bluntly, Trump is blatantly lying to the American people;  and, that should surprise no one.

For the supporting news articles, please click this link, which will take you directly to Robert’s post.

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Image by Vektor Kunst from Pixabay

Reblog: You won’t see this on Fox News

The progression …

Just as a reminder:

Feb. 7 (tweet): “…… as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone.”

Feb. 10: “I think the virus is going to be — it’s going to be fine.”

Feb. 14: “We have a very small number of people in the country, right now, with […]

via You won’t see this on Fox News — Ends and Beginnings