More than 200,000 Americans have died of COVID-19.
If the United States was governed by a barely competent and vaguely public-spirited administration, the country might have suffered somewhere in the range of 20,000-40,000 deaths.
The president, with the able assistance of his sociopathic son in law, has already – with no end in sight – killed roughly three times as many Americans as did the Vietnam War. The deaths-above-replacement count for the pandemic has likely already, for Americans, exceeded five Korean Wars. It will soon overtake two First World Wars; it already has if the public figures are an undercount.
If you had told me in 2016 that a future president would murder that many Americas – in an election year, no less – and wasn’t a lock to lose every state in the nation, I’d have thought you were on drugs.
If, in 2018, you’d told me that Trump would murder that many Americans and still have a shot at being reelected, I wouldn’t be completely incredulous but I would be pretty skeptical.
If you’d told me that the pandemic would have no apparent effect on the polls, I’d have been flabbergasted.
But here we are. COVID-19 doesn’t even merit a direct discussion in Isaac Chotiner’s evisceration of Danielle Pletka for her madlibs op-ed on why she’s voting for Trump in 2020 after ostensively refusing to do so in 2016.
To make matters worse, the Republican political strategy for COVID-19 includes convincing its base that any ameliorative action – including the simple donning of a cloth mask – is an unacceptable and irrational infringement on the rights of the people. This is, in essence, a scorched-earth tactic aimed at sacrificing even more Americans at the alter of Republican electoral fortunes.
I know that I’m not saying anything new. I just think it’s worth reflecting on how fundamentally broken the Republican party is, and what that means for American democracy.