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Trumpism as the COVID-19 of our culture


I loved it when Speaker Pelosi called Trump “morbidly obese.”

Trump is a guy with a high estimation of himself. He thinks he’s (to use an old Bronx phrase) “shit on wheels”: the greatest guy ever, smarter, richer and handsomer than anyone else. Well, he might be richer than most (we’ll find out when the Supreme Court makes him hand over his taxes). But he’s certainly not a handsome man. He inherited his father’s boxy, chinless head, squinty eyes, pinched Dutch mouth with its gopher teeth, and jowls—traits his two sons, Eric and Junior, have in even more exaggerated form. (Poor Barron looks okay now, but he’ll probably turn into an ugger like his brothers. Can’t escape those genes!) But the thing that drives Trump crazy—the thing he’s most ashamed of, and can’t hide—is his extreme fat. He has a huge ass—we see it whenever he plays golf and some paparazzi gets a picture—and even though he tries to hide his belly and love handles under that oversized blue suit jacket and low-hanging tie, we still know that Trump is exactly what Nancy Pelosi called him the other day: morbidly obese.

I’m not fat-shaming him. I have friends who also are a bit on the heavy side. But most of my full-figured friends at least try to diet, and limit their food intake to healthier fare. Not Trump. He celebrates the high-calorie, high-fat fast foods he lives on and eats in apparently huge quantities. Eating occupies nearly as much of Trump’s time as tweeting.

We’ve had obese presidents before, but Grover Cleveland and William Howard Taft are not known as two of our better ones, and certainly, our best presidents—Lincoln, F.D.R., John F. Kennedy, Barack Obama—were lean and well-built. Even Reagan carefully watched his weight. Now, Trump joins the other fatties in the tubber hall-of-fame.

What must it feel like to be Trump and be so fat? Surely, his shame at his obesity accounts for a great deal of his hatred of Obama. Trump grew up in a racist household—his father, Fred, has been documented as a follower of the Ku Klux Klan—and it must hurt Trump like hell to be compared, unfavorably, to a colored man, not only performance-wise and popularity-wise, but in terms of his body. Obama is so slender and sexy, while Trump is disgustingly fat. Trump always has fancied that the porn stars and strippers he lusted after liked him for his “good looks.” What he’s now having to face up to is that Stormy, Melania and all the rest were after him for his money.

Well, being morbidly obese is Trump’s problem. I, personally, hope it shortens his lifespan. What a terrible thing to say, right? But it’s true. Trump is a danger to my country and my planet, to the values of decency and reason I cherish, to my freedom and yours. Why would I not want my country and my world to be rid of such pestilence, the same way I want to be rid of the coronavirus? In so many respects, Trump is a virus, and Trumpism is the COVID-19 of our culture: a killer that strikes down whole segments of the population, in this case, rural, under-educated people of the “Christian” persuasion. They are the most vulnerable to the disease called Trumpism, which kills minds as well as bodies. It’s too bad that scientists aren’t searching for a vaccine to prevent the spread of Trumpism. Oh, wait: they are: the vaccine is called the Democratic Party, and you can protect yourself and your loved ones from being infected with Trumpism simply by voting Democratic this November.

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