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Another Republican is infected

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The Governor of Oklahoma, Kevin Stitt, says he’s “shocked” to test positive for C-19. Although he’s currently asymptomatic, he plans to self-quarantine at home. Where did Kevin Stitt contract the virus? It’s impossible to say, of course. But we do know that Kevin Stitt went to trump’s Tulsa rally, on June 20, despite repeated warnings from health experts. And even though that rally was a dismal failure, with half the seats empty, 6,000 people, mostly maskless, crowded into that hot, steamy hall, spraying their nasal droplets with each Heil, easily spreading the coronavirus amongst themselves.

Stitt insists he didn’t catch the virus at the Tulsa rally. He said “he was certain he did not contract the virus at the Tulsa event.” And he refuses to issue any kind of statewide mask order, unlike his fellow conservative Governor, Kay Ivey, who just did in Alabama.

Here’s what I tweeted Kevin Twitt, err, Stitt:

Listen, schmuck: You’re a trump slave. You went to trump’s Tulsa rally. You were warned. You chose to obey your Fuehrer instead of listening to the doctors. Now you’re infected. You deserve it.

It’s very hard not to feel schadenfreude whenever one of these science-denying, pathological trumpers gets the virus. Whether it’s an evangelical preacher, a Governor, or some MAGA freak in Podunk, I smile to myself when one of them is reported to be infected. I smile even more broadly when they actually get sick, and the sicker they get, the broader is my smile.

Yes, I was raised in the Judeo-Christian tradition, which says we should never take pleasure in the misfortune of others. The fact that I do is a burr to my conscience. But I manage to overcome that inconvenience. What is conscience, anyway, when it comes to dealing with trumpers? I started from a place of bipartisanship: “Can’t we all get along?” I was willing, at one point, to accept Republicans as “the other party,” whose views I might not have agreed with, but with whom I was willing to strike deals.

Not anymore. No deals. No compromises. Complete extinction: that’s my motto.

When did I get this uncompromising? If there was any one moment, it was in 2016, when McConnell killed the Merrick Garland nomination. That’s when I realized, “There can be no cooperation with these people. They’ve completely surrendered to the worst excesses of fascist thuggery.” And that was before trump became president, which has made the Republican Party so much worse. The Republican Party has become my implacable enemy, as it has for at least half of the American people. We (the Allies) fought World War II because it was “the good war.” Unlike World War I, which was a muddle nobody could figure out, the Second World War had a distinct enemy (the Axis powers) and a distinct ideological framework (freedom vs. dictatorship). This current struggle against the Republican Party (or the party of trump, as it is more accurately described) is “the good struggle” in American politics. All sides are not the same. There are moral distinctions. There is such a thing as evil, and it has to be resisted by people of decent moral fiber.

It’s very sad, but there it is. If any sitting Republican official had any sense of moral courage, or even a smidgeon of self-respect, he or she would have already quit the party. They might not necessarily have had to become Democrats, but they would not feel it was possible for them anymore to remain Republicans, as long as the monster in the White House remained in control of the party.

But while we’ve seen a handful of Republicans denounce their former party (don’t you love Steve Schmidt? I could listen to him all day), they’re in a tiny minority. The vast majority of Republicans have stood by trump for the last 3-1/2 years. He gets worse and worse every day, more insane, more dangerous, more sociopathic, more incompetent; and yet these Republicans celebrate him as though he were the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (which, bizarrely, some evangelicals reportedly believe he is).

What can you do with such people? Nothing. You can’t reason with them, any more than you can reason with a three-year old or a crack addict. Their minds are gone, destroyed by corrupt preachers and manipulated by a rightwing media that knows no bounds to its lies.

Look, masks save lives, and keep COVID-19 from spreading. This so-called “president” has chosen to politicize basic healthcare science, for the simple reason that his only goal is—not to protect the American people—but to get re-elected; and for that, he has to stir up resentment and fear among his base. He knows how to do it: he’s stoked those flames for years. It’s awful, it’s horrible, it’s disgusting, and History, who always writes the final chapter, will condemn trump and his acolytes as fiercely as she condemns Hitler and his Nazis. But we don’t have to wait for History’s verdict. We can snuff trump out this Election Day. Vote! And if you vote by mail, be sure to send your ballot in well in advance of Election Day.

When you’re down and depressed, think of the celebration we’ll have the minute Biden is declared the winner. The hoots and hollers and hurrahs! The Champagne corks popping! The high fives! And that sound of rustling paperwork? It’s the scores of subpoenas being prepared to serve on trump, on his family, on his supporters. They will have to answer, not only to History, but to the Courts.

  1. Bob Henry says:

    Schadenfreude bibliography . . .

    From The New York Times “Book Review” Section Online
    (February 5, 2000):

    “Missing the Fun of a Minor Sin”

    URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2000/02/05/books/shelf-life-missing-the-fun-of-a-minor-sin.htmlpagewanted=print&src=pm]

    Book review by Edward Rothstein
    “Shelf Life” Column

    — AND —

    From The New York Times “Arts” Section Online
    (August 24, 2002):

    “Sorrow So Sweet:A Guilty Pleasure In Another’s Woe”

    URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/24/arts/sorrow-so-sweet-a-guilty-pleasure-in-another-s-woe.html?pagewanted=print&src=pm

    By Warren St. John

    — AND —

    From The New York Times Online
    (January 24, 2006:

    “This Is Your Brain on Schadenfreude”

    URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/24/science/24side.html?_r=2&adxnnl=1&pagewanted=print&adxnnlx=1419588391-cDM2h0zwx8ubaxFgiufYZg

    By James Gordon
    “Side Effects”

    — AND —

    From the Wall Street Journal “Opinion” Section
    (August 27, 2013, Page A13):

    “The Inverse of Envy”

    URL: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323394504578609701082627928.html

    Book review by Daniel Akst

  2. Bob Henry says:

    There will always be a proportion of the U.S. populace who have “shit for brains.”  Who (with no evidence or justified motivation) question sound medical and scientific judgment.  Who suffer from a lethal combination of unearned arrogance and uncorrected ignorance.

    As one winemaker friend of mine observed (and which I paraphrase):

    “Let these ignoramuses who protest against wearing face masks and practicing social [physical] distancing in public sign a medical waiver, declaring that they will refuse to seek medical attention in our community hospital emergency rooms and intensive care units, should they present with symptoms of COVID-19.”

    Let these rugged individualists heal themselves without imposing an economic hardship on the rest of society.

    And if after survive . . . great! . . . more individuals in society with “herd immunity.”

  3. Bob Henry says:

    Postscript: let’s see if I can activate these clink-on URL links.

    Schadenfreude bibliography . . .

    From The New York Times “Book Review” Section Online
    (February 5, 2000):

    “Missing the Fun of a Minor Sin”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2000/02/05/books/shelf-life-missing-the-fun-of-a-minor-sin.htmlpagewanted=print&src=pm%5D

    Book review by Edward Rothstein
    “Shelf Life” Column

    — AND —

    From The New York Times “Arts” Section Online
    (August 24, 2002):

    “Sorrow So Sweet:A Guilty Pleasure In Another’s Woe”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/24/arts/sorrow-so-sweet-a-guilty-pleasure-in-another-s-woe.html?pagewanted=print&src=pm

    By Warren St. John

    — AND —

    From The New York Times Online
    (January 24, 2006:

    “This Is Your Brain on Schadenfreude”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/24/science/24side.html?_r=2&adxnnl=1&pagewanted=print&adxnnlx=1419588391-cDM2h0zwx8ubaxFgiufYZg

    By James Gordon
    “Side Effects”

    — AND —

    From the Wall Street Journal “Opinion” Section
    (August 27, 2013, Page A13):

    “The Inverse of Envy”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323394504578609701082627928.html

    Book review by Daniel Akst

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