Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Last Gasps

I know we still have two more weeks of this, but it’s beginning to sound more desperate than usual.

Trump dismissed precautions to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus and attacked the nation’s top infectious-disease expert as a “disaster” Monday, arguing that people are getting tired of all the focus on a pandemic that has killed more than 219,000 Americans and continues to infect thousands of people in communities across the country.

The president claimed that voters do not want to hear more from the country’s scientific leaders about the pandemic, responding angrily to a critical interview Sunday night with CBS’s “60 Minutes” by Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“People are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots,” Trump said in a call with his campaign staff Monday that was intended to instill confidence in his reelection bid two weeks before Election Day. He baselessly suggested that Fauci’s advice on how best to respond to the outbreak was so bad it would have led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands more people.

I and a lot of people are over the outrage of his flailing at everyone else for his complete failure to deal with the pandemic. Calling Dr. Fauci a disaster and mocking Joe Biden for listening to him is just noise now, and anyone who pays any heed to what he’s saying is already so besotted with his toxicity that there’s no point in trying to convince them otherwise. All that’s left is to just keep our heads in the game, concentrate on end of this as it approaches, and not be distracted by the distraction.

One of those distractions is the inevitable stories that show the race tightening; that polls are saying the race is getting closer and that even if Joe Biden is up nine points nationally, state-by-state it’s much closer.  That may easily be; that’s how polling works.  And we’re being reminded again and again how wrong we were four years ago when it looked like Hillary Clinton had it in the bag, which now generates the usual warnings about complacency.  (Everybody does it.  I’d be surprised if you weren’t able to find the same kind of warnings from the Reagan ’84 campaign, too.)

I’m not trying to minimize the flaming stupidity and dictatorial tendencies of Trump and the people who slather their fealty to him.  It’s not going to end when the election is over — whenever that is — and the aftershocks are going to last well into the next cycle that begins on November 4.  The surest way we can end this sooner rather than later is to get out there and vote in whatever way works for you and guarantee that it is counted.