The big news today

Is that Donald and his wife are now infected by the coronavirus. Were they wearing masks, practicing social distancing? Nobody seems to know where, or when or how it happened. But it did happen. And on this occasion Trump was obliged to accept the reality of Covid-19, much like he accepts the reality of anything, not for it self, but for his, Donald Trump’s own self. Does he know that worldwide there are some 33 million reported cases, and that there have been 1 million deaths, over 200,000 in our country alone? Will he now start to listen to anyone other than his own inner voices as to what’s going on and what should be done. Don’t hold your breath.

“The President is obsessed with menaces—posed by shadowy members of a “deep state,” by “the radical left,” by foreigners of all sorts. But the gravest menace to public health and public order has come from within the White House. So long as Trump holds office, no manner of quarantine will suffice to contain it.” David Remnick, The New Yorker, October 1, 2020

I’ve never fully understood what it was, what it is that enables Trump to grow the executive power of the government and thereby assume in more and more instances authoritarian powers that should never have been his. I’ve never understood what it was that has enabled him to become the greatest threat we have ever experienced to our democracy.

Something comparable to Hitler’s Brown Shirts is one explication. Trump’s Brown Shirts are for the most part not clearly thugs but Republican Senators and Representatives in the Congress. But there are others, real thugs, the Republican Senators being just the most well dressed and visible of his followers.

If you’ve forgotten just who were Hitler’s Brown Shirts (would they remain forgotten and never return!). I take the following clarification from the Britannica via Google.

Sturmabteilung or Storm Troopers popularly known for their brown shirts took on the role in the German Nazi Party, of a paramilitary organization whose methods of violent intimidation played a key role in Adolf Hitler’s own rise to power.” Trump’s own Brown Shirts not yet Hitler’s thugs, are the Proud Boys and other such organizations, created from among former police and service men now on the far right of opinion and who would like nothing else than to throw themselves in with the lot of their president.

Hitler’s unofficial army of thugs.

A connection between that and Trump’s rallies?

And of course I’m not alone to write about Trumps enablers. Others are no less taken by them than I am. Here’s David Brooks writing inn the Times of October 1, writing about a “core America.”

“The most ardent and enthusiastic Trump supporters, Brooks notes, are not economically marginalized, not submissive, not authoritarian, not religious or conventionally conservative. They have a strong concept that there is a core America, a concept which I suppose you could summarize as white, rural, John Wayne, football and hunting.”

“White, rural, John Wayne, football and hunting,” this sounds much like the America Trump would take us back to. While being quarantined I’ve been doing jigsaw puzzles, and have begun to appreciate them as  never before,  as one more activity keeping me mentally alive at an age when I’m not meant to be alive. Anyway the most recent puzzle, that the two of us, my wife Josée and myself, completed, entitled 19th century history, might be entitled Brooks’ “core America,” or the white America that Trump would take us back to: “white, rural, John Wayne, football and hunting.” Only foot ball is not in the picture. There are horses, a few Indians, one Black man up top and kind of out of the picture, no woman of course. In the 19th century Blacks, the  millions of them, were mostly out of the picture. 

Anyway this puzzle is good summary of the America that Trump would take us back to, if he could, but of course he can’t. America has moved on, and is better today than it was then, and no thanks to our president who does seem to want to return to the past, an America without the civil rights, the legions of immigrants it has always known, and without the Coronavirus of course.

Throughout Covid-19’s presence here among us since February or March of this year, actually much longer than that, really since January 2017, when Trump became the proud possessor of the Oval Office as he so likes to show us during the endless signing ceremonies that take place there.

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