The COVID-19 pandemic and the effect it has had on President Donald Trump, intensifying his political opportunism and ridiculous, always out-of-place comments, make me ask myself: what will come next?
If it’s true that the pandemic that has cost thousands of lives changed life as we know it, from one moment to the next, its effect on the political and electoral process in the United States remains to be seen.
On the one hand, U.S. Americans are more worried about literally surviving the pandemic, paying their debts, especially those who have lost their jobs; about how to feed their families, that they are not exactly concentrating on the proposals of politicians. Will there be political conventions? What will happen with the elections? Will people come out to stand in line and vote in the cold fall, like voters in Wisconsin, wearing masks in the rain because the Republicans of that state refused to delay the primary or permit vote-by-mail because, as Trump says, it lends itself to “fraud”? Already, coronavirus illnesses have been reported among voters who stood in line.
And then there’s the virtual Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, campaigning remotely, without a doubt a campaign for the history books, and almost always responding to “today’s craziness” in what Trump says or does.
Trump’s craziness continues to increase, just like the tally of deaths in the United States.
But this president does not even try to demonstrate empathy for the relatives of the more than 56,000 souls lost to COVID-19 in the United States. He is more concerned with exercising political advantage with his base, of course. This means continuing to push his agenda, using the pandemic as an excuse. That’s where the executive order to suspend certain categories of legal immigration for sixty days comes from, without affecting immigrants with money, investors, or from the sectors requested by business, but hurting spouses and children of permanent residents; ultimately, that which anti-immigrant activists disrespectfully call “chain migration,” which permitted our fancy First Lady, Melania Trump, to sponsor her parents.
The press reported that the Machiavellian presidential advisor, Stephen Miller, architect of Trump’s racist immigration policy, had indicated on a call that the executive order is part of a larger strategy to reduce legal immigration. Surprising? Not at all. What’s odd is that it wasn’t announced earlier.
And needless to stay, there’s Trump’s daily follies. They shame us all. They are almost surrealistic. Trump equated the disinfection of surfaces with the disinfection of the human body. To say that perhaps we can combat the virus if people inject themselves with disinfectant or that, in some way, disinfecting ultraviolet lights could penetrate the human body, is totally expected from Trump. Later, he tried to say he was being sarcastic. But Trump is incapable of being sarcastic or ironic. He’s a boar.
The only sarcasm, the only irony is that this nation should be led, during a pandemic, by a divisive, boarish, caricaturish figure.
It would be laughable, if it wasn’t so tragic.