In a column for the Daily Beast that was equal parts sad and furious, GOP strategist Rick Wilson warned Donald Trump’s most rabid fans that they are about to pay a personal and horrible price for supporting the feckless president because the coronavirus pandemic is slowly coming to their states — and it is going to hit hard.
Starting off by noting that the pandemic will soon “have killed as many Americans as Osama Bin Laden did on 9/11, with many more deaths to come,” Wilson writes, “It didn’t have to be this way.”
“It was inevitable that Trump would face a crisis immune to tweets or stupid memes or insulting nicknames. The damage he does to everyone and everything around him has become an iron law of American politics, an invariable and inevitable process. Still, I didn’t think it extended to everyone in the country, that it would produce actual bodies stacked like cordwood in a preventable, slow-rolling pandemic,” he explained. “When I wrote Everything Trump Touches Dies, I didn’t mean it literally. Donald Trump seems intent on proving me wrong.”
“Every lie about testing kits, personal protective equipment, miracle cures, economic resurgences, and his understanding of the science behind epidemics, viruses, and the health-care system breaks the faith of Americans a little more,” he warned. “Every day that passes compounds his errors from the day before. Every time he promises miracles and produces little but chaos, leaves the states on the front line of this battle a little less able to face the rising curve of the coronavirus crisis.”
And that, he claimed, should be worrying to people living in red states, because the coronavirus will soon hit their communities too.
“Every day, we see a president prove himself unworthy of risks and sacrifices already accepted by first responders and health-care workers—and unworthy of leading a nation of which much, much more will soon be asked,” he explained. “Until now, none of this would have put a dent in Trump’s support. I mean, we’ve learned that lesson by now as a nation. Trump’s base loves his transgressive nature—not that they can define it—and love that he’s a middle finger to decency, normality, tradition, and the law.”
“But COVID-19 is coming to pay a house call they won’t soon forget, and the damage in some of the places in this country where the Trump-Fox party’s support is the most passionate and unwavering will be staggering,” Wilson warned. “No, MAGAs, this isn’t a disease of the degenerate socialist coastal elites states. The coronavirus doesn’t see this through the lens of Flight 93 Trumpism; it’s about to scythe through red states, red districts, red towns, and red neighborhoods while giving no fucks what’s on Fox, MAGA Twitter, or on the local Sinclair agitprop outlet. “
Those conservative parts of the country are the most ill-prepared for what is to come because Republican lawmakers in those states have not heeded what is going on in other states that have already been hit hard.
“First, and most importantly, they are where the Fox audience lives, and for seven long weeks, they were told coronavirus was a seasonal flu… no big deal… totally under control. Nothing to worry about. Trump had shut down travel with China, and one day soon it would all just—poof!—disappear. ‘It’s a great time to travel!’ said Frau [Laura] Ingraham,” Wilson elaborated. “The second pain point for Trump states is just beginning to play out. Louisiana is the fastest-growing hotspot, with the case curve nearly vertical in the last five days. In Mississippi, Governor Tate Reeves seems intent on winning the award for Darwin’s Waiting Room by slow-rolling preparations and laughing off efforts to flatten the curve.”
“Now, they need experts and elites. Experts are the people in emergency rooms, admitting them. Experts are working around the clock to unf*ck Trump’s ineptitudes. Experts are mapping the inexorable spread of this disease and mapping strategies to mitigate it. Their lives are now literally in the hands of experts. They need truth and facts and transparency. Lives depend on it. Suddenly, the world of f*ck-your-feelings shock-jock presidential leadership fails utterly when called on to deliver measurable results and to hit real metrics,” Wilson wrote before concluding, “Some will never, ever leave Trump, just as there are still men in the world who believe the South will rise again, or that al Qaeda is poised for a comeback. Mere facts won’t break their bet on Trump—and his bet on a mendacious, reality television style that would forever appeal to his audience, or a death toll higher than it should be. “
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