He’s running the clock and we’re letting him

Dear President Trump,

Are you and your posse really trying to bamboozle the American people with all your crap about how Donny-on-the-spot you were regarding covid-19? Is that your real goal? Somehow I don’t think it is, if for no other reason than you seem to be preternaturally good at meeting your goals and currently a majority of us don’t trust you and think you’ve handled the public health crisis poorly – ergo, if this were your real goal, you’d probably have figured out a way to trim those gaslights way better so that people would be more apt to go along with you.

The other argument for your dereliction of duty and erratic behavior is that you are simply incompetent and that you’ve surrounded yourself with incompetent people who just want to lick your boots. There’s potentially more merit to this argument – historically you’ve not exactly shown great judgment in tough situations. I haven’t gone back and studied your pre-POTUS existence, but from what I’ve gathered about it over the last several years, you displayed a few fallback positions when push went to shove; 1) a hasty re-packaging meant to put lipstick on whatever disaster of a pig was being called out (i.e., gaslighting 101); 2) throwing a series of hissy fits involving blaming someone else (i.e., scapegoating 101), and/or 3) throwing up your hands in disgust, turning on your heel, and exiting stage left for the nearest of your golf links (i.e., abandonment 101). Now, it’s possible that these reactions are the more flamboyant ones that sell papers and there are really bunches of times when you buckled down and came up with a solid plan for saving a floundering hotel or casino, diligently put that plan into action, hung in with it, and succeeded in pulling that business entity through. Just because I’ve never, ever, ever heard a story to that effect doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened.

Even if we assume for the moment that there’s a more customary, prosocial, example of problem-solving hiding somewhere in your past, I still think it makes sense to question whether what looks on the surface like incompetence isn’t really an effective bullying strategy that’s gotten you what you wanted 95-ish% of the time. It sure seems like it. And if this is true, then these behaviors that look desperate, stupid, and flailing perhaps aren’t really and instead are calculated to get you more of what you want (or what your handlers want).

I know this is a little tortuous but bear with me.

If what I’m surmising is true – that you aren’t actually incompetent and that your real goal is not to trick the American people into thinking you really have this situation under control – then what the hell are you doing? My cynical (and pretty freaked out) guess is that you’re running the clock. I think you’re wasting precious time arguing with reporters, goading frightened and angry people, sending confusing signals to everyone because you and yours will get more of what you want the further we devolve into infighting and chaos, the more our systems are strained, and the more of us that die. I know this is a horrible hypothesis (both because it’s so shitty to think our POTUS doesn’t give a shit about us and because it isn’t directly testable), but there’s too much money at stake and your patrons/handlers (to include Vladimir) aren’t about to let you go flipping off the rails if it means taking them down too. Thus, what you’re doing must not be designed to take them down too and therefore what you’re doing must be deliberate and performative.

If what I’m surmising is true – then those with influence and at least some power need to figure it out and stop walking into the traps you’ve laid, they need to stop getting snagged and start calling out your real bullshit. Now. Before it’s too late.

May we be safe from greedy malevolence disguised as obnoxiousness and incompetence.
May we be willing to stop, just stop, and look at what is and isn’t going on.
May we see that we can’t get strong and healthy if we don’t understand what is wrong.
May we not accept superficial answers.

Tracy Simpson

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