un-Cheeto lines in the sand

Dear President Trump,

Let’s get real here, shall we? You didn’t wear the face mask in the Ford plant today because you didn’t want to have lines of white, un-Cheeto’d, skin showing when you took the mask off. Given that you had to make a speech and would have had to temporarily remove the mask to do this on camera, in plain view of many, many others, it was just about 100 steps too far for you to go. Yes, you probably pumped yourself up with the “no one can make me do anything I don’t want to do” horseshit that so many of your brethren are claiming is driving their mask refusals. And yes, your track record regarding concern for the wellbeing of others is in the toilet so your refusal to wear a mask for the greater good is completely consistent with your personal, ‘it’s all about me,’ ethos. And yes, you have the luxury of being tested as many times a day as you want so you can fairly legitimately claim that you are unlikely to infect others if you were to cough or sneeze or spit at them. But I think it comes down to Cheeto-lines.

Jennifer Rubin (WP) lamented Governor Whitmer’s decision not to hold a firm line on your mask flouting ways, concluding that she (and countless others) doesn’t care enough about public safety because they aren’t going to the mat insisting that you set a decent example for the American people and wear a damn mask. I hear her – I get where she’s coming from and maybe if I hadn’t read about the horrible flooding situation in central Michigan I would probably be on board with Rubin’s righteous indignation over Whitmer not refusing you entrance when you wouldn’t comply with the state’s mask laws. But what a shitty situation for Whitmer – not only is a large part of her state under water, literally, and in need of Federal Emergency assistance on that front, but she’s been under attack by you for months and you’ve recently (bogusly, yes, but still) threatened to withhold federal funds over the state’s efforts to extend a mail in voting option to protect public health. What the hell was she supposed to do?

Yes, I would have loved to see Michigan state troopers guard the entrance to the Ford plant and allow only those who were wearing appropriate face masks to enter the compound, but I bet Whitmer didn’t want to put any of her people in the position of having to face down the POTUS to support their state laws and she almost certainly had more important things she needed to do herself. I also wouldn’t put it past the armed protestors not to have escalated things if a hard mask-wearing line had been drawn. And there was no way on earth that you were going to capitulate.

So hmm – wait, what exactly was the benefit of you strutting your unmasked stuff at a Ford plant in Michigan in violation of state law? Was there any benefit except that you got the satisfaction of “winning” and maybe ended up slightly more positively disposed towards extending the federal assistance for the flooding situation that you are legally bound to extend?

Ok, now that I’ve worked this out for myself, I’m on board with Rubin’s position, which as I interpret it is that you, Donald Trump, should be setting a solid public health example for the American people by wearing masks when you are out in public and that it undermines the public’s health for other officials to allow you a pass for any reason – Cheeto-lines or no.

And no, you don’t have a smoking gun in your hand and you haven’t shot someone on 5th Avenue, but this is our real life example of such a situation and you were right, you are getting away with it.

May we all be committed to each one’s safety.
May we be willing to put aside vanity and individualism for the greater good.
May we have the strength and resolve to stand up to bullies, including our POTUS.
May we hold firm to honor, humility, peace, and kindness through these trials.

Tracy Simpson

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