Weaponizing mismanagement

President* Trump,

The Worldometer shows the US as having added 61,848 new covid-19 cases today while another 890 of our inhabitants died from the disease today. Our total (known) covid death count is almost 135,000. Greg Sargent called you out this morning in his WP editorial saying that it’s simply not within the realm of possibility that you are “in denial” or engaging in “magical thinking” about covid-19 or that you “fail to grasp the seriousness” of the pandemic. He put together a strong argument that all of your administration’s covid-related bungles are deliberate efforts to keep the economy goosed and to have things look like they’re back to normal (e.g., the push to open schools and everything else despite the climbing case numbers) so you can breathe some life into your re-election campaign. He concludes that your actions are not clueless or hapless, but rather they are malevolent (https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/07/08/stop-saying-trump-is-denial-truth-is-much-worse/).

Personally, I think Sargent’s take is still too generous. Malevolent – yes, absolutely – but it sure seems to be about more than your re-election. As I said the other day, you are so pointedly endangering and killing people that it has all the hallmarks of a eugenics scheme. Basically, I’d bet money that you’re weaponizing mismanagement. It’s odd, though, that you don’t seem to care who falls prey to your machinations. You’ve really turned out to be an equal opportunity menace – your rallies put your own voter base at incredible risk as does the premature re-opening of “Red” states that you all have pushed so hard for. It’s like you and the Steves are hanging out in the situation room laughing at all your supporters who are willingly, willfully putting themselves in danger by following your lead.

So, I know I said I was going to forego railing at you and the above isn’t exactly singing your praises. Maybe we can agree that it’s some fiercely necessary truth telling.

On a related, but not quite as heavy, topic, I took a fairly long walk late morning today. Overall it was pleasant, but I am sure not accustomed to being out and about when so many other people are out and about. Fortunately, I didn’t have to take too many evasive maneuvers; it was mostly possible to anticipate where others were going and to adjust my route accordingly. I didn’t have any of the crappy sidewalk “chicken” situations where I feel I’ve yielded to my quotient of people already and want whoever this next person is to yield and end up forcing the issue. It’s only happened once, but it felt pretty awful.

But, I’ll tell you what, I am so, so sick of all the older white men who are apparently incapable of stepping off the sidewalk to give the 6’ berth, let alone crossing to the other side. I don’t mind doing it sometimes, but damn near all of them seem like they’d just as soon mow me down than yield. I am so sick of their entitlement and their feigned obliviousness – they are absolute pros at looking right through me, staring straight ahead and carrying on with their purposeful stride without even the tiniest blink or hitch to betray that they saw me (and usually my dog) walking towards them and then stepping out into traffic to avoid sharing their airspace or making them share mine. No acknowledgment whatsoever, not a nod, not a glance, not nada. Sometimes I can’t help myself and I say “you’re welcome” just loud enough for them to hear me and sometimes, if it’s especially egregious, I let slip “asshole.”

Just like curbing my vitriol at you, I probably need to do some radical, in the moment loving-kindness stuff when I encounter these men so I don’t end up holding hot coals. Maybe. We’ll see.

May we be safe from entitled assholes like our POTUS.
May we be willing to take the high road, at least some of the time.
May we know that flexing and yielding is a sign of strength.
May we accept that jerks are going to be even jerkier for the foreseeable future.

Tracy Simpson

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