POTUS is public enemy #1

President* Trump,

Well, I just finished reading a too-large handful of articles and editorials all about how dire the covid-19 situation is and how jacked your leadership (and you) are. Serious downers, all. It doesn’t even help to see the jeer-worthy material about you boasting that you could answer the last five questions on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA; https://www.parkinsons.va.gov/resources/MOCA-Test-English.pdf). Gone are the halcyon-ish days when it smoothed the edge some to see your miserable grandiosity punctured even a little bit; it doesn’t even help that the skewer came from a Fox News person. It’s all just so grim.

Last week Greg Sargent (WP; https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/07/15/trump-disaster-gets-worse-new-political-theory-helps-explain-it/) described David Pozen and Kim Lane Scheppele position that you and Brazil’s Bolsonaro are engaging in “executive underreach.” As quoted by Sargent, Pozen and Scheppele define this behavior as follows:

“a national executive branch’s willful failure to address a significant public problem that the executive is legally and functionally equipped (though not necessarily legally required) to address.”

The authors connect it to illiberal, anti-democratic tendencies that include hostility to science and expertise meshed with the leader’s supreme confidence that he can gaslight the public with disinformation as a substitute for acting in the national interest.

I would suggest a minor wording change (with large implications) to Pozen and Scheppele’s definition; instead of “…..willful failure to address a significant public problem” I think it would be more accurate to say “…..willful failure to address significant public problems” because let’s be real, your underreach on covid-19 is not your first rodeo. You’ve been hands off and not doing jack except to stir the pot on everything from gun violence to racism to the opioid epidemic. You’ve been practicing this way of non-governing governing for years now and we shouldn’t be surprised that you are putting everything you’ve learned about non-doing (in the service of harm) and spin into your administration’s approach to the coronavirus non-response and divide-and-conquer gaslighting.

I was just about to say that this one may finally bite you in the ass as there can’t be a positive political outcome for you, but given how invested you and yours are in fighting (as in actual fights that draw blood and kill people) and your eugenics-bent, it’s all but certain that this underreach strategy is by design. You’ve ramped up suggestions that you’ll not leave office voluntarily if you lose in November and the response to these veiled threats by Biden and others has so far been that trespassers can be removed from the White House. However, I think they’re missing what you’re really doing, which is signaling your base that a call to arms is coming. Basically, even if you continue this nihilistic, trumped up individualistic drumbeat regarding covid and we decidedly kick you out of office for this (and for a thousand other horrible things you’ve done to us), you’ll get to play general to an armed insurrection that will go down in the history books for the ages. Rather like the Confederacy, you’re probably banking on the idea that you’ll be glorified win or lose so it doesn’t matter as long as you’ve got toadies who’ll pass the “Make America White” tale of you onto their descendants and maybe spring for a statue or 27.

Plus, between covid disproportionately taking out those you despise and aggrieved armed vigilantes out to defend YOU and THEIR RIGHTS and THEIR WAY OF LIFE, we can pretty much guarantee that your puppet masters will get their eugenics bonus if we don’t figure out ways to head you all off at the pass. First, though, we’ve got to stop treating your threats about not leaving office as though they’re really, literally about you not budging out of the White House – we have to call out this dangerous, incendiary behavior for what it is – a treasonous strategy to provoke Americans to come after one another violently.

May we be safe from our POTUS and his evil.
May we be willing to call out that evil and do something about it.
May we hold strong and not cave to threats.
May we accept that our POTUS is public enemy number one.

Tracy Simpson

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