Perhaps without noticing the altitudes of irony to which they have flown, President Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters are convinced that they may achieve “freedom” mainly by throwing themselves at his feet and vowing complete obedience.
But perhaps that puzzlement is best left for contemplation at another time, as additional matters beckon.
Some observers are asking whether the gun-rights folks are aware that they have lapsed into a similar pair of discordant beliefs. While they interpret even modest government restrictions on guns to be federal overreach, the government’s use of U.S. military troops to attack protesting U.S. citizens does not move them to express concerns about a “slippery slope.”
Notwithstanding such issues, perhaps nothing demands attention as does an incident in early August when, while in Ohio, Mr. Trump warned that, if Joe Biden were to be elected, there would be “... no religion, no anything, [and Biden would] hurt the Bible, hurt God.” Eye-rolling courthouse square philosophers were compelled to ask, “What in the name of Albert Camus did the president mean?”
If Joe Biden is powerful enough to hurt God, why didn’t Biden win the presidency years ago? And by what means would Joe Biden get rid of religion? And how is it possible that, under President Biden, there would be “no anything?” Given that I am supportive to a fault, I wish to reassure President Trump that, should he be replaced by Joe Biden, there would never be “no anything.” At a minimum, necessities such as golf, money and at least a handful of adoring fans would remain.
Further efforts to tease meaning from the president’s strange verbalization puts one in mind of the words of comic Woody Allen who said that, while taking a college exam about existentialism, he had left all the answers blank, and received a grade of 100%.
Such are the inscrutable ways of our president. Recently, he revealed slightly too much about himself when he claimed that Joe Biden suffers neurocognitive impairment. But it was the president, rather than Mr. Biden, who last month interjected the phrase “Yo semite” into a discussion of the beauty of our National Parks. Physicians may have feared they were witnessing the sudden onset of Tourette’s Syndrome. Others were concerned that Mr. Trump had lapsed into dreamy desire for anther Sylvester Stallone “Rocky” film that would be set in the Middle East.
Then again, I am reminded that, in August, acclaimed military historian Donald Trump said the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic “probably ended the Second World War [because] all the soldiers were sick.”
Although we daily observe the president’s gift of whatever it is that he substitutes for clear thinking, none of that matters to his bedrock supporters. Nor do they consider it to be of consequence that he has done little or nothing to “bring back coal” or “drain the swamp” or that he displays a troubling subservience to Vladimir Putin or that he is presently in court trying to smash the Affordable Care Act into oblivion (which would abolish coverage for preexisting conditions).
Yet, beyond his catalog of other failures, Donald Trump’s effort to deal with COVID-19 continues to be the disaster of the century. Nevertheless, it is a disaster that evidently may be swatted away like a troubling gnat, dismissed as yet another episode in the unknowable ways of a genius.
Unfortunately, we must endure these happenings and persevere even as an answer to the question of our age is approaching the horizon: Do we save the republic, or do we reelect Donald Trump?