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Whatever Removes Donald Trump—a Miserable Bastard—From Public Life Is Good

Donald Trump has been laying waste to our Constitution, our democracy, and our very society.

The only thing that matters politically is the decisive defeat of Trump next month, and his expeditious removal from office by January 20, 2021. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The only thing that matters politically is the decisive defeat of Trump next month, and his expeditious removal from office by January 20, 2021. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

“First and foremost, I pray for a speedy recovery for President Trump and the First Lady.”

Okay. I got that out of the way.

The honest truth is that Donald Trump is a miserable bastard, and indeed a sociopath, who routinely demeans and debases others in his personal life and in his public performances.

That lead is a quote of what virtually every pundit and politician has said this morning upon learning of the COVID diagnosis of Donald and Melania Trump. Indeed, it is reasonable to think that many of those people also spoke with those quotation marks implied. They were saying what others have said, or what they think The Ideal Human Being would say, or at least what any decent human being would be expected to say under normal circumstances.

These are not normal circumstances.

One small sign: some skeptics have raised questions about whether the entire announcement is a ploy by Trump to gain sympathy and curry favor with voters. The very fact that smart people can wonder about this is a sign of how dangerously low things have fallen in this country. Anything is possible with Trump. In other words, we are all still in real danger.

It is often said that “hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.” One can slightly extend the notion, and fairly observe that civility is the tribute that vice often pays to virtue. It is often good to be nice even to those we despise. It is good to perform a basic decency in our interactions with others, whoever they may be, as a way of enacting integrity for oneself, and of promoting some minimal level of decency in the world.

It is also true that honesty is the tribute that virtue pays to vice.

And the honest truth is that Donald Trump is a miserable bastard, and indeed a sociopath, who routinely demeans and debases others in his personal life and in his public performances.

This was on full display in Tuesday’s so-called “Presidential debate,” when he abused Joe Biden, went out of his way to viciously attack Biden’s son, and could not even show a minimal amount of respect for Biden’s other dead son, a man who did something that no person in Trump’s family has ever done—volunteered for military duty and devoted his life to public service.

Trump’s COVID diagnosis is The News today, the major headline in every medium, including the New York Times. 

But today’s Times also features these stories on its web “front page”:

Trump Virtually Cuts Off Refugees as He Unleashes a Tirade On Immigrants.”

In Profane Rant, Melania Trump Takes Aim At Migrant Children and Critics.”

Wisconsin Is Frazzled By Surging Virus Cases and Growing Campaign Frenzy.”

After Wild Fires Stop Burning, a Danger in the Drinking Water.”

Why ‘Stand Back and Stand By’ Should Set Off Alarm Bells.”

The point is simple: as every honest person has been saying for at least months now, Donald Trump has been laying waste to our Constitution, our democracy, and our very society. He has promoted the most cruel and vicious tendencies among us. He has deliberately lied about the pandemic and has defiantly held huge public rallies, both indoors and out, in which many thousands of people have been crammed together without masks. He has deliberately conducted business in the Oval Office in defiance of all social distancing and mask guidelines.

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Donald Trump is personally responsible for the many tens of thousands of deaths that could have been prevented through an honest and serious response to the pandemic. Over 200,000 Americans have died of COVID in the past nine months. It will be at least 300,000 by the end of the year. And Trump has not cared.

Donald Trump is personally responsible for the cruel family separations and mass immigrant detentions at our border.

Donald Trump is personally responsible for deploying federal forces to assault a peaceful protest in Lafayette Square, and for deploying federal forces to kidnap people off the streets of Portland, and for encouraging police brutality, and for threatening martial law.

Donald Trump is personally responsible for inciting the violence of his right-wing, white supremacist supporters.

Donald Trump is personally responsible for repeatedly and deliberately announcing that the only legitimate election result is one where he is the winner, and that if there is another result, he will refuse to honor it.

Donald Trump’s very existence has been a disaster for the vast majority of U.S. citizens and residents not named Trump.

Donald Trump is personally responsible for more cruelty and injustice than any president, and any single American citizen, in recent memory.

Is it “cosmic justice” that he is now infected by the very disease that he has allowed to spread among us? The Plague gets the plague? Let the philosophers argue about this. One of my colleagues posted on Facebook last night that “Karma is a Bitch!” That seems about right to me.

Donald Trump is no different to me than any other stranger who is also a tyrant responsible for mass suffering. I really do not give a shit about him or his rather vile family members. If I am being honest, I will admit that, having been subjected to his Public Domestic Abuse for four years, I was not the slightest bit sorry to learn about his illness. Why should I be sorry? It’s not like my feelings about the matter caused his illness. Indeed, his own irresponsibility caused it. And surely caused many others around him to also become ill. He is a despicable man, and he deserves nothing more than he has given to others. It is normal and legitimate for those whose lives have been disrupted and threatened by a bully or a tyrant to feel some exultation when the tyrant suffers.

Pundits are now worrying about the “national security” implications of Trump’s illness. It is true, such instability in the Presidency is always a cause for concern. But can those of us who are responsible for public commentary at least be honest: Trump at full capacity is a malevolent, ignorant, and irresponsible man who has never taken his job or its public responsibilities seriously. Do you really think we are in greater danger now with Trump in bed than we were when Trump was sitting in front of his TV threatening war via Twitter? Yes, the President of the U.S. is responsible for the nuclear codes. And quite honestly, I would feel safer with those codes entrusted to my neighbor’s fifteen year old daughter than to Donald Trump.

Donald Trump’s very existence has been a disaster for the vast majority of U.S. citizens and residents not named Trump.

Nothing that takes Donald Trump even the slightest bit away from public life is bad.

And, honestly, all further consideration of his illness bores me.

The only thing that matters politically is the decisive defeat of Trump next month, and his expeditious removal from office by January 20, 2021.

Nothing else matters.

Fuck Donald Trump, and Melania too.

Constitutional democracy is on the ballot next month. Defending it is the most urgent imperative of our time.

We must defeat Donald Trump and elect Joe Biden.

Jeffrey C. Isaac

Jeffrey C. Isaac

Jeffrey C. Isaac is James H. Rudy Professor of Political Science at Indiana University, Bloomington. His books include: "Democracy in Dark Times"(1998); "The Poverty of Progressivism: The Future of American Democracy in a Time of Liberal Decline" (2003), and "Arendt, Camus, and Modern Rebellion" (1994).

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