Will Americans Risk Death To Vote Trump Out Of Office?

Thom plus logo The contours of Donald Trump's reelection strategy are coming into view. It appears he's trying to get as many people infected as possible in red states and swing states, so by November they will have herd immunity and can go vote.

He's also promoting the idea that, if you are white and under 60, you really don't have to worry so much about getting the virus or bothering with "sissy" things like wearing masks or social distancing, so even if you didn't get sick, you can still safely go vote. Key to this strategy is for him to never be seen in public wearing a mask.

He's counting on Democrats and other well informed voters to stay sheltered in place until November, and to continue believing that masks and social distancing are vital, so they will be reluctant to go out to the polling places in November.

This perfectly explains his outrage at swing state governor Whitmer for sending out 7 million applications for absentee ballots: his strategy depends on people not being able to easily vote from home but having to physically go out and confront the virus.

The danger to his strategy is if it produces too many deaths that he and his red state governors can't conceal.

As he encourages red states and swing states to open back up, he is reigniting a resurgence of the pandemic in parts of America where it was only a small factor or had been under control. If people in red and swing states start noticing large numbers of their neighbors getting very sick or dying, they may join high information voters and Democrats in being reluctant to go to the polls.

Working with red state governors to hide the numbers of infections and deaths, as we see in several states now, he's betting that deaths of old people and black people will not get the news attention that might otherwise freak white people out and cripple his strategy. He's also betting that there won't be such a severe infection or death rate, at least among his white voting base.

It's a high stakes bet.

If the red states and swing states can get past the infection peak through the summer and early fall, particularly among maskless followers of Fox and rightwing hate radio, he may end up with a good turnout and reelection.

On the other hand, as the death rates rise in those states, If some of these governors won't help him hide the statistics and the news media begins to show what's going on, he could be seen as a Herbert Hoover type character who essentially did nothing of consequence in the face of a crisis.

Americans tend not to vote for ineffectual leaders. Time will tell if Trump's strategy of intentionally letting more Americans die will help him get reelected, but his recent comments about wanting the Republican National Convention in North Carolina to be packed to the rafters certainly highlight his commitment to his herd immunity strategy.

Trump's herd immunity strategy will depend on the roughly half of Americans in red and swing states hitting about a 50% infection rate well before election day, so they are recovered and can go vote. That would be half of about 150 million Americans, and if the death rate from this virus stays where it is, that could be over a million dead Americans.

The next two months, as infections begin to rip all across America as the result of Trump's reopening the country, will pretty much seal his November fate.

Will he and Fox News be able to cover up the deaths, or get white people to ignore them, and win? Or will he kill a million Americans, lose, and be seen by history as the man willing to let his fellow citizens die in droves for ultimately unsuccessful but purely political and purposes?



John Washington's picture
John Washington 3 years 2 days ago

If my grandfather, a black man who died in the mid-1950 at the age of 86 in the south, could reappear on earth to peek around for a moment he would not recognize present-day racial America. And he would have serious disagreement with the black male caller today on your program who angrily claimed that there has been no racial change, at all, in this country.

Held in de facto slavery until he was 5 and never having the right of education, the vote, seeing another black with any type of power and always obliged to address whites as “sir”, he would be completely dazzled that those insults to his humanity have evolved for the better. Though significant challenges remain, much upward advancement has come about and continues.

What really troubled me about the tone of this caller was his tone victimization: that we as blacks are completely at the control of a white system that has us locked into an immobility that cannot be unlocked. This scares me for if we begin to see ourselves as victims, it will be so.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 3 years 2 days ago

History is easy; current events are hard. One can read about the most horrific events imaginable from long ago in the comfort of the distant future knowing that everything somehow worked out reasonably okay in the end because, well, here we are. But living through the first raw take unfolding in real-time with skin in the game that feels the pain, dreading an unknown fate, now that's real. In the age of Republicanism/Trumpism, it's damn scary.

Describing modern economic fascism rhetorically as wage slavery isn't meant to dilute the deeply offensive historical injustice of actual slavery, when workers were literally owned and kept in line with chains, whips, beatings, rapes, lynchings, and all manner of human predation and cruelty. Thanks to blacks pushing back hard, the norms of society have certainly improved from the bad old days, albeit with a long way to go to "form a more perfect union."

But the one percent (or less) at the top of the pyramid nowadays still looks down at working-class consumers as chattel, kept in line by an oppressive system of low wages, high prices, deep debts, healthcare tied to employers, and a stingy safety net, all stifling upward job mobility, independent innovation, and true free enterprise.

Ayn Rand's Objectivism and Mussolini's fascism have evolved into an economic religion on Wall Street, where the interests of We the People (guvmunts-R-us) are subsumed by the interests of the rich. Through a hopelessly complex system of legal bribery, the "Masters of the Universe" effectively own our government, which enforces their agendas, not ours.

Politicians pass laws that allow the nation's treasures to accumulate in the vaults of the privileged few while the working poor (bills-R-us) are left with bare cupboards full of stale air and only the illusion of wealth. Artificial demand financed by massive consumer debt feeds unregulated predatory capitalism, which depends on high productivity and low wages. (Beat 'em until their attitude improves!)

When the bubble finally bursts, as it must, the big fish get bailed out, gobble up the little fish, and then blow another bubble out of their arse. It's crony socialism for the kings and queens and lords and ladies, and harsh capitalism for the unwashed masses serving (and dying) at their pleasure.

Imagining potential Trumpian futures is contingent upon what happens in the present, what actions we take playing our pivotal roles on the stage before the big curtain drops. Effect follows cause, so if you don't want another four years of the *Cr8Zy* virus, then VOTE !

If you can't vote by mail, then don your PPE and head to the polling station, even if you have to show up in a garbage bag and duct tape like some of our frontline healthcare heroes had to do during the worst of the first wave -- while Trump was in denial playing golf, attending fundraisers, holding rallies, and didn't have time to do a gawdamn thing when it really counted. Now, counting the uncounted, many more than a hundred thousand of us are dead and gone. So go out and vote as if your life depends on it. It does!

(How quaint. Before the Republican Dark Ages descended upon humankind, that was just a bit of innocent election-day hyperbole meant to rally the troops. Now, it's a plea as serious as a heart attack, suffocating on a ventilator, losing your kids, your spouse, your parents, your siblings, your relatives, your friends.)

Given the same set of well-known facts that constitute Trump's proven track record and predictable behavior that Thom alludes to above, one could just as easily take it to the next level and conclude that if the death toll explodes as expected and his base collapses in horror, then the greatest white man in history (in his mind), who is above the law, could simply declare an emergency health crisis as the pandemic experts had dearly hoped he would back in February. His newfound martial-law powers could cancel the election altogether with one tweet -- to be in effect until those pointy-headed brainiacs concoct a vaccine, possibly years away.

The longer it takes the better, and the more time to cheat the voters and consolidate power (and, of course, to escape the Federal statute of limitations on the many crimes of his first term apropos of the Mueller Report). Martial law is usually considered the last step in a failing democracy's march to full-fledged fascism -- an irresistible opportunity for a wannabe tinpot dictator to lord over his very own banana republic, making Daddy Putin proud.

Why should anyone think that Trump would not cross that line when staring into the abyss of personal oblivion? Have they not been paying attention? Sure, all hell would break loose, but so what? He thrives on chaos. And who's going to stop him from crowning himself the imperial president? Moscow Mitch McTurtle took that option off the table, remember? Besides, Congress and the Supreme Court can't enforce their own laws anyway because the Trump crime family controls the military and the police. It's a Trumptopian nightmare that puts George Orwell to shame.

Legend 3 years 1 day ago

They are making the wearing of a mask political. Many will die because of that. Taiwan is 24 million, 447 cases and 7 deaths. They wear masks. It works when we wear masks in public. The virus loves a crowd. We are its legs.

Worth watching: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sarah+cooper+trump+impersonation

Legend 3 years 1 day ago

Thom wonders what Trump is doing with a lot of the PPE, tests etc. Cory Gardner is running campaign ads about how he suddenly has all sorts of PPE and tests to distribute in Colorado. He is in a tough election (hopefully loses). They are using PPE to get votes.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"With the ever-growing influence of corporate CEOs and their right-wing allies in all aspects of American life, Hartmann’s work is more relevant than ever. Throughout his career, Hartmann has spoken compellingly about the value of people-centered democracy and the challenges that millions of ordinary Americans face today as a result of a dogma dedicated to putting profit above all else. This collection is a rousing call for Americans to work together and put people first again."
Richard Trumka, President, AFL-CIO
From Cracking the Code:
"In Cracking the Code, Thom Hartmann, America’s most popular, informed, and articulate progressive talk show host and political analyst, tells us what makes humans vulnerable to unscrupulous propagandists and what we can do about it. It is essential reading for all Americans who are fed up with right-wing extremists manipulating our minds and politics to promote agendas contrary to our core values and interests."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community and When Corporations Rule the World and board chair of YES! magazine
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann seeks out interesting subjects from such disparate outposts of curiosity that you have to wonder whether or not he uncovered them or they selected him."
Leonardo DiCaprio, actor, producer, and environmental activist