Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Robespierre to Trump: Watch Out When the Mob Turns on You. And a Progressive Fantasy

Donald Trump is no student of history, which explains but does not excuse, his Robespierre moment over the weekend. 


During a rally last weekend in Cullman, Ala., Trump mildly advised his throng of supporters to get the COVID-19 vaccine. To which they replied with jeers, not cheers (https://mol.im/a/9916429).


Turns out, like Robespierre discovered during the French Revolution, it is difficult to control an unleashed mob. The masses will turn against you even if you are, for once, telling them what they should hear and follow. Robespierre wound up a victim of the guillotine he eagerly sent royalty loyalists to. 


It will be most enlightening to observe whether Trump will include a plea for vaccinations during his next rally, or will he retreat to following the anti-vaxx mob mentality in fear of losing his hold on his core constituency.


Trump supporters are the mainstay of the unvaccinated who have fallen victim to the Delta variant. They’ve been overwhelming hospitals throughout the South, Southwest and Plains states. Trump territory. 


Even though Trump can rightfully claim he husbanded the development of the vaccines, his cultivation of conspiracy theories, a disbelief in and denigration of federal authorities, and the presumption that masks and vaccines deprive people of their individual liberties are more powerful messages to his supporters. 


Coupled with his frequent statements that the coronavirus was a temporary blip on the nation’s health, Trump contributed to the ultimate spread of the initial waves of the pandemic, the subsequent loss of hundreds of thousands of lives and a shattered economy and educational system. Even now he abstains from forcefully and repeatedly urging vaccinations and mask wearing.


What he does promote is the absurdly false claim of his “reinstatement” to the presidency. At that same Cullman rally, MyPillow guy Mike Lindell explained away the non-reinstatement he forecast for Friday, the 13th of August, by saying it would happen later this year or sometime in 2022.


There is, among the anti-Trump crowd, a sense of dread that he will seek the presidency again in 2024. A deeper dread that he might actually win. 


There is, however, a simple solution to this possibility—acknowledge Trump’s election victory in 2020, but not his right to be sworn in now that Joe Biden has been president since January 20, 2021.


The 22nd Amendment to the Constitution states, “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice.” So, if Trump is said to the the winner of the elections in 2016 and 2020, he would be constitutionally barred from winning an election for president in 2024. 


Problem solved! Okay, I know this is an absurd idea. But then, so is “reinstatement,” and yet millions of Americans think it could legally happen. Aren’t progressives allowed to share fantasies, as well? 

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