Trump’s “Don’t Panic” Moment

The Daily Escape:

Bear Hat Mountain, from Hidden Lake Trail, Glacier NP. WY – 2020 photo by jwatkin13

From Trump, regarding why he didn’t tell the truth about the pandemic, as quoted in Woodward’s book:

“Well, as you said, in order to reduce panic, perhaps that’s so,” Trump said when asked if he downplayed the severity of the pandemic. “The fact is, I’m a cheerleader for this country. I love our country, and I don’t want people to be frightened. I don’t want to create panic, as you say. Certainly I’m not going to drive this country or the world into a frenzy.”

It’s worth remembering that Trump refused to sit for an interview with Robert Mueller, but gave Bob Woodward 18 hours of interviews, all on tape. Some are already saying that Woodward either faked the recordings, or as Trump said, that the pandemic is Woodward’s fault for not alerting the nation sooner:

Trump doesn’t even believe his own bullshit. Like another Republican president (GW Bush), he lied, and people died. That we now know that Trump completely understood the dangers of COVID-19, lends credibility to reports that Trump and Kushner stalled on Federal Coronavirus action once they concluded that mostly residents of blue states would be the ones to die in significant numbers.

Some criticize Woodward for sitting on this knowledge, but Wrongo doubts this revelation will have a large impact on the election. It certainly won’t change the minds of any of Trump’s true believers. They will vote for him even if they’ve also decided that he’s an appalling human being.

Why? Because he delivered on judges, taxes, deregulation, and made the right noises on cultural issues like abortion. They like how he never apologizes, and how he blames his shortcomings on others. Those who think Trump is a terrific president will find ways to dismiss any inconvenient facts.

That Trump said he “didn’t want to create panic” is classic gaslighting. Donald Trump’s entire political career is based around trying to create enough panic to win elections. As he explained to Woodward and a colleague in a 2016 interview:

“Real power is—I don’t even want to use the word—fear.”

Here are a few highlights of Trump fear as an electoral strategy:

  • Flight 93 election: 2016 was the Flight 93 election. Either you charge the cockpit or you die. Trump, your presidential candidate, may get into the cockpit and not know how to land the plane. There are no guarantees, but if he doesn’t try, your other option is Hillary Clinton. That’s Russian roulette with an automatic pistol. With Trump, at least you get to spin the cylinder and take your chances.
  • Mexican rapists
  • Caravans
  • American Carnage
  • Muslims
  • Antifa
  • Black people moving to the suburbs
  • Law & Order!

Creating panic is Trump’s signature move. It’s ridiculous to think that this one time, he was genuinely trying to avoid panic. But will knowing what he did matter in 2020? Has he gone too far to reel back in enough Republican and swing state electoral votes?

The Democrats hope that his willful minimizing COVID back at a point when something really could be done to head it off, will convince some Republicans not to vote for Trump. That depends on whether a significant number of them are sufficiently disgusted to leave the top line on the ballot blank or simply stay home.

Still, Woodward’s revelations matter. They may or may not affect the outcome of the election. They will certainly affect history’s judgment on Trump’s presidency. He’s been caught in a lie he can’t ignore nor dismiss, and his callous disregard for the welfare of all Americans has been fully revealed.

Will it make a difference to voters that Trump is an accessory to the deaths of more than 200,000 Americans?


The Demonstrations Get Complicated

The Daily Escape:

Summit Lake with view of Mt. Rainier WA – 2020 photo by monzar

 “I feel like a survivor from an age that people no longer understand.”Olivia de Havilland

So true for Wrongo. The video below shows one of Trump’s paramilitaries pepper spraying a Vietnam Vet. Not for anything he’s doing, or for anything he is saying, but simply because they can. The video was shot by Andrew Kimmel, who is at the Portland protests every night. Wrongo urges you to follow him:

The vet’s name is Mark Hastie. He was a medic in Vietnam. He’s pleading with federal agents to heed the warnings of history, and respect the oath they took to defend the people of their country. Hastie says that he has mental scars from his time in Vietnam, and that these paramilitaries will have them too, if they continue their authoritarian ways.

It’s worth noting that in Portland most nights after midnight, a few protesters escalate the confrontation which, to that point have been largely peaceful. Bottles, cans and fireworks are thrown, some try to rush the temporary fencing installed around the courthouse. That’s when the paramilitaries move in and harm the protesters.

The AP had reporters with the paramilitaries last night. Here’s some of what they saw from inside the courthouse: (brackets by Wrongo)

“[at around 11pm]…someone fired a commercial-grade firework inside the fence. Next came a flare and then protesters began using an angle grinder to eat away at the [temporary courthouse] fence. A barrage of items came whizzing into the courthouse: rocks, cans of beans, water bottles, potatoes and rubber bouncy balls….

Within minutes, the federal agents at the fence perimeter fired the first tear gas of the night.”

Ultimately, by dawn the next day, the paramilitaries had cleared the protesters away from the courthouse, and both sides retreated to lick their wounds.

Yesterday, the WaPo had an opinion piece by E.D. Mondainé, president of the Portland branch of the NAACP, saying that the message of the protests about the murder of George Floyd and the response by the Black Lives Matter movement is getting lost in the ongoing confrontations with Trump’s paramilitaries: (emphasis by Wrongo)

“….we need to remember: What is happening in Portland is the fuse of a great, racist backlash that the Trump administration is baiting us to light…..If we engage them now, we do so on their terms, where they have created the conditions for a war without rules, without accountability and without the protection of our Constitution.”

Trump’s plan of escalation seems to be working. The original protesters wanted less police violence and more accountability. But the protest now is against anonymous armed agents sent to suppress protest.

Another thing lost in the Portland protests is that Trump officials admit off the record that they are sending federal troops into cities in order to create “viral content”:

“One of the officials said the White House had long wanted to amplify strife in cities, encouraging DHS officials to talk about arrests of violent criminals in sanctuary cities and repeatedly urging ICE to disclose more details of raids than some in the agency were comfortable doing. “It was about getting viral online content,” one of the officials said.”

This takes us back to the Spanish-American War in 1898. Before the destruction of the battleship Maine in Havana harbor, the New York Journal sent Frederic Remington, the distinguished artist, to Cuba. He was instructed to remain there until the war began. Remington sent this to William Randolph Hearst:

“W.R. Hearst, New York Journal, NY:
Everything is quiet. There is no trouble here. There will be no war. I wish to return. Remington.”

This was the reply:

Please remain. You furnish the pictures, and I’ll furnish the war. W.R. HEARST.”

“You furnish the pictures, and I’ll furnish the war”. You doubt it? Look at this:

Trump is now apparently sending more Federales to Portland. So what’s the endgame? Having set the fire, Trump will now try to make it a raging inferno.

And, protests are growing across America:

We no longer know who is demonstrating, there are too many “false flag” operators everywhere in America, as shown by who was behind the arson in Richmond, VA.

What will bring us out of our current free fall?

If Biden wins in November, he’ll inherit an America with 15%+ unemployment, tens of millions more homeless people than we have currently. Hunger will be widespread, and COVID will still be working its way through our population.