Currently trending political advice: Do not chug Lysol. Do not inject bleach. Do not smoke Clorox wipes.
Also add to that list: Do not vote for Republicans. My God, what a sick and dangerous joke is this president and his party.
In some ways it makes sense, this fierce protectionism of the most unqualified person to ever hold the highest office in the land. Republicans are completely incapable of governing. After all, they don’t believe that government is capable of being competent or helpful and so they have an incentive to be terrible. And, my oh my, do they meet even the lowest, most cynical expectations. Trump is so terrible that he has people waxing nostalgic about George W. Bush and Democrats getting misty-eyed over Ronald Reagan (waving to John Kerry: knock it off). Note: when one person is more terrible than another, that doesn’t make the less terrible person not terrible.
The COVID-19 pandemic makes the difference between Republicans and Democrats nakedly clear. One party is taking advice from the country’s top medical experts about how to navigate this crisis. The other party puts a guy on TV every night who believes that windmills cause cancer and that we should try to kill coronavirus by beaming sunlight into a body — literally putting sunshine where the sun doesn’t shine. One party takes unprecedented steps to save American lives. The other party encourages protestors in Confederate flag tube tops and “Don’t Tread on Me” banners to descend upon state governments who dare to take these steps. One party thinks that staying alive is goal No. 1. The other party thinks that life only matters when it’s inside a womb.
There are 50,000 Americans dead as I write this. Surely there will be more by the time you read it. And that’s just the deaths we’re counting. There are likely more. The number of people who are sick is no doubt being undercounted due to the completely botched response by the Trump administration to this crisis. We didn’t test. We didn’t do contact tracing. We didn’t do shit. The only thing Trump offered to fight this virus was racism against the Chinese and guess what: racism is as ineffective against COVID-19 as mainlining Purell.
As crass and narcissistic and awful as Trump is, it is astounding to me that he has yet to show any care or concern for tens of thousands of people who are dead. I mean, it’s not astounding to me that he doesn’t care, it’s astounding to me that he doesn’t have advisors saying, “You probably should express some kind of condolences.” Actually, scrap that. I suspect he does, but he is so out of control, so completely off leash, so totally insane that he listens to no one. Not even Ivanka.
Trump’s Republican party claims to be pro-life, but when it comes to life outside of the womb, they DGAF. There are Republicans across the country making the argument that letting scores of people get an incredibly infectious virus and die is preferable to hurting the economy — that death is the lesser evil when compared to a tanking stock market. And then they want to turn around and pretend they’re holier than thou because they oppose abortion.
In Michigan, where I live, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat known to Trump as “that woman from Michigan,” has gotten some pushback from Trump supporters for her “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, which has just been extended until May 15. She’s had protesters in front of the capitol and even her house. People are protesting her audacity to limit their liberty in an effort to not kill thousands of people. They are taking “give me liberty or give me death” to the extreme here. And Michigan Republicans are with the protesters on this. They have a majority in the state House and Senate and they have forced both bodies to meet in person in Lansing, most recently so that the Republicans could pass bills stripping Whitmer of some of her power — bills that Whitmer is obviously not going to sign. So the whole thing is just a political stunt. A political stunt that puts peoples’ health and lives at risk. This is even after Rep. Isaac Robinson (D-Detroit) died in March from COVID-19. Michigan’s Republican party is a ghoulish circus of nightmare clowns.
But they, of course, take their cues from their Dear Leader who tweeted “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” as protesters without masks crammed elbow to elbow toting assault rifles and boasting about allegiance to white supremacy, intentionally blocked streets in the capital, including access to a hospital.
Remember those death panels Republicans warned us about when Obama dared to give people health insurance? Well, they’re here. And the panelists are Republicans. Vote them out before they kill you.
D’Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer and comedian living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.