If Trump succumbs to COVID-19, his administration can still win the election. His ideas may still pervade and damage this country, impact and cost real people, real rights, real safety.
If Trump loses the election, it really won’t matter what the disease does or doesn’t do to him. It will matter that he lost, and we can start putting things back together again, start making real progress on reversing damages and protecting the future.
I don’t care if the announcement was timed or not. I don’t care if Trump’s on a drug cocktail that makes him loopy or not. I don’t care how serious his case is or isn’t.
All of those are plot developments, twists, and cliffhangers on the reality show he wants us to buy into, and the information we’re provided isn’t always reliable or consistent from one day to the next. I’m supposed to believe people who lie all the time that he’s on this or that drug, so I can conjecture that he’s doing this badly or that well, and then analyze how we feel, our response, how we think this month will go…based off of that? What a god damn waste of our time and energy.
None of those changes the real things that are before us that we can impact: the calls we make, the votes we re-enable, the civil rights we remind people are maintained by their votes. Trump can be severely ill for the rest of the month or flying through the air on a pony tomorrow; it should not change our work.
Resist the temptation to allow your feelings to exist in the circus of chaos they want to make of this. Like in everything else, the reality they present will change day by day, and so will our reactions. If they dictate the reality every day, then they dictate the reality the election takes place within. How are we supposed to win an election where the reality of what even matters…stops mattering?
Trump will be the picture of health and a miracle cure one day, on his last legs and needing prayer in the form of donations the next, refusing drugs because he prays it away one minute, then “surprisingly cogent” despite all the drugs a minute later. COVID will be like the common cold one minute, and then a terrible disease only a warrior like him could beat the next. Get too deep into that mountain of bullshit and you’ll be looking at the election, wondering where all that time went, and going, “Why am I so deep in all this shit and sputtering even more of it?” as they dictate the day’s message every morning.
This is an election about civil rights. Keep it about that. Remind people of that, of their role in keeping those rights. What’s the day’s message? Policy. Civil rights. Our message.
The message doesn’t change day by day if you wake up every day in the same reality, with the same set of provable truths, and the verifiable effort and impact you can make before you.
I don’t care what happens to Trump. I care that he loses this election, and that we do what we can together to ensure it. That’s it. There’s not a lot of drama to it. There aren’t constant updates about it. There’s just continuing step by step, keeping the work in front of us that we know makes a difference.
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