Imagine someone owed you $5000. Would you prefer they open a savings account with one penny that doubled the account’s balance every day for four weeks, or just pay you the $5000 then and there? If your answer is to wait you would be correct, because in a month you would be worth about a million dollars.
That’s what exponential growth is like and that’s what coronavirus is doing. Its total number of victims is doubling, not every day, but every three days, which means if the virus continues unchecked, in about three months there will be 100 million times as many victims then as there are right now. Notice I say “100 million” instead of “one million” because in my analogy I was speaking of pennies which I converted into dollars. Obviously I don’t have to convert people into anything.
What’s more, coronavirus isn’t just killing the elderly and the infirm, it’s killing everyone, it’s killing people of every demographic. The elderly and infirm are more vulnerable, to be sure, but that doesn’t mean only they are at risk and the worst that can happen to the rest of us is we will get sick for a while. We are all at risk from death, every single one of us.
This means nothing to Donald Trump. If you haven’t worked out that he doesn’t give a crap about you or anyone else then you haven’t been paying attention. Like most people, Trump’s priorities reside with things he prefers to talk about. His number one favorite topic is himself, what a “tremendous” job he’s doing, how everything he and his team are doing is “incredible.” He repeats the adjectives “tremendous” and “incredible” over and over because his vocabulary is limited and because he’s stupid.
Trump’s second priority is about things that he thinks will get him re-elected. In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic he focused on how incredible and tremendous the stock market was, how tremendous and incredible the unemployment rate was, and how it was all thanks to him. Now, of course, since the stock market has crashed all the way down to below the point when he first took office and it looks like unemployment is about to become a thing again, he tries to blame other people for the problem, even though, last time I looked, Donald Trump has been president of the United States for the last three years — and no one else.
I’m sure most of you have heard by now Trump’s claim that he “always knew” that coronavirus was a pandemic all along. This is Trump gaslighting you. Gaslighting is what narcissists do. It’s the infuriating practice of changing history at will, even in the face of actual video evidence to the contrary, and insisting a thing to be true when you know for certain it is not true.
I have had the misfortune of having had two gaslighting, malignant narcissists in my life, both of whom had considerable power over me. I am only thankful that I didn’t have to endure them simultaneously. One thing I can tell you about narcissists that I know for a fact: they never, ever change. They never grow up. They never mellow out. They don’t have a clue what compassion is. Many of them are popular because they know how to fool people outside the penumbra of their immediate power, but for those of us who know them well, the talons come out when no one is looking and the talons are always there, hidden beneath the surface.
Donald Trump will never grow up. He will occasionally get better at appearing to do the right thing because his advisors, who have limited suasion, will continue to tentatively steer him in that direction. But he will double down on what an “incredible and tremendous” job he’s doing, he will continue to refer to coronavirus as the “Chinese virus” and put the lives of Asian people at risk, he will continue to insist that he’s fixing what Obama broke even though Obama broke nothing and Trump dismantled the Obama-era rapid pandemic response team and refused test kits from the World Health Organization. He will continue to do these things because Donald Trump is a gaslighting narcissist. He’s so busy abusing his power to hide his blunders that he won’t do all the things he needs to do to protect us because not only is he a narcissist he’s also stupid and incompetent. Meanwhile the COVID-19 pandemic is multiplying at an alarming, exponential rate.
I can’t tell if people who insist that because Bernie Sanders will not be the nominee they will either not vote at all or vote for Trump are willfully stupid or just plain stupid. But if you’re one of them I have only this to say to you: we have passed from the theoretical to the actual. We are, each of us, in danger of losing our lives because of Donald Trump’s incompetence and narcissism. Your progressive politics will mean nothing if you are dead. If you stay home in November, or if you vote for Trump to punish the world for Bernie Sanders, you aren’t merely stupid, you’re also evil. Morally speaking, if Trump wins a second term because of you and people like you, then you will have blood on your hands. If we don’t get rid of Trump because of you then you will deserve every bit of the infamy you have worked so diligently for.