But Trump is all about the necessity of hurting people. His cruelty and sado-populism continue to manifest themselves during this pandemic as he continues to tout corporations as the only savior for a leader like Boris Johnson. His mercenary rule comes with the daily COVID taskforce briefing as propaganda so easily threatened by the daily contradictions and hypocrisy framed by media accounts.
Cult Experts Warn That Trumpism Is Starting to Look Awfully Familiar: Calls to sacrifice life to the coronavirus “evoke memories of people lining up to drink cyanide.”
When President Trump floated the idea of reopening commerce to stimulate the economy, even at the cost of human lives lost to the coronavirus, he started repeating the phrase that “the cure can’t be worse than the problem itself.” After he used the words in a tweet on Sunday, March 22, some of his biggest backers went on cable news and wrote tweets over the next 48 hours about how they too were ready to die for the Dow, or at the very least sacrifice other people’s lives for it.
The remarks, from a broad range of commentators, illustrate the lengths that Trump supporters are willing to go to back the president, and have led some experts on deadly cults and so called “new religious” movements to note parallels between such organizations and rhetoric voiced by the president and his supporters.
- That Monday night, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick seemed to go full Midsommar—a horror movie about a fictional Swedish death cult that sacrifices their elders—by saying that ”as a senior citizen” he was “all in” on “willing to take a chance on [my] survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves.”
- The next night Fox News’ Tucker Carlson discussed Patrick’s comments with analyst Brit Hume, who called Patrick’s comments “an entirely reasonable viewpoint.” Hume continued: “We don’t shut down the economy to save every single life that’s threatened by a widespread disease. We just don’t.”
- Another Fox News personality, Steve Hilton, said that social distancing and stay at home orders indeed meant that “the cure is worse than the disease,” adding, “you think it is just the coronavirus that kills people? This total economic shutdown will kill people.”
- Right-wing internet commentator Jesse Kelly tweeted on Tuesday morning that, “If given the choice between dying and plunging the country I love into a Great Depression, I’d happily die.”
If all that sounds to you like the dangerous, macabre ramblings of a movement willing to sacrifice human life for illusory gains, you’re not alone. “I dealt with suicidal cults before. I encountered people who are willing to die for their faith, ideology, race, etc. But, I never encountered anyone who is willing to die for someone else’s 401k,” tweeted Ali Soufan, a former FBI agent who now runs an intelligence and security consultancy. “This is a whole new level of craziness.”
Formal experts on destructive cults agreed with Soufan’s diagnosis of Trump and his base’s support for letting some die. When I reached him via a Zoom video call, Steve Hasan, a mental health professional and cult expert, started nodding immediately when I asked if he saw parallels between, say, the Jonestown Massacre and Trump’s willingness to put the elderly on a near literal chopping block. Ben Zeller, a professor at Lake Forest University who focuses on new religions and Daniel Shaw, a New York-based psychoanalyst who has helped counsel people who have left cult religions, agreed with almost no hesitation.
one month ago….
- “They're very happy, every one of them” — Trump really wants you to believe that all of the state governors are loving the job he's doing, despite many public statements to the contrary
- Here's Trump mimicking health care workers getting dressed to go to work
- “Some of the states are very happy. Even Gov. Pritzker from Illinois is happy. He may not be happy when he talks to the press, but he's happy. He's a very happy man.” — Trump
- Trump managed to talk about the call he had today with Joe Biden without insulting him even once
- REPORTER: You mentioned you asked US drug companies to help treat Boris Johnson. What kind of treatment is that?
- TRUMP: “It's a very complex treatment of things that they've just recently developed. And that they have a lot of experience with, having to do with something else.”
- Trump dismisses HHS IG report critical of federal coronavirus response: “It's just wrong. Did I hear the word 'inspector general'? Really … what's his name? … could politics be entered into that?”
- “You ask it in such an unfair way” — Trump berates a female reporter for asking him about problems with the Paycheck Protection Program
- Trump on Captain Crozier sending letter about coronavirus on his ship: “It was a mistake … it shows weakness and there's nothing weak about us now. Not anymore. We have the strongest military we've ever had. And we're not going to be showing weakness to anybody.”
- Asked when he plans to take the second part of his annual physical that began last year, Trump dissembles but doesn't answer the question
- Trump dismisses the HHS IG report because the official who put it together wasn't appointed by him
- Trump grills a reporter from Hong Kong about who she works for and in an accusatory fashion asks if she works for the Chinese government (she says she doesn't)
- Trump castigates a female reporter who asked him about testing failures: “You should say 'congratulations, great job,' instead of being so horrid in the way you ask a question.”
- You're a third-rate reporter. What you just said is a disgrace … you will never make it” — Trump attacks @jonkarl
- Trump tries to pin blame for his coronavirus failures to Obama and George W Bush
- “It was a perfect call” — Trump uses the same language to talk about Pence's call with governors as he did to talk about the Ukraine call that resulted in his impeachment
- “We're never going to do anything that hurts Texas. We're only helping Texas,” Trump says, in contrast with ???
- Trump's case for his own reelection is all about what he did before the pandemic he wasn't prepared for hit, as well as weak Obama whataboutism. Doesn't bode great for him.
- Trump takes a question from an OAN staffer Chanel Rion, who was banished from the White House Correspondents' Association for attending briefings she wasn't supposed to be at
- “I think it was five pages long single spaced. That's a lot of writing!” — Trump admits he hasn't read Captain Crozier's letter and indicates he thinks five pages of text is a lot
- “A lot of people are tired of looking at games that are 5 years old. I looked the other day, I saw somebody, I said, 'wow, he looks great.' I forgot it was 9 years ago” — Trump concludes by saying he's not a big fan of watching old sporting events & hopes leagues can resume soon
- After Dr. Birx tells a story about how she felt bad because social distancing prevented her from being there for her 10-month-old granddaughter who had a fever of 105 degrees last weekend, Trump jumps in to say: “You did not get there? Good, I'm very happy about that.”
- “What you just said is a disgrace”: Trump's response to straightforward questions about a government report detailing problems with his administration's coronavirus response was to heap abuse on reporters vox.com/2020/4/6/21211…