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Trump’s not so bad: the holding our breath edition

Written By: - Date published: 11:17 am, October 4th, 2020 - 79 comments
Categories: covid-19, Donald Trump, us politics - Tags: , ,

Trump is in hospital with covid. Despite amusing conspiracy theories like he’s escaped to Russia, this is probably one of the few facts that can be relied upon. As for the rest…

Buzzfeed this morning,

“I’m old enough to remember the press briefings from Dennis O’Leary when President Reagan was shot. They were models of clarity and transparency. The country found them truly reassuring. And let’s just say this one did not meet that standard,” said Bob Wachter, chair of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

[Trump’s doctor] Conley’s “job is to give clear credible accurate information. We got misdirection, we got confusion, we got evasiveness,” Wachter added. “This was sort of a first pass to see whether we’re going to be able to believe what the White House puts out about Trump’s condition, and I’ve come out of this thinking they’re going to put out propaganda rather than truth.”

One of the reporters in that piece, Matt Berman, had this to say on twitter,

I am extremely confused and I have been covering this nonstop for days now. I cannot imagine how any normal person is keeping up with this or is getting anything close to a reasonable understanding of what is happening to the president.
The recent sequence of events:
  • Trump’s doctors give a short press conference that “was evasive on major details of the president’s illness, including the timeline of his treatments” but that conveyed that the president was not very sick and was recovering well. Doctors refused to answer key questions about Trumps health.
  • Very soon after the press conference ended, an anonymous source “familiar with the president’s health” sent a statement to the Whitehouse pool of journalists saying that “the president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”
  • After the press conference, Whitehouse Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was captured on film asking reporters to speak with him off the record. Buzzfeed: “This matters beyond the detailed rules of journalism: There’s a White House official, who asked not to be named, speaking privately moments after the president’s own physician held a widely-viewed and unclear press conference.”
  • Around this time Trump’s twitter account posted saying This is Fine. This was only the third tweet since Trump tweeted two days ago that he had tested positive for corona virus.
  • Some hours later some media outlets reported the anonymous statement as coming from Meadows: “We’re still not on a clear path yet to a full recovery, said chief of staff Mark Meadows outside the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.”
  • “Meadows then gave a statement on the record to Reuters saying Trump is doing “very well” and that “doctors are pleased with his vital signs.” (Buzzfeed)

One of the key fascistic techniques in use in the US since 2016 is the deliberate creation of confusion by telling lies or mistruths. This confusion leads to people not knowing what to believe, and along with multiple other techniques exhausts people cognitively and emotionally so that it becomes harder to resist or even keep up with what is going on. This makes consolidation of political power easier.

Random tweet about this, but fairly representative of what I’ve been seeing people in the US report over the past 4 years,

If you’re feeling like you’re crazy because you can’t figure out if this news is real or a ploy, it’s because we’ve been gaslit by this administration for 4 years. There’s nothing wrong with your judgment and reasoning skills. This is a result of abuse. #ThanksTherapy

It’s dangerous as fuck in a democracy and far surpasses the normal use of PR spin we see in politics generally (although I would say that the spin of recent decades has made us more vulnerable to fascistic techniques and in New Zealand we are at a cusp of normalising those because of our acceptance of Dirty Politics into the social and political landscape).

Looking at that sequence of events above, some of it at least is incompetence. Or is it? I don’t care at this point, because both work and not being able to tell which it is compounds the effect. You can do it intentionally and you can take advantage of when you do it by mistake in a high pressure situation, or even when someone leaks for genuine public interest reasons. Both lead to fear, destabilisation of useful social and political norms, and undermining of people’s ability to make sense of and act upon political information.

There’s been some debate in the past few days about what it might mean if Trump died. Some people’s immediate response of excitement at the prospect is understandable all things considered, but we really need to dig deeper here and fast.

The consequence of Trump’s demise from death or illness wouldn’t simply be that it stops his immediate program of legislative change (although that would be a relief). It may give the US a chance to avert from or at least put a stay on its current path to fascism. Trump going away doesn’t solve the myriad of significant problems like the white supremacy movements, the huge and antagonistic divide between Trump supporters and those against him, Pence as replacement president, the Republicans’ ability to choose an ultra conservative for the Supreme Court, the Democrat’s refusal to do anything other than status quo, but, it might change the dynamic enough for fate to tip our way.

If Trump recovers, there are likely to be significant sociopolitical repercussions as well.

I’m in two minds which would help progressives/democracy, and I’m not convinced progressives are in a good position to make best use of any change (focusing on the election, the validity of voting and getting people to vote still seems the surest bet). I also don’t believe that anyone can predict what would play out from each potential scenario. But I am a fan of tipping point theories, where the situation is so volatile that if Trump dies it could go any way, but how people respond can intervene in which way it tips. We’d best be prepared.

Wondering what the post title is about? As recently as yesterday, some left wing people are arguing that Trump’s not so bad, the other side are just as bad, and so on. The right have their own version of this. Minimising or being in denial of what is happening in the US risks helping the rise of fascism. You can read the original post here, or the series here.

79 comments on “Trump’s not so bad: the holding our breath edition ”

  1. dv 1

    An example is the obfuscating about if Trump had oxygen.

    My take away was he had been given oxygen!!!

  2. bwaghorn 2

    Fuck trump. That shit heal is getting the best care in the world while the US citizens dye and their corpses are stacked in refrigerated containers because not only did he not act he actively fought against doing the things that needed doing .

  3. vto 3

    I've had a theory that the whole Trump and Republicans things is part of a wider movement towards concentration of power in the US. This is the only way they can stand up to the largest political organisation in the world, the CCP. A more politically united US will more easily be able to head them off. In fact, the strength of a more structurally united US would likely surge their power considerably.

    China is a one-party state, the US is a two-party state… woop de do…

    watch for the merging of democrat and republican power in some form

  4. barry 4

    If Trump dies he will probably save a million lives around the world. There will still be nutters who believe that Covid doesn't exist, but a hell of a lot have listened to Trump's misdirection and not taken it seriously. Mask wearing and distancing will increase dramatically.

    On the other hand, if he emerges from hospital next week saying it was nothing, then we are fucked.

    • Adrian Thornton 4.1

      "If Trump dies he will probably save a million lives around the world"…really? please explain clearly to us all exactly how you think this result would eventuate upon Trumps demise….

    • weka 4.2

      this depends entirely on who replaces Trump. If it was Pence and he wins the election, do you think much would change in terms of the US covid response?

  5. Adrian Thornton 5

    "One of the key fascistic techniques in use in the US since 2016 is the deliberate creation of confusion by telling lies or mistruths."…really, only since 2016?, I don’t think so….what about that little thing known as the unlawful invasion of Iraq? with the full and unequivocal support of most Democrats and liberal media, was that not a total "deliberate creation of confusion by telling lies or mistruths" or maybe the Gulf of Tonkin which dragged the west into another one of the USA's acts of international aggression? the list and examples are endless…

    There is nothing new to see here, just more of the same old smoke and mirrors, the only difference this time is that the Liberals have totally exposed their own depraved craving and lust for power at any cost…

    Chapo Trap House w/ Adam Curtis – Liberal Nihilism

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKFhK40wDjE

    • weka 5.1

      exhibit A: Trump's not so bad.

      • Adrian Thornton 5.1.1

        No what I am saying is that this unhinged and hysterical response to Trump as if all the problems in western democracy started in 2016 is total and utter bullshit, and is propagated by people who either cannot put this period into any sort of historical context, or are just craven defenders of the liberal status quo or something….Bush was worse for the world at large than Trump, that is just a fact.

        • weka 5.1.1.1

          "Bush was worse for the world at large than Trump, that is just a fact."

          = Trump's not so bad.

          I haven't said anywhere (comments or posts or tweets) that all problems in western democracy started in 2016 in the US, so I'll just put that bit of hyperbole down to… anti-liberal hysteria?

          • Adrian Thornton 5.1.1.1.1

            "

            "Bush was worse for the world at large than Trump, that is just a fact."

            That is called context, something your posts sorely lack

            Do you dispute that assertion?

            • RedLogix 5.1.1.1.1.1

              And it's my view that for all Trump's personal chaotic attributes, his high functioning psychopathy (that drives the left into paroxysm's of visceral loathing), and the long list of his administration's policy moves the left can legitimately beef about … nonetheless from a global perspective he's just the latest in a series of Presidents, from Clinton onward, who had no real vision about what the USA might do to build on it's victory in the Cold War.

              They could have worked toward a genuine rapprochement with the Russians, put more put more pressure on the CCP to engage with the world on an honest basis, and crucially worked to strengthen and enhance the capacity and prestige of global institutions like the UN … and much more. But instead, lacking any coherent vision for a better world, they headed in pretty much the opposite direction at every turn … and now we have Trump, Putin and Xinping who collectively are about as far away from where we could have been as I want to imagine.

              Debating which POTUS was ‘worse’ is perhaps fun, but it doesn’t really capture the nature of the aimless trajectory they’ve all played their part in.

              • Draco T Bastard

                who had no real vision about what the USA might do to build on it's victory in the Cold War.

                The problem is the declared victory in the Cold War which meant, as far as the people in power in the West were concerned, that they could now get down to the serious business of ripping everybody else off and there wasn't anything those people could do about it because capitalism won.

                Yes, they could have worked to make the world a better place but then they wouldn't be so rich.

                • RedLogix

                  that they could now get down to the serious business of ripping everybody else off

                  A rather odd claim given that the USA, compared to the size of it's economy, does relatively little trade with the rest of the world. This is the crucial underlying point that an obsession with ideology completely misses, that the geography of the North American continent ensures that, no matter how hard they try to fuck it up, the USA will always be a wealthy place. Unlike every other hegemony in history, they actually have no particular need to 'rip everyone off' in order to be rich.

                  and there wasn't anything those people could do about it because capitalism won

                  Which struggles to explain why the post WW2 period has seen an unprecedented rise in global prosperity almost everywhere. Capitalism, like all good ideas, can of course go too far, but to ignore the astonishing development of the human race in the past 400 odd years, concurrent with the advent of capitalism in the modern forms we recognise, is churlish at best.

                  Sure, no-one can prove that capitalism as we know is the best possible system, but it's the one that has worked for us, where none others have.

                  We've had this discussion before, and I know from experience it's likely to drag on with no resolution. I've made my case, I'm ending it here.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    A rather odd claim given that the USA, compared to the size of it's economy, does relatively little trade with the rest of the world.

                    Tends to like buying foreign corporations and having access to the resources of other nations despite the fact that they do have more than enough resources to maintain themselves at an excellent living standard.

                    but to ignore the astonishing development of the human race in the past 400 odd years, concurrent with the advent of capitalism in the modern forms we recognise, is churlish at best.

                    I'm not ignoring it but I do question if it was capitalism that brought it about or if we're just seeing correlation with better development from other ideas such as The Enlightenment which had a very socialist bent.

                  • francesca

                    The US is 5% of the world's population yet consumes 24% of the world's energy

                    It is well known that Americans consume far more natural resources and live much less sustainably than people from any other large country of the world. “A child born in the United States will create thirteen times as much ecological damage over the course of his or her lifetime than a child born in Brazil,” reports the Sierra Club’s Dave Tilford, adding that the average American will drain as many resources as 35 natives of India and consume 53 times more goods and services than someone from China.

                    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/american-consumption-habits/

                    • RedLogix

                      So what exactly do you imagine is the solution here? That the USA is dragged backwards to match the rest of the world (and this would have to include much of the developed world like Australia and NZ) … or that we find ways to for the rest of the world to catch up with or even overtake the USA without trashing the environment.

                      And as someone who has had a career in heavy industry and has a decent grasp of the implications of this; achieving this means humanity as a whole needs access to vastly more energy, not less.

                      Also I'm a little wary of the claim being made by the Sierra Club spokesperson; poor people impact their local environments too. Just in ways that are usually not captured when these comparisons are being made.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Weka, apologies for getting off topic.

                      @RL – I admire your optimism regarding the generation and equitable distribution of "vastly more energy" as a solution for Anthropocene challenges (climate change, pollution, environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, etc.). Is there a way, I wonder, to capture the energy and carbon released in future and current wildfires around the globe? Might such technology have a more immediate effect on those challenges than pouring "vastly more energy" into civilisation's ravenous maw some time in the future? Fingers crossed. “It’s over.

                      "A large “dangerous and uncontrolled” bushfire was threatening lives and homes in far north Queensland, with residents told to leave immediately."
                      "Earlier on Saturday, a bushfire emergency was declared in a seaside town on Tasmania’s east coast."
                      https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/oct/03/far-north-queensland-bushfire-threatens-lives-and-homes-as-residents-told-leave-now

                      Lake Ohau blaze: Residents flee for lives as huge flames bore down on homes
                      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12370203

                      These fires are such a bore – unbearable.

            • weka 5.1.1.1.1.2

              The post is about the rise of fascism under Trump, with reference to how the left minimise this from their antipathy for liberals.

              Whether or not Bush has been worse for the world, minimising Trump's actions now is a dangerous position. It's also a nonsense question given that Trump is still in power, possibly for a long time to come. Once he's gone and the dust has settled I guess some on the left can argue on the head of a pin about that, but in the meantime, we have a real time crisis.

              My posts don't lack context. I'm writing on a left wing blog, it's a given that there is a certain degree of understanding of the problems with the Dems, and with US history generally. That you continue to interpret this instead as me somehow thinking Trump is terrible and there was no terrible before, or that there isn't any wider context, is an idiocy.

            • mpledger 5.1.1.1.1.3

              For the world, Bush was worse. For the USA, Trump was worse.

              Bush cemented USA power, at some financial cost. Trump is losing USA power.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Looking at that sequence of events above, some of it at least is incompetence. Or is it?

    To me it looks purposeful. The rulers have been manipulating the populace for centuries but with the research into social dynamics done by universities and private institutions they've become much better at it.

    Possibly why the right-wing usually tell everyone that social studies isn't a real science and that it should just be ignored. If people don't believe that they can be lied to then it makes it that much easier to lie to them. As Mark Twain may or may not have said:

    ‘It’s Easier to Fool People Than to Convince Them That They Have Been Fooled’

    Trump going away doesn’t solve the myriad of significant problems like the white supremacy movements, the huge and antagonistic divide between Trump supporters and those against him, Pence as replacement president…

    Trump dying now would probably result in the Repubs going harder in the same direction and may also result in some sympathy vote keeping the Repubs in power. End result would be the USA becoming even worse.

    I’m in two minds which would help progressives/democracy, and I’m not convinced progressives are in a good position to make best use of any change…

    I'm pretty sure that the US is just going to get worse. As it stands it still seems that most people are going to need to be dragged through hell to realise just how bad things already are.

    And, no, the progressives aren't in any place to act as they're still trying to maintain the failed BAU.

  7. Stuart Munro 7

    Well, let's hope Trump departs the political scene at least. We might get a little progress, and the worst end of the Right will shed support, even if it consists only of the normally Left folk who would not have dreamed of supporting Bush, who read virtues into Trump that for the rest of us were never there.

  8. Ad 9

    Whether Donald Trump resumes campaigning or not, or whether he wins the election or not, Trumpism is on the rise. He’s done it. Anyone who thinks that Trump getting COVD19 will alter this hasn't been paying attention for the last five years.

    Nationalist populism of Trump's variety is by a long way the most powerful, hungriest, and most successful political wave in the world now – and has been for a decade.

    It's a lot easier to count the number of democracies which DON'T have insurgent populist movements on the rise right now. Across Europe and Scandinavia, only Luxemburg, Ireland and Greece don't have hard right anti-immigrant, anti-globalisation anti-EU extremists rising fast or actively in power. Then there's us, Australia, Canada, Mexico and Japan.

    Usually the hard left decries the right as "Fascist" when the left are losing. Doesn't make anyone fascist.

    What's actually happening is just two things:

    • In the early 2000s the hard right organised and adapted to social media faster than the left, and
    • The left's pan-governmental pacts haven't delivered for the poor, so their parties are being rebuked and reduced across the world.

    Little old New Zealand is in a shrinking handful of countries which is left-governed, COVID19 free, and has a society that is rapidly getting poorer but prefers good leadership to solid wealth distribution. Even picking up a Nobel Peace Prize won't alter the global rise of Trumpism.

    • weka 9.1

      There is no depression in New Zealand either.

      People were writing about the issues of Trump and fascism before the 2016 election when liberals thought that the Dems would win the election. It's not left wing feelings that make him fascistic, it's his actions and philosophies.

      Any of the big events happening at this time have impact. Look at what happened with the NZ election in 2017. What we do, how we respond, matters.

      If we put your denial and assertions of authority aside for a minute, your analysis of what is happening in the world sits neatly alongside analyses of rising fascism. There are of course significant holes in your analysis eg the role of white supremacy in the hard right's agenda, and the overlaps with fascism.

      Do you think that the hard right will want to maintain democracy? Keep sharing with the left and centre left?

      • Ad 9.1.1

        The hard right will keep democracy for as long as possible. It's a very useful legitimising system. They will share power about the same as the hard left do.

        Fascism emerged as a term early last century that has little applicability now.

    • Stuart Munro 9.2

      Wishful thinking.

      It is only in the context of an unpalatable hard or dysfunctional Right that wretched offerings like Biden (or neoliberal Labour) have a chance,

      won't alter the global rise of Trumpism

      Trumpism is not the Republicans default game, and there's little or no evidence to suggest the others could make it work. They couldn't beat him out of the nomination after all.

      • Ad 9.2.1

        It appears in myriad forms, through parties in power or rising right now across different kinds of democracies: Britain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Austria, Germany, Turkey, Russia, Serbia, Poland, Sweden, Hungary, and that's without trying too hard.

        The coalitions between the Trumpist hard right and most of the hard right movements in europe is very strong. And jus five years ago the mainstream media were all aghast that this might even be possible.

        It's the new political normal.

        • Stuart Munro 9.2.1.1

          I don't think it's stable enough to support that assertion. Your Borises can buy their way into power with dodgy campaigns, but then they destroy their support by epic stupidity. The US election will be nothing if not an interesting exercise – but it may well send the Trumpetistas back to howl in the wilderness where they belong. The half-life of Trumpism outside the presidency may be measurable in Mooches.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.3

      Nationalist populism of Trump's variety is by a long way the most powerful, hungriest, and most successful political wave in the world now – and has been for a decade.

      And that's come about because the free-trade that's been the dominant ideology of the last 40 years and promised to bring about prosperity has delivered only to the rich. Everyone else is actually seeing increased inequality and poverty.

      Desperate people do desperate shit especially when the government is actively making things worse for them.

      • Ad 9.3.1

        It's too simple to just blame free trade. Most people love it. Internet shopping is about as free a form of global trade as you can get, and it's taken over the world.

        The issue one of political promises of future wealth and security that haven't been met for a generation. Even the Soviet Union couldn't hold that social contract breakdown for more than one generation after the War.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.3.1.1

          It's too simple to just blame free trade.

          Free-trade is more then just using the internet to buy stuff. It's an entire ideology that puts rich people on top of everyone else, bludging off of them, and calling it good when its only good for the bludgers.

          • Ad 9.3.1.1.1

            You're mistaking free trade for the kind of capitalism we engage with. Free trade has been around quite happily since about the Paleolithic.

            Through the WTO rules and the multiple multilateral trade deals we operate within, trade is now about as regulated as it ever has been. The last thirty years were the good years, compared to what Trumpism is rapidly unwinding towards.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.3.1.1.1.1

              Free trade has been around quite happily since about the Paleolithic.

              Yes and its effectively killed off every single civilisation that used it.

              The last thirty years were the good years, compared to what Trumpism is rapidly unwinding towards.

              For some. Trump will make it better for them but the decline in civilisation will accelerate.

              Through the WTO rules and the multiple multilateral trade deals we operate within, trade is now about as regulated as it ever has been.

              And they're all wrong. If they were right international trade would decline.

              • Stuart Munro

                Trade is not so bad, if well-regulated, or not destabilising. The west coast villages of Korea traded profitably with China for hundreds, maybe thousands, of years and became wealthy by it, without sending China broke. The global events that stripped them of that trade, chiefly China's entry to the Korean war, left the region relatively impoverished.

                Where free trade comes unstuck is when corporate freedom trumps the rights of smaller players – things like the Hobbit law – giants in the playground. Ad is having you on however – trade is as regulated as it has ever been – current regulations, instead of protecting communities and smaller players, protect the corporations that exploit them. Think the QMS – arranged so as to wipe out small players and destroy the resource. The architects of that would die of shame if they actually cared for the ecology or the community they ostensibly serve. They're counting on doing a Key – getting out with the money – before the hammer falls.

  9. Byd0nz 10

    Be careful what you wish for. Little NZ will be swamped from the sinking ship USA with boltholers with their greed money set to exploit the Kiwi. Keep em out and keep out the Natsis who would be most inclined to let them in.

    • Ad 10.1

      "Keep em out" in a post on Trumpism is the most oxymoronic comment I've seen in a while.

      • weka 10.1.1

        only if you see the world in black and white (immigration good/immigration bad). I have no trouble with a policy of limiting bolt hole immigration to NZ and instead increasing our refugee quota.

        • ken 10.1.1.1

          Yes.

          Refugees are a better class of people who show and demonstrate gratitude to their new home – as opposed to the wealthy "passport buyers" who turn up with their sense of entitlement already fully formed, and duly take their places on the "ladder" many rungs above people like you and me.

        • Ad 10.1.1.2

          There was nothing beyond a bald binary in the comment.

          We've been integrating the foreign rich for a while here, as well as the poor. There's no use pretending we don't need them, just as much as they need us. Our immigration criteria and ownership criteria under this government appear to be working pretty well.

          So there's no need to go all emotional and start bandying "keep em out".

          • ken 10.1.1.2.1

            How exactly do we need the wealthy boltholers?

            Do we need them to fence off our favourite walking tracks and fishing spots so they can have exclusive access for themselves?

            • Stuart Munro 10.1.1.2.1.1

              We need them so some locals can flip 'scenic' real estate, and the needs of those parasites trump those of ordinary people apparently.

          • RedBaronCV 10.1.1.2.2

            There has also been at least one good study that shows migration of the wealthy actually does little that is positive for the economy. On the other hand some contribute to the political party of their choice don't they

          • weka 10.1.1.2.3

            "There was nothing beyond a bald binary in the comment."

            Yep, was just suggesting we don't reply in kind.

            I think we can be more selective with the foreign rich, making it work better. But the bolt holder thing is something else and should be stomped on. Having shit loads of money shouldn't be enough, we could really put climate and covid response at the centre of this.

        • Westykev 10.1.1.3

          Why not increase both forms of migration, we can charge the rich migrants thereby funding the costs of the extra refugees

          [Fixed typo in e-mail address]

          • mpledger 10.1.1.3.1

            As long as we have a character test so that if some of those rich migrants we let in turn out to be nasty pieces of work then we can strip them of citizenship.

  10. Incognito 11

    This is an excellent post, not for the Trump bits, which are just a pivot IMO, but for highlighting the mass brainwashing & conditioning that has been going on for years all over the World. People are starting to lose their sense of reality in these Post-Modern times and it makes them even more malleable to external influence, to anything that gives them a sense of normalcy, comfort, security, and confidence to embrace and cling onto for dear life. The biggest hoax though is the alleged supremacy of the individual when the integration of the individual into the collective is the only way people/humankind will obtain what they really crave and need, IMHO.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 11.1

      yes Pivoting from personal cravings towards collective needs couldn't hurt, IMHO. The immediacy of COVID-19 constraints has been a grim catalyst for (lasting?) change.

    • Treetop 11.2

      Some people seem to just care about and be interested in living in the now to satisfy some app urge.

      Making memories need to be about meaningful experience. A dinner with those near and dear and not some photo of what you ate posted on Facebook.

    • SPC 11.3

      People are starting to lose their sense of reality in these Post-Modern times and it makes them even more malleable to external influence, to anything that gives them a sense of normalcy, comfort, security, and confidence to embrace and cling onto for dear life.

      Yeah na, it's rejecting external influence that allows people to retain normalcy, comfort security. This is why people leave social media, except for personal connections while also become more alert to MSM manipulation.

      The biggest hoax though is the alleged supremacy of the individual when the integration of the individual into the collective is the only way people/humankind will obtain what they really crave and need, IMHO.

      Now you're advocating some external collective influence or order as delivering what individuals/collective as people really need/crave. Like Trump's white race GOP identity narrative, or US first nationalism? Or just the external influence of your preference.

      The GOP does this as an order around their otherwise God and maamon polity regime, properity religion, where society is ordered to suit the haves and populism is a vehicle to retain power. Which is why Collins reminds many New Zelanders of being Anglican children, returning to their roots – vote Tory Party at prayer.

      • gsays 11.3.1

        Incognito "The biggest hoax though is the alleged supremacy of the individual when the integration of the individual into the collective is the only way people/humankind will obtain what they really crave and need, IMHO."

        SPC "Now you're advocating some external collective influence or order as delivering what individuals/collective as people really need/crave. Like Trump's white race GOP identity narrative, or US first nationalism? Or just the external influence of your preference."

        I am with Incognito, in the rise of the individual as paramount, I am not so sure what the antidote to this is. More community efforts come to mind- volunteering, church, sports clubs, cultural groups, community groups (Lions, Rotary, Friendly wives, Meals on Wheels).

        Is it the idea that the individual is paramount you reject, or Incognito's prescription that you have an issue with?

  11. Treetop 12

    I would really not want to be Trump's treating doctor. Likely Trump would not follow the treatment plan when it came to rest. Trump is not invincible and he has always gambled on landing on his feet.

  12. Anne 13

    If you’re feeling like you’re crazy because you can’t figure out if this news is real or a ploy, it’s because we’ve been gaslit by this administration for 4 years. There’s nothing wrong with your judgment and reasoning skills. This is a result of abuse. (My bold)

    Bang on!

    Gaslighting is a particularly vicious form of abuse. It creeps up on people without them knowing it. A person did it to me on and off for years. I ended up losing my self esteem and confidence and thought I was useless. That is, until I realised what had happened. Then it was all over rover.

    If the Americans can be brought to their senses and learn to understand what has been done to them, then the jack-booted chief cook and bottle washer would be gone for good. Trouble is, Biden is not strong enough and the Dems seemed to have succumbed to the abuse and are weak and indecisive.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting

    • SPC 13.1

      I've written a post on a US blog site, saying Trump is gaslighting America and the same as comments on New York Times articles.

      I'll add that Trump is the The Invisible Man (see film) type, sort of an irony that the invisible threat as he called the virus has now struck him down.

      What his case has exposed is that he himself does not take the anti-malaria drug he himself had promoted – and recently met with doctors using that on their own patients.

      His own GP is no quack, his regime was entirely reasonable and the two options taken since infection will probably become standard treatment.

      That said, it’ll be the effectiveness of his body’s T cell response that would deliver a quick recovery.

      PS. The Invisible Man is about power abuse, and its not just the bully as a partner, its also about gangstalking by the powerful of the powerless in political society and religious society.

      • Incognito 13.1.1

        His own GP is no quack, his regime was entirely reasonable and the two options taken since infection will probably become standard treatment.

        That said, it’ll be the effectiveness of his body’s T cell response that would deliver a quick recovery.

        Interesting comment! Could you please clarify what the “two options taken” are and why you think they will probably become standard treatment and for whom? I could speculate that you mean the Regeneron mAbs and Remdesivir – should I buy shares in Regeneron (or Lilly) and/or Gilead? Similarly, what T-cell response are you referring to?

        • SPC 13.1.1.1

          Why speculate, we've both read about this in various media and the importance of T cells in immune response (the effectiveness of which declines with age)?

          As for Gilead and fighting the invisble enemy for profit.

          https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/gilead-takes-back-remdesivir-distribution-after-drop-demand-confusing-government-allocation

          As for Regeneron or the Lilly product, no idea. It depends. if the monoclonal antibody (same as that in blood plasma of recovered patients but in a larger one time early dose form) broke his fever, either product would work. But if the other monoclonal antibody they made to stop the virus attaching to cells works go with Regeneron.

          • Incognito 13.1.1.1.1

            The articles that you read are most likely very different from the ones I read. I was wondering (and hoping) whether you had any particular novel insight in T-cell response because although the frontier is moving fast there is still a lot I/we don’t know.

            Similarly, it is not clear to me, at least, why any of those would become standard treatment. It seems a little presumptuous unless you have particular insight that you could share with us.

            The Regeneron cocktail is meant to minimize treatment resistance via mutation of the virus because the two mAbs bind to different epitopes on the target protein.

            • SPC 13.1.1.1.1.1

              the frontier is moving fast there is still a lot I/we don’t know.

              Sure.

              and the two options taken since infection will probably become standard treatment

              Note the use of the word probably. His fever broke after the use of the Regeneron product, if connected ….

              The Gilead one has been used for some time, it is regarded as useful, if used early, as it limits hospitalisation time. One would guess hospitals will use it – this is the US after all.

              Time will tell, on the combined use of both by other GP's for their patients.

  13. adam 14

    Trumps dead or massively decapitated, arrest Pence.

    As Pence was in charge of controlling the Virus.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/27/us/politics/us-coronavirus-pence.html

  14. barry 15

    Trump is in a class of his own when it comes to boorishness, bluster and bullshit. He has been a disaster for the environment in the USA and worldwide. His treatment of international institutions and other world leaders has been appalling. His pandering to the right-wing rabble, and his treatment of immigrants has set the USA back quite a bit.

    However his actual international posture is not that much different from any of the other recent presidents, and Biden will probably be just as protectionist. New Zealand should not look for any favours from the USA whatever happens.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      New Zealand should not look for any favours from the USA whatever happens.

      That's always been true.

  15. Sacha 16

    Who needs to untangle the medical tidbits ..?

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