A while back I wrote a post about the problem with that idea Trump’s not so bad, an idea that comes from both parts of the left and the moderate right. The post was in light of stealing kids and putting them in cages, and the general, now years old, analysis of rising fascism in the US. I posted some examples of the damage being done. For reference.
If the past four years weren’t evidence enough, here’s the latest example.
The President inquires about injecting disinfectant? pic.twitter.com/75kGQkD0h7— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) April 23, 2020
From the Independent,
“I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning,” the president said during his daily Covid-19 briefing. A senior health official, under questioning from reporters, later said federal laboratories are not considering or trying to develop such a treatment option.
“You see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number [on the] lungs, so it would be interesting to check that,” he said, appearing to refer to the disinfectant idea. “We’re going to have to use medical doctors, but it seems interesting to me”
I watched the above video and I thought, this man is deeply stupid. So stupid he can’t conceive of how stupid he is. Handy explanation from John Cleese,
Let’s laugh while we still can.
It can’t be performance, surely. But if one of the tactics of fascism is to create regular chaos to social norms so that the MSM and the general public can’t keep up, but instead become inured to the social and political changes that allow power to be consolidated, then it doesn’t matter if Trump really is this stupid. Because the performance of a fool serves the same purpose. I’m not sure it’s possible to separate out the fool from the fascism any more.
Watch this snip of the Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the president’s Coronavirus Taskforce, Dr Deborah Birx,
Here is Dr. Birx's reaction when President Trump asks his science advisor to study using UV light on the human body and injecting disinfectant to fight the coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/MVno5X7JMA— Daniel Lewis (@Daniel_Lewis3) April 24, 2020
Everyone in the room, including one of the President’s own senior pandemic advisors, knows that what he is saying is both a complete nonsense and dangerous. Much is being made of Dr Birx’s body language, but I’m sitting here wondering why the fuck she doesn’t get up and walk out. Really, how far is this going to go? We’re well beyond the Emperor’s new clothes.
This is what disabled people have been saying:— Crutches&Spice ♿️ : Rude For A Disabled Person (@Imani_Barbarin) April 23, 2020
The entire country is experiencing ableist gaslighting in almost the EXACT WAY disabled people experience it.
You cannot contextualize your present without listening to disabled voices, you just cannot. https://t.co/iAXEGJLoC7
For those unaware, drinking disinfectant is a practice used by some parents of autistic children, whereby having the child drink chlorine dioxide is believed to be a cure. MMS (Miracle Mineral Supplement) is a widely promoted alt health practice claimed to cure, among other things, autism, cancer, and HIV/AIDS. The FDA has issued advisories to stop it.
One thing to pay attention to here is the connection between what Trump is saying and some of the alt health communities, who in the US also tend to be anti-vaxxers and have high distrust the government. They’re more likely right now to be running conspiracy theories about covid, and to be denying the seriousness of the pandemic. My guess is that there is a significant overlap there with support for Trump, the cultures share much especially around libertarian values. The lack of scientific literacy displayed by Trump is very similar to how the MMS/alt health conspiracy crowd operate. This appears to be getting worse.
This is worth noting because ridiculing these people is about as effective as ridiculing redneck Trump voters and calling them deplorables. Many in the alt health crowd should be progressive/left wing but are being radicalised to the alt right.
Turns out that the leader of the MMS movement has been emailing the president.
The other issue is that the whole performance is a form gaslighting where we are expected to deny reality and our own perceptions in favour of an authoritarian narrative. Trump’s idiocy for all to see yesterday was followed up today with PR saying he was being sarcastic. Trump’s supporters, including MSM, are running lines that he didn’t suggest that people actually inject bleach, but was simply raising some ideas for medical research. Tui award right there.