As we look into the gray emptiness of a disappeared world, Puget Sound displaced by choking smog, the future of our planet looks back. Being blinded by smoke is a worthy metaphor for those who still deny climate change. “It’ll get cooler, you just watch,” said Trump this week. Just as the virus went away, “like a miracle.”
Thus was this column first intended: discussing the most demanding and dangerous challenges we face: climate change and an administration refusing to address it. Then the week happened. Climate change must wait. Until January, this country will continue to ignore it, anyway, no matter what we say or how obvious the need. So, not now.
Because, just in the last few days, Trump and his horribles have made it even clearer that the most urgent first step to saving our planet is to save our democracy; that he and his will do and say anything to prevent it from happening. This isn’t new; it’s just that the potential has been taken up several quanta.
Trump and his collaborators are actively encouraging armed uprising if he loses. And, he’s telling us, the only way he can lose is if Democrats cheat. That popular-vote-losing-by-millions “president” is telling citizens to ignore the polls: if he loses, it was stolen, and they must rise up. “You will see a backlash the likes of which you haven’t seen in many, many years,” he told Jeanine Pirro, who’s in a four-way tie for Fox “news’” most evil entity.
“Be poll watchers when you go there. Watch all the thieving and stealing and robbing they do,” he says at his Covid-spreading rallies. (Speaking of which, he announced he’s not afraid of getting the virus because his podium is away from the crowd. You understand what that says about his concern for the attendees, right?)
It’s not just Trump. The former CIA guy in charge of finding bin Laden, and now, like so many Trumpists, a QAnon believer, has written, “Loyal Americans know their domestic enemies … and will be able to act swiftly to eliminate them ... The only thing I would be upset about if it came to war is that not enough Democrats would get killed.” Reflecting Trump’s racist demagoguery, he calls BLM “a semi-human mob.” This is the hate-filled, propagandized division Trump incites, because it works for him. And because it’s who he is.
Roger Stone, Trump’s favorite felonious fluffer, said that if Trump loses he should declare martial law. Calling on the FBI to block certain people from voting, and for federal authorities to seize Nevada ballots, he also said Zuckerberg, the Clintons, James Mattis, and others should be rounded up. Has anyone heard Trump disavowing it? No one who loves America can be okay with this. Those who are, don’t.
Michael Caputo, Trump’s unqualified choice for number two at HHS – but a big donor – who demanded scientists at CDC alter their facts to conform to Trump’s lies, later calling them “seditious” for refusing, said, “… when Donald Trump refuses to stand down at [Biden’s] inauguration, the shooting will begin… If you carry guns, buy ammunition...” Called out, he’s taking a “leave of absence,” from which he ought never return, because, like most Trump appointees, he had no business being there in the first place. Money and mendacity are the only credentials required for inclusion in Trump’s swamp.
What more would it take for current Trump supporters to remove their blinders? Their “president” and his acolytes are openly calling for insurrection should he lose; spreading falsehoods about the electoral process in order to discredit the cornerstone of democracy: the right to vote and have it count. It’s a truism: if Trump accuses someone of doing something, it’s he who’s doing it. If he’s the embodiment of narcissism, and ticks every box on the dictator checklist, he’s also the spitting definition of projection.
Barr, too. He’s urging prosecutors to charge some demonstrators with sedition; which, unlike exercising the right to protest, is exactly what Trump is doing, by dictionary definition. Choosing to encourage blood in the streets rather than accept defeat, ready to overthrow America if Biden wins, Trump has undertaken a coordinated campaign of faked videos and lies (“Looters and anarchists will be your neighbors.” “Biden is against God”) to incite his supporters to violence, in order to install himself as dictator. Millions of Trumpists seem to like the idea. The only person happier about that than Trump is His Excellency, Vladimir Putin.