TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2020
Mary Trump, Krugman opine: Donald J. Trump doesn't seem to care whether other folks live or die. This morning, at the end of his column, Paul Krugman explains why that is:
KRUGMAN (10/27/20): Was there ever a chance that Trump would take the pandemic seriously? Probably not. After all, he has always been a die-hard, conspiracy-theorizing denier of climate change, and his coronavirus response has come straight out of the climate-denier playbook.
In any case, we can predict with high accuracy what he will do if the polls are wrong, and he wins a second term. He will do nothing at all to fight the pandemic; he will, however, try to suppress the truth about what’s happening. And many, many more Americans will die.
Just for today, let's be fair! In the bulk of his column, Krugman explains that a network of big-money climate-denier interests have also been spending big bucks to promote "herd immunity."
With respect to climate change, their interests are served if the planet burns up (in the future). With respect to the pandemic, their interests are served if the country "stays open" (right now), even if people die.
Presumably, this explains why these fossil-fuel interests have also been promoting "herd immunity." Is that why Trump seems to have turned in that direction under the guidance of his mad radiologist Svengali, Dr. Scott Atlas?
That's what Krugman seems to suggest. We'll rewrite that first paragraph, adopting a different perspective:
Was there ever a chance that Trump would take the pandemic seriously? Probably not. After all, leading psychiatrists have said that he seems to exhibit all the signs of "antisocial personality disorder," the technical term for sociopathy. And owing to their deep affliction, sociopaths aren't likely to care whether other folks live or die.
That revised theoretic might have come from Mary Trump, the president's niece, who's a clinical psychologist. On Sunday, her essay in the Washington Post's Outlook section appeared beneath this headline:
Psychiatrists know what’s wrong with my uncle. Let them tell voters.
In her recent best-seller, Too Much and Never Enough, Mary Trump tells an extremely sad story about her uncle's childhood, starting at the age of two.
His mother was rarely available, in part due to medical ailments. His father was "a high-functioning sociopath," Mary Trump writes, early on.
As for Trump himself, Mary Trump suggests that his dysfunctional upbringing has saddled him with the same psychiatric affliction, or with a more complex stew of major personality disorders. In the sub-title of her best-seller, she refers to her uncle, Donald J. Trump, as "the world's most dangerous man."
We've decided that next week would be the appropriate time to review Mary Trump's new essay for Outlook, along with her best-selling book. But the press corps agreed, several years back, that matters of this type must never be discussed.
The press corps agreed that these obvious possibilities must be stifled, withheld, disappeared. For our money, Krugman's column helps us see the way that journalistic agreement has hobbled the public discourse.
Why doesn't the president seem to care if other people are consigned to suffering, injury, death? Is it because of what some think tanks have spent some money on? Or is the forbidden explanation the one which might really make sense?