I understand that a hardcore Trump supporter is not about to abandon ship anytime soon.
If you can embrace a man who brags about sexual assault (with 24 credible sexual harassment and assault claims pending against him), refers to Nazis as “very fine people,” separates families on the border and cages small children, refers to African nations as “shithole countries,” and thinks that Frederick Douglass is still alive, you are unlikely to stop supporting him now.
Tribalism is a terrible but powerful force.
But his handling of the pandemic is hard to ignore, given the number of Americans dead, the complete collapse of the job market, and the performance of the United States in comparison to other nations that have implemented nationwide testing and contact tracing.
Even worse, Trump’s words are absolutely damning. A simple, chronological accounting of Trump’s statements about the coronavirus, from his assurances in January that the virus was completely contained (while military and scientific experts warned him that the coming pandemic was going to be devastating), to referring to the virus as a hoax at rallies where thousands were allowed to gather as the virus spread, to his promotion of hydroxychoroquine (which was later shown to kill patients), to his bizarre thoughts on injecting cleaning products like bleach into the body, his words clearly illustrate his inability and blatant refusal to manage this crisis like an informed, strategic leader or even a mature adult.
History is going to lay waste to this Presidency, but it’s Trump’s performance during this pandemic that will be utterly devastating simply because of the ongoing video record and constant tweet storms (oftentimes unrelated to the pandemic or anything of consequence) that he has provided.
Never before has a President allowed his incompetence, selfishness, and disregard for American life to be so laid bare.
There are lots of these chronological accountings of Trump’s statements over the past five months, but this is the most recent, encompassing everything so far, and it’s going to be hard for even the most ardent Trump supporter to ignore.
They will, of course, but not without having to twist their logic like a pretzel in order to do so.