Today, the President tweeted a plea for unspecified individuals to “liberate” states whose governors are politically opposed to his plans to end COVID-19 lockdown procedures. Some have interpreted it as voicing support for protests against the lockdown. Others see it as violent incitement.
What did Trump really mean when he called on everyone and no one simultaneously to “liberate” those states? Whatever his supporters want it to mean. No matter how vile, absurd, or contradictory their interpretations of his words may be. This is the way President Trump always has communicated to the public. And if there is trouble he will deny any part in the matter and say everyone is overreacting.
Is there any rhyme or reason behind the outburst? Not really, or at least not the kind of rhyme or reason most of us are familiar with. Is it appropriate presidential conduct? Not at all. But people who have, unwisely, made their peace with it aren’t going to wake up.
Normally this would be the place to insert qualifiers about how systemic problems aren’t reducible down to one man. But I’m less and less interested in making them and less and less interested in hearing them. At some point all of this just becomes excuse-making and betrays a lack of willingness to call a spade a spade. So correspondingly this is going to be a very short post.
The world is complicated but sometimes it is also very simple. Nothing of value can be salvaged from this administration. If you cannot see this in 2020, you never will.