A Journal of the Plague Year 2020–chapter 120

by HardyGreen on July 25, 2020

Testing, testing. Photo courtesy of the Library of Congrexs.

Friday, July 24

Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.

In a rational society, Trump would be institutionalized (maybe at Mar-a-Lago) and treated by a therapist for his excruciating, incapacitating insecurity–as shown in his need to assert, despite all evidence, that he does well on tests. 

For it is tests that come up time and again: the mental acuity test that he’s now trumpeting, the Scholastic Aptitude Test, and…COVID testing, as if that too were some kind of exam aimed at humiliating Trump. If not for COVID testing, the infection rate would be much lower, he says. 

The very word “test” sets him off.

I suspect his father baited him, that Donald was ill-at-ease among his peers, was scorned by teachers, and finally, fearing failure, paid a substitute to take his SAT, as his neice asserts in a recent, much-discussed book. (He is still paying in the sense that he feels he would have flunked.) Getting into Wharton was no big deal—it was clear that daddy would cover the costs. 

Amid the raving, it seems increasingly possible that Donald will have to be put away come November.

Or, like Woodrow Wilson who suffered a stroke during his second term, Don will hang out in the White House while somebody else handles the actual “work” of being President.

During the last presidential election, a portion of the electorate was in the mood to break windows and scrawl graffiti on the Washington Monument. Trump’s election was an act of political vandalism. There’s less of that now—unless such anger is resurfacing in the ranks of a very different cause, that of the Black Lives Matter protesters.

The “deplorables” who make up Trump’s most vocal base have likely gravitated to other activities. On my walks around this neighborhood, I have frequently passed an isolated corner house with a flagpole bearing a large, blue flag reading, “Trump: No More Bullshit.”

But nowadays, there’s no flag in evidence. Bullshit walks.

I also see many fewer pickup trucks bearing Trump bumper stickers. Once, such stickers were like a neck tattoo or a prominently displayed Confederate flag: a statement that “I’m a rebel!” 

Today, the rebels are all headed for the marble-icon graveyard. No one seems to care very much.

Dinner: leftover frittata with mushrooms, corn muffins, and lettuce salad with avocado and grape tomatoes.

Entertainment: Episodes of the French drama The Forest.

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