A Journal of the Plague Year 2022–chapter 247

Friday, January 7

It’s a mystery to me how it works.

He wears Hermes ties and handmade suits. He travels around by private jet, flying to the fancy resorts he “owns” (along with the banks) in exclusive areas of Florida, New Jersey, and Scotland. And, perhaps most mysterious of all, he gained notoriety on a nationally broadcast television show where he played a boss who delights in screaming at people “YOU’RE FIRED.”

I mean, could you conceivably root for someone whose reputation rests on giving everyday folks a very public heave-ho? Do you hate your fellow workers that much?

And yet it seems this is the guy who a great many white working men feel best represents their interests. They celebrate their loyalty, flaunting Trump stickers on their Dodge Ram pickup trucks.

The anniversary of the January 6 Washington, D.C. riots has brought the weirdness of the whole Trump phenomenon back into relief. Here you had 10,000 protesters, many of whom had traveled long distances across the country, ferociously intent on reinstating to the Presidency a guy you’d never see down at the barbershop or local bar, much less browsing the secondhand trousers at the Goodwill outlet. Five people died during the riot and 140 police officers were wounded. Subsequent to the events, 700 rioters have been brought up on charges including assault and use of deadly weapons.

And while the action was going on, Trump was watching it all on TV from his private dining room.

One of the rioters on January 6 carried a banner inscribed with a pitchfork. As if they were there in support of “Sockless” Jerry Simpson, a firebrand Populist Party leader of the 1890s. Trump isn’t even Huey Long, author of what historian T. Harry Williams has termed the Long tradition in Louisiana politics—“the idea that the state had an obligation to use its power to raise the lot of the masses.” 

Huey Long said, “Every man a king.” Donald Trump said, “I’m the greatest.”

No, nowadays apparently all some voters care about is having someone who’ll throw tantrums, insult opponents and minority groups (especially women), and escort around a bevy of trophy wives and Barbie-doll daughters.

Please: Explain it to me.

Back to January, 2022.

This time, Mother Nature didn’t miss. Three days back, a storm dumped a foot of snow on D.C. and parts of Virginia and left hundreds of drivers stranded overnight on I-95. Long Island got away with a dusting.

Last night, we got hit…but it’s still no calamity. I’d say we got maybe seven inches, all very pretty. We have plenty of food and the heat’s working, so no need to fear.

Dinner: mushroom barley soup, corn muffins, green salad, and tapioca pudding.

Entertainment: we’re still binging on old episodes of the Britbox policier Vera. Last night, we also viewed the very wacky Bob Odenkirk (famed as Better Call Saul) vehicle, Girlfriend’s Day on Netflix. Hey, how many other shows feature unemployed greeting-card writers?