Costly Devotion | Opinion | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Costly Devotion

Taking a Gander: Tough guys support the king of fools



One thing is crystal clear. The next president will be forced to replace all the White House carpets. Despite the president's troop of full-time pooper scoopers, there's simply no way to keep up with his doo-doo. It's a rare day when Trump doesn't make yet another pile.

Really? How much should you risk to support a leader like Trump—such as not wearing a mask, demonstrating your loyalty by downing a gallon of Dollar Store bleach, helping Make America Great Again by inserting an IV and letting the household disinfectant rip, or attending a Trump campaign rally where the Trump organization has systematically removed the social-distancing stickers from the bleachers while venue owners scream "foul?"

Does loyalty to DJT mean believing Pinocchio Pence when he claims we've "made truly remarkable progress," the "curve has been flattened," cases likely are down, and the president has done an amazing job with the COVID-19 "cold?" Does being a Trumper mean you have to endorse the actions of police as they cleared peaceful demonstrators from D.C.'s Lafayette Park using OC Scat Shells (tear gas)—all so Trump could have his sanctimonious photo op, holding up a Bible that could have been lifted from a motel room?

You tell me: Does being a Trump supporter require propping up your grandma in her favorite chair and being unwilling to admit that the president's recommendation for hydroxychloroquine killed her? Maybe being a Trump Republican means watching the chemically burned King of Fools demonstrating his porn-quality virility by refusing to wear a face mask.

It is no secret Donald Trump uses the frustrated, uneducated, red-necked caveman-carryovers as his personal cheering section. But you, my Utah friends? Do you really need to be a part of this horrifying disaster?

I just don't get it. At some point, Trump supporters need to embrace the reality that they've been played for fools. It takes conscious effort to ignore the facts. Some 18,000 lies have come from the horse's mouth. Even Trump's inner circle of supporters and appointees are forced to acknowledge he often contradicts his official spokesperson when they attempt to clean up the doo-doo he leaves on the floor.

Of course, Trump's statement that he's asked his people to do less COVID-19 testing—because testing reveals more cases—was immediately disclaimed by Trump's staff, who, instead, characterized POTUS's lunacy as "just joking."

But then, the president made sure that his remarks were clarified. He insisted he was absolutely serious. Since that day, he has demonstrated his spoken intent, withholding funding from a number of prominent and essential high-volume testing sites, creating unnecessary risk to American citizens. In a sense, the president's recklessness has made him our nation's most successful serial killer. Thousands have died because he failed to act in a rational and sane way.

If the president's COVID-19 response had been his only leadership failure, that should have been enough to send Republicans out looking for an alternative. Nope! That's not the way it works. Remember, being a "Trumper" means wearing no mask and showing how tough you are by following your leader. Utah is a relatively well-educated population, but that doesn't seem to matter. Its Republican base is fully committed to the president.

A few weeks ago, I went fishing in central Utah. It was an opportunity to escape the health threats associated with the local concentration of population. And, of course, it was an opportunity to enjoy natural beauty. The fishing was great, but, on the way home, I was reminded of Utah's most serious pandemic. I'm not talking about COVID-19. I'm talking about something much more serious—the epidemic of ignorance and stupidity that allow our state to continue supporting the president.

As I passed through a small town, I noticed a conspicuous American flag in the middle of a front lawn. Just below that glorious banner was an equally imposing Confederate flag, along with a MAGA placard. Hopefully, the person who lived there wasn't your "typical" Utahn—most of whom would likely not endorse the revival of the Confederacy and the slavery it fought to perpetuate. But, then again, I'm not so sure. The flag-waving, Trump-worshippers of Utah tend to embrace ignorance and incompetence.

I realize those are harsh assessments, but I'm not sure how better to describe the blind allegiance of his followers.Like a crowd of lemmings bent on doing their graceful, terminal swan dives over the precipice, Utah's majority continues to support a president who is dishonest, idiotic and treasonous. Even giving him the benefit of the doubt, he's become the No. 1 enemy of America's hope to ever become great again while leading his followers into a false sense of security at a time when they ought to be damned scared.

Although the novel coronavirusis very much front-and-center—and something that our president has fumbled horribly—our constitution itself is frighteningly under siege.

My wife, Carol, received her master's degrees in English literature and religion studies from Aberdeen University in Scotland. Whenever I have a question about world religious philosophies, I turn to her.

"Carol," I recently asked, "if Trump is reincarnated, what will he be?"

I should have predicted her answer: "Cockroach."