1917, not the flick that would have Oscared had 2019 not been the year of inclusivity in Hollywood and English the wrong language. The 1917 that Trump incessantly declares the date of the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. He knows when it actually occurred, because he was corrected after his first or second counterfactual pronouncement – the way Bush 43 was told “it ain’t New Q ler”. But like W he continued to recite the wrong thing for a reason. With Trump it is a reason that the electorate hoping to defeat him must understand or suffer the consequences.
The Trump base is immovable. We have all been saying that for awhile but haven’t really believed or internalized it, expecting the Trump atrocity du jour to change that or at least move some. That won’t happen and the worse it gets the more confident that prediction.
Some in the base know it wasn’t 1917, some don’t, but none care. All will vote for Trump except those who expire before casting ballots because he’s told them to risk death in order to validate his handling of the current pandemic.
Thinking on that is painful and complicated. On one hand, it is their lives in what still is a free country. On the other, they will be infecting and killing others and truly earning their places in the casket of deplorables.
In the garden of earthly platitudes, one most often repeated is that a wounded animal is most dangerous. The period of the pandemic has proven that is true of Trump and getting truer daily. But Trump’s bestiality may have several salutary consequences.
One, already in motion, has Obama deployed. His comments during a recent Obama Alumni conference call about threats to the “rule of law” and more pointedly in a commencement speech for HBCUs held on May 15, show that he is up for and in the fight with full force.
A second potential benefit may come in the resolution of the Trump subpoena cases argued this term in SCOTUS and awaiting decisions. On the law and facts decisions against Trump should be clear and nearly unanimous. But that is not the way it seemed during the arguments. However, Trump’s unrelated firing of yet another inspector general (Steve Linick of the State Department) may finally scare Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh and counterintuitively cause them to rule against Trump on totally unrelated issues of law.
Finally, for those who always intend to vote but “never never” or “hardly ever” do, this perilous period may provide the dispositive motivation. Obama gets literally the last word, the one he tweeted on May 14, 2020 in response to the latest batch of Trump lies and inventions: “vote”.