Ever wonder how Donald Trump did it?
Skated into the White House. Despite his long record of empty bravado. A notorious con man and fraud, liar and bully. Undeterred by his sexual misdeeds that came out right before the 2016 election. “Grab ’em by the p——.” Paying off porn actresses. Serial infidelity with three wives.
Water off a duck’s back. And he knew it: “I could shoot somebody in the middle of 5th Avenue ...”
Ever wonder how Trump continues to do it? Hold onto his solid 40% support? Despite focusing almost exclusively on his own interests, self-dealing in a naked fashion, whether shaking down Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden or blackmailing states to clamp down on immigrants in exchange for medical masks. Unashamed, unapologetic.
Ever wonder how he does that?
That’s easy: His supporters don’t care. Didn’t care before, don’t care now and won’t start. Ever. Nor can you pin them down for their not caring. Believe me, I’ve tried.
Go to a religious person, secure in their faith, awash with the love of Jesus Christ. Ask that person: How is it you can go to church on Sunday, down on your knees, worshipping your idea of moral perfection, then on Monday stand up and cheer for this grotesque slab of immorality?
This man who seems like a character Rabelais created to illustrate the result if all seven deadly sins — lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride — were jammed into one sordid human vessel?
How can you see that monstrosity in front of you, then clap your flippers together and bark for joy? How is that even possible?
And they will nod, in their pious, serious fashion, and reply, “I’m glad you asked that question. I’ve thought about it, prayed about it and have come to the conclusion: I just don’t care.”
Well, not that last part. The uncaring, like the “k” in “know,” is unvoiced. Most likely, they’ll talk of the one thing they do care about, the single cloud blocking a Trumpian cosmos of deficiency from view: the newly-formed fetuses they’ve bestowed with the range of personality and depth of feeling of a small liberal arts college. The fate of Israel. The need to know that they can buy any kind of gun they want, whenever they want, without any restriction whatsoever, the better to someday hope to accumulate enough guns to keep their crushing fear at bay.
The chance to waggle both middle fingers in the face of some smug upper-crust liberal boogeyman that has been haunting them their entire lives.
They care about that. And nothing else.
This skill — caring about one thing — Democrats need to develop, fast. Because judging from our soul-searching last week over accusations of sexual misbehavior against putative presidential candidate Joe Biden, we are going to stumble again over our best trait: our inclination to evaluate information. To ponder, hear all sides, and ask ourselves: What are we doing?
That’s fine. But sometimes you must choose. And Democrats, God help us, did choose, and that choice was not Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris. Not Pete Buttigieg or Andrew Yang. We chose Joe Biden.
His being elected president in November is the one thing we need to care about now. The choice isn’t Joe Biden or Alan Alda. Not Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders. Not Joe Biden or whatever dream candidate is brewing mint tea in the back of your mind.
It’s Joe Biden or Donald Trump. And facing that choice, you can wander back into history and pick over every lingering Biden hug, every awkward creepy moment of Uncle Joe’s. That is your right.
But while you do that, be certain of this: The Republicans aren’t fretting over Stormy Daniels. They aren’t even acknowledging Donald Trump’s jaw-dropping excess of this morning. And unless you want four more years of Trump using the Constitution to wipe his ... well, in a way you don’t want the Constitution used, we need to set aside our Democratic belly-lint picking, for a few months, and focus our attention on one thing: electing Joe Biden president.
The COVID-19 disaster is clear proof of the downside of letting our nation be run by a pea-minded, jabbering solipsist. His fans can’t see it because they can’t look. Don’t similarly blind yourself to the only solution: Joe Biden.