Saturday, May 23, 2020


President Trump's speech in Ypsilanti, Michigan on Thursday was fascinating in two respects, though the the Intercept's Thomas Mackey addresses only one in the report in which he writes

In an apparent ad-lib, Trump looked up from his prepared remarks — which praised the firm for teaming up with General Electric to produce ventilators and face shields for medical workers — to observe that Henry Ford’s descendants, like the current chairman, Bill Ford, who had introduced the president, have “good blood.

“The company founded by a man named Henry Ford,” Trump’s prepared text appeared to say, “teamed up with the company founded by Thomas Edison — that’s General Electric.” But when Trump came to Ford’s name, he looked up from the text and observed: “good bloodlines, good bloodlines — if you believe in that stuff, you got good blood.”

 We can't blame this one on Stephen Miller, the most prominent immigration restrictionist in the Administration, given that the remark evidently was ad-libbed. And as Mackey indicates, it fits in perfectly with what we understand as Trump's view of nature and nurture, which in turn corresponds intimately with the President's biases.  Mackey notes

Trump has made no secret of his own belief that he inherited everything from intelligence to an ability to withstand pressure through the “great genes” passed on to him by his parents and grandparents. He has also frequently compared the importance of “good bloodlines” in humans to the breeding of champion racehorses, a view that overlaps in uncomfortable ways with those of eugenicists and racists like Ford.

“I’m proud to have that German blood,” Trump once told an interviewer. “You’ve all got such good bloodlines,” Trump reportedly told British business leaders at a dinner in 2018. “You’ve all got such amazing DNA.”

Trump has also frequently suggested that because his uncle, John Trump, taught for decades at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he is similarly smart. “My uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT,” Trump said at a South Carolina rally in 2015. Pointing at his right temple, he then added: “Good genes, very good genes — okay? — very smart.”

Then in March, after he spoke to scientists working on the coronavirus response at the CDC in Atlanta, Trump told reporters: “I like this stuff. You know, my uncle was a great person. He was at MIT, he taught at MIT for, I think, like a record number of years. He was a great super genius. Dr. John Trump. I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it…. Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability.”

So it should be no surprise that the President has engineered a response to the coronavirus crisis either horribly incompetent- or frighteningly competent, with intent to create as much death and suffering as possible.  Some people simply don't have good bloodlines, and the gene pool cannot be allowed to be degraded because of their continued existence.

And thus, it only makes sense that

“Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential, but have left out churches and other houses of worship,” the president told reporters at the White House on Friday. “It’s not right. So I’m correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential.”

Trump added: “The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now. For this weekend. If they don’t do it, I will override the governors. In America we need more prayer, not less.”

In many houses of worship, especially those which draw big numbers, attendance will not be safely restricted. there may be contact with other attendees or with the pastor. Droplets with the coronavirus will abound when attendees sing.  Prayer itself poses dangers.

There will be death which would be avoidable if worship services are not held. There will be death among parishioners and among individuals whom they return home to or work with.

Initially, Trump's skeptics suggested that the President was choosing the economy over caution. Once they understood that people realized that failure to fight SARS-Cov-2 itself would harm the economy, they began gingerly to imply that Trump was as concerned about re-election as about easing the pandemic.

Recognition that the President is unconcerned will prove inescapable, and even that is generous. Of course the President left the briefing room immediately after issuing his statement, obviously wishing to avoid questions. He does care about whether Americans get sick and die- just not in the traditional and conventional sense of rooting against it.

*The original version of this post referred  to "the most prominent immigration restrictionist in the Administration" as "Stephen Moore." It should have been "Stephen Miller."

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