The Dull Ache Of A Fool’s Voice

When Donald Trump was elected president, I urged people not to spend their every waking moment shrieking the sky is falling. There was no doubt in my mind that a time would come when he would do something so wrong, so dangerously stupid, so narcissistically bizarre, that it would be time to drop the hammer. But if it was a constant shrieking, we would be inured to it in days.

Stalin’s admonition came to mind, a single death is a tragedy but a million deaths is a statistic. All Trump had to do was spew lies and nonsense constantly and they would become background noise.

Since he began holding daily coronavirus press briefings, which would likely have been conducted by Drs. Fauci or Brix, or perhaps some other spokesperson from the Centers for Disease Control under any other president but are led by the president because how else is he supposed to run for re-election during a pandemic, he has persisted in doing what he’s done regularly from the start: Spewed idiocy. Called names (“nasty” being a perpetual favorite, whether as noun or adjective). Contradicted himself with neither the slightest recognition nor shame. Lied. What else is new?

Given his extremely limited command of the mother tongue, and the occasionally technical requirements of dealing with life and death decisions, there was little doubt that he would sound like a blustering fool. Given that he chose to spend his late afternoons in front of a podium and television cameras, there was no doubt that it would be on display for all to see. Given that there was understandable interest and concern, as deadly pandemics are wont to cause, there was no doubt that many who hadn’t given it much thought before would turn to the president for guidance.

They may not have cared much before. Maybe they were too busy working to feed their families. But putting his face, his words, in front of the public in this time of dire straits did something no amount of shrieking about feelings by the unduly passionate could ever achieve. They watched as a president of the United States uttered inanities, lies and plain old stupidity.

Had the “resistance” not inured us to constant complaining about Trump, there might not have been a ready backlash from the right in his defense, prepared to believe whatever was offered to stem the complaints of impropriety. Trump kept calling it a “perfect” call, maxing out the limits of his rhetorical prowess. The word “beautiful” is reserved for his health care plan and the wall Mexico is going to pay for that will surely stem the tide of unlawful immigration.

I remember being told in unpleasant terms how wrong I was, that every burp and fart by Trump must be met with the extreme outrage it deserved. Long-time friends shunned me for the inadequacy of my hatred of Trump, not to mention refusal to devolve to emotionalism as they found reason to be heartbroken by every sad story. And needless to say, every sad story was Trump’s fault, because we never had sad stories before Trump.

But now we’re in a pandemic and not even the most fervent apologists can make dead bodies go away. There are plenty to blame, but pointing fingers at the incompetence of New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio doesn’t cut it because he’s not the President of the United States of America. Where are those millions of tests? Where are those N95 masks? Where are those ventilators that aren’t being saved for federal use, as Jared Kushner explained with the blank stare of someone saying the most cluelessly idiotic thing without any sign of understanding just how nuts it was?

I was told yesterday that the good people of the hinterlands, who were ready to suffer more Trump rather than the alternative, had reached their limit. Trump was on full display as the fool he was and they could no longer ignore it, no longer turn away and pretend it was just Trump being Trump. By holding his daily briefings, by standing at the podium when people were watching because their lives, their jobs, their family’s welfare depended on it, Trump put himself on full display. Trump did to himself what the other team, for all its shrieking, was unable to do.

Or so I was told.

When the unthinkable happened and America elected the least competent person imaginable to be president, it had been my hope that at least something good would come of it, that Congress would realize that Trump was the price we would pay for their inability to work together for the common good. My hope was that the idiocracy of the left would realize that America didn’t want to be reinvented as a social justice Utopia and would rather suffer Trump than their passionate tears. My hopes, as is obvious now, were dashed. None of these lessons were learned.

I struggle to watch the daily briefing. My tolerance for stupidity is limited, and there’s no real point to squandering time and attention on the daily mewling of someone I would not be inclined to talk to in person. My wife has taken to staring at the screen as one would stare at a deadly car wreck, occasionally muttering, “did he just say that?” As the numbers of people infected, or people dead, climb, the sound of Trump’s voice has been reduced to a dull ache.

For all the screaming and outrage, will it be the dull ache of Trump’s voice that will bring him down? That and the dead bodies? It remains unclear whether this will be the end of Trump, even though he’s made himself the focus of scrutiny and conclusively proven himself to be a most unworthy president. After all, there still remains the problem of whether America hates the alternative to Trump more than the fool we know who failed us in a pandemic.

29 thoughts on “The Dull Ache Of A Fool’s Voice

  1. Steve White

    You’ve stated the problem perfectly. but Is there any solution? I mean, obviously we can’t stop the press briefings or silence Trump, but is there anything we can do now to make things better? By following foreign media I got the word not to trust the CDC’s claims we do not need face masks a few days before Tucker Carlson called them out on it. This, to me, was a major failing by CDC – we had a lockdown with all the horrible economic consequences without getting the full benefits because people were out panic shopping with no masks on. I also was about a week ahead of the 100,000 to 240,000 dead claim – I was glad Fauci finally said it, as it seemed the only way to get people to take things seriously . And foreign media also told me that yes, even though the rightwing provocateurs said it first, it really was “bat soup” – metaphorically – some kind of exotic animal sold in the wet markets – which started this epidemic. And finally, that the numbers given by the CDC and news early on were clearly way to9 low – by a factor of 10 to 50. I am not bragging, these facts were clearly available on foreign media.
    The only alternative I can see is either Biden or Sanders going on TV on a regular basis and giving out more accurate information. And not worrying about undermining the President during a crisis, as accurate information to fight the epidemic trumps all such considerations. The government will not stop trying to obtain masks because the public is told they are necessary. Maybe there will be some hoarding.
    Another point – a friend in Europe says decisions about which therapies and vaccines to pursue are being made on nationalist bases rather than best practice – not surprising I guess but when some other country has a good therapy or vaccine, it seems likely we will not get it if the politics are not right. But if we had the recognized credible opposition leader demanding the best practice, at HIS regular briefing (not daily, that is too often, makes it looks like the silly “State of the Union:” response silliness) we might get it.
    The question is, is Biden up to it? Probably not. Hopefully he can get a VP running mate who can do it.

    1. SHG Post author

      Would Biden, Sanders or, dare I say it, Hillary Clinton have managed this better? Would we have more masks, more ventilators, more accurate information from the career employees of government?

      We’re invariably left to speculate about what someone else would do.

      1. PML

        If we would have elected Hillary we would see exactly what we are seeing with Cuomo now. This idea of stripping upstate to benefit NYC while leaving upstate hospitals bare isn’t going to fly and there is going to be violence if he tries to do it . Hillary and her Ilk would have tried stripping the nation for her friends benefit.

      2. phv

        The one who would have handled it better is Romney. He has better management skills than any president since DDE, not that I like his politics at all. But no one you are likely to name would have driven experience and expertise out of the civil service as Trump has.

        1. Hunting Guy

          Speaking as someone that was in the civil service, it needs new blood. Too many people have petrified in place and can’t adapt to new requirements and situations.

          Also, far too often the regulations are interpreted for their personal biases, not the way they were intended or the guidance of the supervisors.

          1. SHG Post author

            Some get stuck, but without institutional memory, you’re constantly reinventing the wheel. You need both new and old blood.

      3. Jake

        As the dotard’s touch invariably makes every situation worse, I am left to speculate on how marvelous it could be if he would just STFU and get out of the way. Fat chance, I know.

    1. SHG Post author

      The problem with this comment is nobody but you has a clue who you’re talking about, there being so many options. For other commenters, nobody knows what shit is floating inside your assumptive head but you. Maybe spell it out and offer a cogent thought rather than assume that everyone suffers the same delusions.

  2. Hunting Guy

    Jasmina Siderovski.

    “Play the hand you were dealt, don’t play the hand you wish you were dealt.”

  3. John Barleycorn

    To wear an apron or not to wear an apron while kneading bread dough, that is the question.

    P.S. If you had riped out a poem under The Dull Ache Of A Fool’s Voice the “being told(s)” might have had a bit more of a chance to become a recitative declamation in the opera some poor schmuck in Brooklyn is probably working on as we speak.

  4. Skink

    Astounding times for our way of government, for sure. The executive’s only real job it to be spokesman for the office and the country. Trump does it in an astoundingly poor manner. I can’t remember any executive above the county level that touted such obvious bullshit and promised the plainly impossible on a regular basis. Not long ago, it would have been political suicide. Up to now, what he says is mostly noise. Some folks take it seriously, but most recognize the guy is just a dope. For the latter, it doesn’t much matter because the economy is good, even though presidents have little to do with the economy.

    Even for the fervent, his blustering nonsense can become a a bit uneasy to swallow when confronted with simple questions. To build a wall, doesn’t the government need to own the land? His mumblings have been simplistic, at best, so it’s been easy to see the crap because it’s right out front.

    But things are certainly different. The virus is a Real Thing. A meaningful response from the executive is required. But the daily message is the same dopiness. Even the fervent see it, I hear it from them. Trump has the Boy Genius tell the states that the National Stockpile and its 100M masks,* is “ours.” Even the fervent ask, “who is the ‘us’ which forms the basis for the possessive form?” The owner of the Patriots sends his plane to China to collect a million masks and they ask, “doesn’t the government have planes?”

    You ask whether most consider the alternative worse. Maybe not yet, but the tipping point is near. He’s staring down at his petard. It’s becoming really hard to imagine that anyone, even Biden, could have less of a grasp on the necessary. I’m definitely apolitical: I have complete distrust in all of them, but I find myself constantly asking what Reagan would say at this time.

    *As it turns out, the Stockpile is required to make monthly reports to Congress. It even has its own website!

    1. John Barleycorn

      Why Reagan would have siad something exactly like this:

      “….. my new national security adviser, is respected for his experience in government and trusted for his judgment and counsel. Under him, the NSC staff is being rebuilt with proper management discipline. Already, almost half the NSC professional staff is comprised of new people.”

    2. SHG Post author

      The “boy genius” is universally acknowledged to be the smartest person in the extended Trump family, save Melania.

  5. Hunting Guy

    The resist moment is living in an echo chamber. It would do well to remember the quote by Pauline Kael.

    “How could Nixon have won? Nobody I know voted for him”

    There’s a lot more support for Trump than the media and the east and west coast cultural centers realize.

    The Trump haters don’t seem to understand that Trump thrives on the attention and they feed into it.

    (Haven’t you said that a time or three?)

    And like it or not, he still has the nuclear launch codes. Adults would deal with the way things are, not crying about the situation.

    1. SHG Post author

      In my neck of the woods, where we all knew Trump from before he was a TV gameshow host after his failed attempts at running casinos, he was neither respected nor liked. It wasn’t that no one voted for him, but it wasn’t *for* Trump but against Hillary. They still wouldn’t invite him to dinner.

  6. Hunting Guy

    Only tangentially related to the OP, but it does concern the virus.

    Y’all need to buy your Power Ball tickets.

    The prize is now up to a pallet of Charmin toilet paper climbing.

    1. SHG Post author

      Dr. SJ got a two-fer pizza the other night, and brought the second one over to the neighbors. As a thank you, the neighbor gave her a roll of toilet paper. Four ply.

  7. Jardinero1

    Down here in Hurricane Alley, we know that emergency management is primarily a state and local matter. We pray daily that our first responders and their management have their shit together. The feds have only the unlimited capacity for taxation and spending. Other than that, we know the feds only bring more harm than good to emergency management. So to you, who persist in watching our President; to those of you who persist in believing that the President manages this stuff; I say stop watching and stop believing. In a free society, it is incumbent upon every citizen to use their own head, be discerning in their judgement, and ultimately, take care of themselves, with the caveat that they don’t harm others.

    1. SHG Post author

      For a brief period, I was part of the local emergency management team. We had a plan called YOYO.

  8. B. McLeod

    Once people recognize and accept that we are on our own, there is no point watching the briefings that simply confirm this daily.

  9. Pedantic Grammar Police

    Dream on. Trump’s approval rating has skyrocketed to 49%, the highest level ever, and almost up to the presidential average of 53%. You are overestimating the intelligence of the American people, you overeducated shitlord. 49% of us see those press conferences and think “How presidential! I approve.”

      1. Pedantic Grammar Police

        Maybe I’m being too hard on the American people, considering the alternative. I don’t vote, but if I did, and I had to chose between a vulgar, self-serving ignoramus surrounded by yes-men, who knows what his name is and has a general idea of where he is and what he is supposed to be talking about, and an actual literal dementia patient who does not know those things, the ghost of a formerly mediocre politician with a penchant for creepily touching little girls in front of the cameras, whose animated zombie corpse the totally corrupt DNC hopes to prop up in the oval office just to keep Trump and Bernie out, I think I would have to hold my nose and vote for Trump.

  10. Guitardave

    If you think any horseshit spewing real estate tycoon, Mormon walking haircut, brain dead doddering old P.O.S, or psychopathic harpie is gonna fix this, your as fucked as they are….just sayin’.

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