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Wear a Mask and Vote

illustration of a group of voters with signs and wearing masks

On September 24, my son attended school in person for the first time since March 13. We were grateful for the opportunity to resume classroom learning and more than willing to adhere to all mandated safety protocols, including wearing masks and social distancing. We have all learned to incorporate these practices into our daily lives for the benefit of our neighbors, our families, and ourselves. Yet, somehow, wearing a mask has become associated with political ideology, the liberal equivalent of a red hat, as if the virus can discern who you are voting for.

When the President and First Lady tested positive, for about a minute and a half I found myself actually feeling a little bit sorry for this gasbag buffoon. Simultaneously, I worried that skilled political strategists could use this health scare to humanize him for suburban women who can’t find any defensible excuse to vote for him. Then I remembered Trump has no strategy – only pathology. Instead of softening the truculent toddler image he evoked during the “debate” – and let’s face it, there couldn’t have been a more effective way to change the story – he chose to belittle this disease that has killed over 215,000 Americans, left countless others in desperate circumstances, and fundamentally disrupted the lives of every person voting in this election. Why would he do that? Why not use his mandated period of quarantine to reassure Americans that he takes COVID seriously and he will not rest until everyone has access to high-quality treatment? It wouldn’t be true, but it would be great messaging.

Then I remembered he can’t sensibly process the idea that he has been infected by the China virus, as he calls it. To do so would be humbling and he is incapable of expressing humility (let alone actually feeling it). He is afflicted with pathological Narcissistic Personality Disorder. He doesn’t have the gene that allows us to say, “I’m sorry, when I said Tuesday, I meant Thursday.” When he says Tuesday, but means Thursday, his press secretary has to convince the American public that Tuesday is Thursday. He can’t say he was wrong about masks because he cannot admit error. He is infallible. He must be, or his world doesn’t make sense to him.

Anyone with a shred of political acumen immediately saw the opportunity to spin this in the incumbent’s favor. His supporters were literally lining the streets around Walter Reed demonstrating their empathy, but he could not perceive it as such. He felt only adoration and was compelled to see it up close and personal – to the extent his team of physicians would agree to, presumably. So, he ordered a motorcade. Because he’s the President of the United States and he’s allowed to do that. Even if it’s a really bad idea.

On September 26, the Trump Administration held a garden party to celebrate their hypocritical abuse of power. They invited their most loyal supporters to sit closely together (masks not preferred) and make a show of victory for anyone who was rooting for the timely death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It was a ghoulish display, and everyone left with a party favor. I don’t wish ill upon anyone. I wish only wisdom. We need to learn from the mistakes we can plainly see.

Wear a mask. And vote.

For breakfast, I had a Kind Bar – Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt with black coffee – Keurig Donut Shop Regular. 

Author: @steveamick

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