Trump er altid omgæret af drama, men denne uge var dramatisk som ingen anden
Trump’s positive Covid-19 test overshadows the recent many scandals
Trump is always surrounded by drama, but the past week has been dramatic like no other.
Last night I sat in front of the TV screen with my husband as usual. We get today’s news from various TV channels to get as objective and versatile a news picture as possible. However, it is difficult to keep up with the latest monstrosity in an now infinitely long series of embarrassing, unworthy actions, bills or outbursts of rage from Trump. Several times a week, newsreaders try to relate to the latest developments in the Trump saga, which are always defined as “unprecedented.”
As I sit in front of the TV screen, I prepare for another day on The Trump Shit Show. I could not keep up, but I can not. There is a kind of necessity in following the development. Many emotions run through me when watching today’s political events. I am almost masochistic depending on the news flow, I swing from being upset and ready for battle to giving up and fatalistically powerless.
Maybe it’s the huge amount of scandals that arouse so many emotions in me, so I, like a deer standing frozen and looking directly into the headlights approaching , without being able to escape the disaster that strikes in a little while, sitting and staring desperately at the screen without reacting? I do not know, but I wonder how Trump can, over and over again, get away with saying and doing things that any other president would have long ago been ousted from the throne for.
A fairly ordinary week in the United States filled with one political scandal after another
We have become accustomed to the newscasters saying that they have spent most of the day putting together a program that they must set aside a few minutes before the broadcast to deal with ” breaking news.” Every single day offers a new drama, and journalists are rarely given the opportunity to go in depth with one topic before a new one comes along and demands their attention.
And that’s what Trump can do to turn people’s attention away from what he does not want to talk about.
This week, there were at least three topics, which in normal times would each have cleared the front page of the newspapers and got full “air time” on the news channels.
Firstly, there was the revelation in The New York Times that Trump has not paid income tax for 10 out of 15 years, and that for several years he only paid 750 dollars, just under 5,000 Danish kroner, ie far less than e.g. a schoolteacher or a firefighter pays per year.
Since Richard Nixon turned out to be a “crook” who cheated on taxes, presidential candidates have put their tax information in front of the public. But not Trump. Would the American people have voted differently if they had known that he lost more money than he earned, and that he paid less in taxes than the hard-working voters he appeals to?
Secondly, it was also this week, Tuesday, that the first debate between the two presidential candidates, Trump and Biden, took place. How Trump evades paying taxes was largely not mentioned on the shout “debate .” The 90-minute mudslinging, which was seen by more than 70 million. Americans, and whose rules of the game both parties had agreed to in advance was an unbearable disaster that I watched with a friend and her boyfriend as they shouted at the TV screen with their mouths full of my fried chicken.
It should not occur to anyone that even if Trump signs a set of debate rules, he has no intention of abiding by the rules if the situation develops in a direction he does not like. He has never followed the rules, that is one of the things that appeals to his voter base.
The day after the presidential debate, I received what can almost be described as a condolence text that indicated how sorry the sender was on behalf of the United States. Others in my Danish circle of friends have expressed that they are concerned when they look at developments in the USA. At the same time, they express that the Americans have got what they asked for. I rarely take that discussion. Millions of Americans mourn the state their country is in and the imprint the United States leaves on the world.
But the week did not end with the release of Trump’s tax returns or the mudslinging debate with oaths and curses that even seasoned Fox News presenter Chris Wallace was unable to stop.
For the week’s third scandal came yesterday in the form of audio recordings from 2018, where Melania swears and sulks that she does not bother to stand for the traditional Christmas decoration of the White House, and how little sympathy she has for the children who are separated from their parents at the Mexican-American border.
In itself, each of these news stories in normal times would help to determine the choice that is less than 40 days away. But not in the United States we currently see. It has become normal when you meet your neighbor to ask: “Have you heard the latest news?” It is completely impossible to keep up with all the political scandals that are going on here.
What does Trump’s positive Covid-19 test mean for the election and for the United States?
And then there was the fourth and biggest story. After months of refusing to wear a mask, holding rallies where people stood like herring in a barrel without masks and mocking Joe Biden for wearing a mask everywhere, yesterday we received the news that Trump and Melania were both tested positive for Covid-19. Despite the fact that Trump has tried with all his might to make the debate about anything other than Corona, that is now all that is being talked about.
When the shock and announcement of Trump’s positive Covid-19 test had subsided, the concern came. What happens next? Will Trump have the US presidential election postponed? Is he deploying Mike Pence, who could then release Trump and his family from prosecution? What does this mean for the average American? What consequences does this have for the country in the long run?
And then the conspiracy theories emerge. Can you even count on the information coming out of the White House? Trump is lying, some statistics say on average 2 times in his waking hours since he was elected, so how do we know the information we are getting is truthful? The mood here vibrates, and no one eventually believes in anything they hear.
As we look away, decisions are being made that are crucial
That Trump has now tested positive for Covid-19 now fills, understandably, the whole news picture. But in the meantime, measures are being implemented that Trump has no interest in the media having to focus on. I often mention:
The Senate wants the Supreme Court judge nomination of Amy Coney Barrett through as soon as possible. Her conservative voice will be a disaster for women’s rights, minorities’ and universal suffrage. I have no doubt that Trump, too, for personal reasons, would like to have her vote through as soon as possible so that he can secure her vote when and if he goes all the way through the legal system after the election and challenges the election result, which ultimately to be decided by the Supreme Court.
Texas has closed the possibility of handing out ballot papers in large parts of the state, thus barring hundreds of thousands of eligible citizens from exercising their constitutional right to vote, but there is no room for that in the news picture. Texas is already one of the states in the United States that has put the most obstacles in the way of the population to make it difficult to cast its vote.
In the debate, Trump refused to distance himself from the right-wing extremist group ” Proud Boys” but said that they should stay in the background, but stay ready.
When I open my eyes in the morning, the first thing I do is reach for the phone and check what happened in the news picture while I was sleeping. The media is as divided as the population. One side turns a blind eye and refuses to deal with the daily scandals. The other sits out at night with small, drooping eyes, desperately trying to convey and understand one stream after another of an endless series of scandalous Trump news.
This is how it has been for almost 4 years, one dramatic week after another finds its end, and I long to keep up. Trump has been hospitalized with breathing problems and questions are queuing up. What happens if he becomes seriously ill? I do not know how to react, so I sit nailed in front of the TV screen – and before I know it, another day has passed with Trump news.