Imagining the King’s Death
We woke up Sunday morning to learn that Donald John Trump was still alive.
214,280 other Americans were dead from the virus he has ignored and belittled, but not him. Yet.
We check this number daily, Americans dead from Covid-19. We know this number is only attributed cases, that the real number is likely much higher, but the odometer is bad enough.
It was bad enough at the end of March, fewer than four thousand Americans lost, when we publicly wished that Donald John Trump would die.
Now that our violent fantasy is widely shared — and widely scorned — it might help to briefly review what brought us to our regal bloodlust. It wasn’t the crimes he had committed, statutory and moral — we sought justice for those, and judgment where justice failed. Nor was it a vague sentiment that the world would be a better place with him not in it, although that was and remains true.
No, what prompted our very real desire was very specific:
“Donald Trump has become one of history’s great murderers. And we’ve reached the point where there’s no other way to get rid of him.”
We stand by this, some 210,000 deaths ago. Covid-19 is now only surpassed by two wars and the Spanish Flu as the greatest single killer of Americans. Had this been caused by a military attack, we’d be dropping nukes.
But instead the attack was waged by our own President.
A companion game to “How Many Americans Has Covid Really Killed” is “How Many Deaths Can We Blame on the Administration”. Here you must imagine a competent administration waging an earnest response, the kind we would have expected under any other president, including those for whom our thoughts are less than kind. We’re still looking at thousands dead, maybe five digits, but we just don’t know, and never will.
And honestly, we’ve given up trying that accounting. Because the moment Trump gave up trying to manage that response, the moment he abdicated his responsibility, the moment he made it a political issue, that moment at the end of March when we wished him dead because his actions would cause needless pain, suffering, and death — that was the moment all deaths became attributable to him.
It needn’t have played out this way. Because of Donald John Trump, it has. Because of Donald John Trump, it will continue to. And as long as Donald John Trump remains in power, guiding and influencing events, it will continue to.
Including the 108 days until the inauguration.
A hundred thousand deaths from now.
We don’t want Donald Trump dead to serve justice. Then as now, we want him dead to save lives.