President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and many people in the president's orbit tested positive for COVID-19, prompting a wide range of behavior.
Democratic nominee and opponent, Joe Biden, who days earlier, during the candidates' first debate, told Trump to "shut up," and called him a "clown" as well as "the worst president" ever, returned to his prior "nice- guy" form. In addition to wishing Trump and Melania a speedy recovery, his campaign pulled all negative advertisements.
Former President Obama followed his wife's advice and "went high," also wishing the first couple well. Many people showed humanity in setting aside their differences with Trump to offer get well wishes.
Not everybody, however, was as magnanimous.
Upon the announcement of Trump's positive test, former national spokesperson for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, and prior Obama White House staffer, Zara Rahim, tweeted, "I hope he dies."
Twitter, seeing Rahim's tweet and similar messages from others, quickly put an end to such conduct:
"Tweets that wish or hope for death, serious bodily harm or fatal disease against *anyone* are not allowed and will need to be removed. This does not automatically mean suspension."
— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) Oct. 2, 2020
Marshall University professor, Jennifer Mosher, commented via video about Trump and his rallies to her remote classes. She said, "I hope they all get [coronavirus] and die. I'm sorry, but I've become so frustrated and just don't know what else to do. I said to somebody yesterday, I hope they all die before the election. That's the only saving hope I have right now."
On a positive note, Mosher was placed on leave.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wasted no time exploiting Trump's illness for partisan political purposes. He declared the Senate must halt confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett. The president has no role in the confirmation process. Justices frequently serve beyond the lifetime of the president who appoints them. The real reasons Schumer wants to stop are the same as before Trump was ill.
It's one thing if Schumer wants to call out Republican hypocrisy for refusing to move forward with Obama Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland in 2012. The ruse of needing to stop Coney Barrett's proceedings because the president is ill merely doubles down on hypocrisy.
Social media and liberal news commentators widely agree that Trump deserves getting COVID-19.
Deserves it? Trump haters have set a new standard: victim shaming and blaming is OK.
Haven't we seen enough Law & Order SVU episodes to know that no matter how provocatively she dressed or how short her skirt was, how flirtatiously his date acted, how slutty the stripper danced, or how skanky the prostitute's behavior, the victim wasn't "asking for it"?
If you don't like the analogy, take your pick:
- People who practice safe sex can get STDs or unwanted pregnancies when condoms break.
- Addicts destroy their family's and friends' lives as well as their own.
- People who have never smoked get lung cancer.
Do these victims deserve their afflictions too?
On social media, many infected by Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) argue that it's not the same because Trump's disregard of science and irresponsible behavior caused his illness.
In 1991, I was program director for the Los Angeles radio station that began simulcasting the Howard Stern Show. From day one, we received a steady stream of negative press and complaints.
In November 1991, less than three months after we began carrying Stern, Lakers basketball star, Irving "Magic" Johnson announced testing positive for HIV. His announcement came a decade after AIDS was declared an epidemic. Johnson's situation was a result of his behavior. Yet, only one person dared say so: Howard Stern.
When Stern said Magic Johnson deserved what happened to him, the complaints intensified. We received bomb threats and threats on Howard's life that included detailed personal information that caused me to take the calls seriously. Stern mentions the incident in his first book, Private Parts.
At the time, Howard was considered wrong – because we don't blame victims, not even if their behavior caused the situation. The Magic Johnson example is truly no different from Trump's current ordeal.
If you've read Why Bad Things Happen to Good People? by Harold Kushner, you understand, diseases, including COVID-19, impact many people, good and bad. God isn't looking down to make sure that only bad people get what they deserve.
Victim shaming and blaming go beyond hypocrisy. Trump haters have gone a step too far. It's time they took a step back. When they use Trump's illness for partisan political purposes, hope he dies, or even say he got what he deserves, their behavior is better than Trump's on his worst day. To them, I quote, Joe Biden, who famously said, "Will you shut- up"!
Andy Bloom is president of Andy Bloom Communications. He specializes in media training and political communications. He is regarded as one of the leading radio programmers in the country. Andy served as communications director for Rep. Michael R. Turner, R-Ohio. For more information, his website is www.andybloom.com. Read Andy Bloom's reports — More Here.
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