GOP strategist Rick Wilson has been a “Never Trump” Republican since the beginning of now-President Donald Trump’s travesty of a presidential campaign, and even more so through this horrifying presidency.
Now that we are in the midst of a global pandemic and Trump is the absolutely dangerous vector of misinformation and incompetence we always knew he would be during any crisis, Wilson is turning the heat up even more. This time, he is going after not just Trump, but his cult-like followers.
Wilson appeared remotely with a large telecommuting panel of people on MSNBC’s “AM Joy” show on Sunday morning, and put out a warning that will likely not be heeded by Trump’s followers. Host Joy Reid began the segment:
“I’ve had friends emailing me things they’re getting from people — family members and friends on Facebook saying it’s all a lie, they still believe it. They believe his pivot isn’t real. But the danger is real, this keeping away from one another and doing our social distancing only works if everybody does it.”
“If his people don’t believe it and believe the tough coverage is just out to get him rather than trying to save lives, we have a problem.”
Reid is correct. The misinformation machine is strong, and Trump supporters spent a lot of time believing that the virus is an anti-Trump hoax. Some still do, and as a result, are going out and being around people in defiance of social distancing rules – many of them on purpose. This is extremely dangerous for society.
“I mean, look, Joy, the small number of true believer Trumpers who will not be touched by this, I suspect they’ll be going to a lot of funerals because they’re going to be the people who helped spread this. We had a Florida legislator, (Republican) Mike Hill, post on Facebook, on Friday afternoon I think, a bunch of guys joking they’re not going to do social distancing, they’re going to go out, blah, blah blah.”
“These people who believe everything Donald Trump says, spent seven weeks hearing this is a fake thing, it’s a hoax, the media is out to get him and this is where science and the trump reality bubble collide. And those people that are laughing it off right now are going to be the ones who have a proximate responsibility for the fact this is going to take longer and cost more lives than it should have.”
I hate to say it, but Rick Wilson is exactly right. Trump’s brainwashed cult of followers will see death and still not believe what is happening, even right before their eyes.
That is how cults operate. Even at the point of literal death, they will remain lost.
That sort of behavior going to cost all of us. There is a chance much of this was entirely preventable, yet literally more people are going to die simply because a large portion of the population won’t believe the truth.
Featured image credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr
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Shannon Barber is a progressive queer feminist and budding political scientist. She is passionate about issues of social justice, including but not limited to racial equality, criminal justice reform, pro-Black politics, and LGBTQ equality. She hopes to change the world, one mind at a time.