Requiem for a Heavyweight

Could it be that Donald Trump leaves office, if indeed he leaves, a more impressive figure than the collective image of his opponents? I think so.

Here Andrew Klavan in the Daily Wire praises his balcony moment:

It was, one pollster told me, an electoral disaster for him. It seemed to confirm the narrative being sold by the media: the narrative that any gathering that was not specifically dedicated to destroying America with anarchic violence and racial animus was a super-spreader event that would strike us down in our millions. Trump rallies were especially dangerous. Their pure evil doubled COVID’s strength. We had to be afraid. We had to wear masks. Full-body leather outfits like the one in “American Horror Story” were preferable. Wear them loose so they don’t stop you from shivering in your shoes.

And now Trump, a walking co-morbidity whose enormous frame was mostly composed of old French Fries, had caught the death-dealing WuFlu just as they warned he would. In a tight campaign, his approval rating dropped several points in mere days.

Then he was fine. Good treatment worked. He shook off the Great Death like a dog shaking off water. He was back home in a couple of days, looking great.

“One thing’s for certain,” he told America. “Don’t let it dominate you. Don’t be afraid of it. You’re gonna beat it.”

Then he walked out onto the balcony and tore off his mask like a boss.

Immediately, the media began shrieking like a party of 11-year-old girls after a mouse got loose.

“What does that mean, ‘Don’t be afraid of it?’” gasped CNN Medical Commentator Sanjay Gupta. “It’s a contagious disease that kills people!”

“Everyone should be afraid of COVID!” said Wolf Blitzer.

“It’s okay to be afraid of COVID,” said Jake Tapper. “And it’s okay that it’s dominating your life because it has dominated your life!”

The message couldn’t be clearer.

Trump: Don’t be afraid!

Media: Be afraid!

(…)

My point is simply this. For all his flaws and P.T. Barnum eccentricities, there is more of the spirit that made this country great in Donald Trump’s little finger than there is in the quivering bodies of Jake Tapper, Wolf Blitzer, and Kate Brown tarred together and covered with feathers, which is not a bad idea. For their puling fear-mongering, their womanish horror at the sight of brash courage, and their “expert” attempts to demolish every tradition and tie that keeps this country strong and makes life worth living, they should, every damn one of them, make like a turkey, and get stuffed.

With God’s help, we’ll make it through the coming years of government-by-swamp. But I’ll miss the man on the balcony.

Already forgotten is the poetic ruin Covid was supposed to have leveled on Trump when it landed in the White House. Unfortunately for those trying to save democracy from Trump, nobody died. Covid swept through the White House with all the fury of the seasonal flu. No one in the media’s playing fair of course, so the anticipated political disaster didn’t redound on Trump’s opponents and become their own, as it should have. On one side was Trump, saying don’t panic, Covid isn’t the end of the world. On the other, the proponents of panic. Along comes Covid itself to settle the question in dramatic fashion. It’s a remarkable story; too bad it’s slated for the memory hole.

The political class could only denounce Trump on the balcony as political theater and note Mussolini once stood on a balcony (maskless too!), but the president had earned it. If it was political theater it was also political theater as leadership, with admirable intent–not to gin up a war or slander, say, white people, but to boost the nation’s morale. Such a gesture would have been considered a necessity even in America not long ago, and performed by a media darling would be portrayed glowingly.

The media fashioned the Covid narrative along the lines of a war effort. But comically inverted. Young men were not to answer the call but to shelter at home. Everyone must be afraid. Report those who aren’t. Take cover not courage. We will hide behind the hedgerows.

If Covid were an honest crisis, not distorted by hysterics and duplicity, Trump’s bit of theater would have been just the sort of thing expected. As such it compares most favorably with the Democrats’ own political theater on the theme of the Mask, which was to have Joe Biden conspicuously wear one; no sooner had the media settled on the theme when Joe Biden started appearing everywhere in his, a little askew at first. All of a sudden Joe Biden, infamously oblivious of others’ personal space, is beaming proudly, over his mask, ten feet away from the nearest human. Look at me, I’m compliant. A curious pitch for the job of Leader of the Free World. But honest, if you think about it: this is the president’s role now–in particular the role of Joe–to comply.

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