There is no other story right now but the Covid-19 catastrophe we're enduring.
That's not to say that issues like climate change, the economic downturn, or the threat to national employment rates are not worth our attention, but whilst the deluded man-child in the White House ignores his own job and provides us with no leadership, we are caught in a historic tragedy without end.
This bad situation is made so much worse by the silent cowardice of the GOP. It's over a month since the election ended and most of them refuse to confirm what is apparent to all of them, that Trump lost and that Joe Biden is the president-elect.
It's not a small thing, to let an increasingly unhinged would-be autocrat indulge his Neronian fantasies of conspiracy and malfeasance about the election. It's not a small thing when elected leaders fail to provide what they were elected to do, show leadership.
Over 3000 people a day are dying of Covid-19 here now, a 9/11 number of fatalities each day, a death every 30 seconds. The United States has the most cases in the world and it's spreading like wildfire.
Against that tragic backdrop, Trump has sent his lawyer Rudy Giuliani to crisscross the country making baseless claims that the election he lost was actually stolen from him, because for Trump, the needless deaths of his fellow Americans will never be as important as protecting his ego from the raw truth.
The former New York mayor, in performing this grotesque vanity service, has become a grotesque parody of himself, with his dripping hair dye, his breaking wind, and his bizarre photo-ops held in an industrial estate sandwiched between porn shops and crematoriums.
This weekend it was announced that Giuliani, who has been ostentatiously maskless for all of his public appearances, has caught the coronavirus, surprising only himself I assume. On Thursday, he was discharged from Georgetown University Hospital after receiving a level of care not available to the general public.
The nation getting past this calamity is not Trump's focus, getting even with all those he feels have stolen his birthright to power is. None of his indifference to the public crisis or lack of leadership makes sense until you accept that he simply does not care what is happening to the American people.
So what is the lesson of the Trump era? What did all that chaos and calamity teach you about the nation and the unprecedented dangers he represented to our democracy? What is the take-away that teaches you how to spot a demagogue and protect the country from their ego and excesses?
The lesson is as laughable as the man. Like the fairy Tinkerbell in Peter Pan, if he doesn't get the attention he withers and loses his grasp. His leadership is only effective if you believe in it, if you attend his delusional rallies and clap your hands, because it's all dependent on your interest, all of it, stop believing in it for a second and he loses his grasp.
Part of Trump's sickening refusal to concede is an obvious money grift. If he admits that he lost the election his supporters will stop sending him their cash donations, because America doesn't back a losing horse.
But the more troubling part of the ongoing refusal is down to his ego. He can't accept that he was a one-and-done, single term president, voted out by a truly historic margin by a nation that had seen and heard enough.
His refusal is a kind of tragic madness and it will only intensify, drilling down on fantasy because fantasy protects his ego from the stark message a narcissist like Trump cannot accept: he lost. He's a loser. In fact, he's a historic loser. Capital L.
“I'm finding it hard to hold my rage and my anguish together. We are watching a lack of action by the federal leadership in this country that feels almost criminal. It is depraved indifference at a level I cannot quite articulate,” says @chrislhayes on Covid-19. pic.twitter.com/qXgOKQYfd0— All In with Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) December 10, 2020
Real losers can never accept a loss, you see. It's like spiritual annihilation to them. So instead he crows that the election was “rigged” and the loss was really a “win” and the votes were “fake” and the result was “fixed.” Trump is not a sophisticated man, he wears his mania right up front where you can see it.
But it really is something to see to watch the grown men and women of the GOP co-conspire in this dangerous, deluded pantomime. It is tragic to hear their lamentable silence as the nation cries out for mature leadership, not lemmings.