Thursday, June 25, 2020


We know that President Trump believes in the Power of Positive Thinking, so if you have less testing for the coronavirus you'll have fewer cases, and you'll develop a positive mental attitude about the virus, and then it will go away, like magic.
Rallying the faithful in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday night, President Trump opined that “testing is a double-edged sword,” explaining that “when you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people; you’re going to find more cases. So I said to my people, ‘Slow the testing down please.’”

The president confessing to a deliberate effort to sabotage Covid-19 testing would, of course, be a huge scandal, so his senior staff immediately began explaining that he was just joking. But on Tuesday in an impromptu interview, Trump said, “I don’t kid,” and in a tweet that morning he reiterated what appears to be his real view, which is that whether or not he has actually been sabotaging testing, he kind of wishes he was because all case growth, in his opinion, is an artifact of testing.

... In the earliest days of the outbreak in the United States, Trump quipped that he didn’t really want to see sick passengers onboard the Grand Princess cruise ship come ashore for treatment because “I like the numbers where they are.”
Trump isn't kidding about any of this. Trump believes that if you deny an unpleasant reality, then it ceases being reality.

This is good to know when Trump is trailing by 14 points in the most recent head-to-head election poll, and also trailing by double digits in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, while losing by smaller margins in Florida, Arizona, and North Carolina.

There's no question that Trump has little or no interest in preserving America's system of democracy if it stands in the way of him getting what he wants. There's no question that America is going through several crises that Trump could use as an authoritarian pretext for postponing or canceling the November election. There's no question that his attorney general would back him up if he did that, and that Senate Republicans would do nothing, and that his own appointees on the federal bench are quite likely to back him up.

But I continue to believe that we don't have to worry about a canceled or postponed election, because even if the polls remain awful for Trump all the way into the fall, he simply won't believe them. Not believing them, you see, makes them untrue. That's the Power of Positive Thinking.

The Trump campaign recently sent a threatening cease-and-desist letter after CNN released a poll Trump didn't like. Back in June 2019, Trump fired several pollsters who working for his campaign because the numbers then showed Biden with a substantial lead.

I think we'll have an election, but only because Trump thinks he can banish bad news through the sheer force of his mind and his will. I think he'll believe he can win even if he's 20 points down in late October. He'll lash out at everyone who tells him he's losing -- and, yes, he'll cry fraud after the votes are counted. But I think he'll allow the election to happen, because bad polls are like high numbers of coronavirus positives: If you don't report the bad news, it doesn't exist.

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