Jim Crawford: Trump’s government by narrative
If the Trump administration has taught Americans anything, it is that you cannot accept truth and facts as the final arbitrator of social policy.
In Trump’s estimation, that is old school and obsolete. In the new post-modern world of Donald J. Trump, truth is irrelevant, inconvenient and just flat out wrong.
Consider the case of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longstanding infectious disease expert at the National Institute of Health. The good doctor may think his long years of academic study, his experience with pandemics and his connection to other experts in the scientific community might qualify him to guide the nation through the novel coronavirus pandemic.
He would be wrong because Donald Trump, he of the corona cure by injection of disinfectant solution, disagrees with Fauci.
And when Trump disagrees, lots of things follow his angst. For example, Fox News swings into action with its brazen attempts to discredit the most trusted authority on the pandemic, Fauci.
The Fox attack crosses all commentators, as they seek to enhance the Trump narrative and discredit the actual science and knowledge about pandemics.
The next step in creating the false Trump narrative is to silence Fauci. While allowing Fauci to appear virtually before a Senate committee this week, Trump has refused to allow a House committee any access to the virus experts. In Trump Land, this makes absolute sense, because if someone is going to spread truths that conflict with the Trump narrative, they must be silenced.
And silenced they are.
In February, Dr. Nancy Messonnier was silenced after stating that the pandemic was coming to America. At that time, the president was busy telling the nation that “we have it under control,” while ignoring the timely response that could have saved many lives.
And then there is Dr. Rick Bright. Dr. Bright was the director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority until he complained of partisan interference in science issues and refused to support Trump’s claim that the unproven, and dangerous, drug chloroquine could be a cure for corona. Dr. Bright, now in Trump exile, is fighting his transfer and demotion while warning the nation that America may face its “darkest winter” by re-opening the country prematurely.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, long the central figure in the science of disease control, has been almost totally silenced in Trump Land. Unfortunately, the CDC was prepared to issue guidelines for a successful and safe re-opening strategy for our nation when the Trump folks decided that such guidelines might interfere with their plans to get people out and about, shopping and spending, buying and dying.
This all leaves us with a straightforward choice of who we will believe. Will we believe those lying, scheming, evil scientists and experts? Or will we follow the much more positive expertise of Donald Trump?
Perhaps a brief review might help. The experts have been wrong on several predictions. Apparently, predicting the ebb and flow of a global pandemic by an unknown virus is not as easy as it looks. So, the experts are flawed and, sometimes, just mistaken.
Then there is Donald Trump, an advocate of chloroquine, a drug dangerous to many humans; the supporter of the innovative idea of injecting folks with disinfectant; and Trump, the forward thinker who discovered that sunlight, an enemy of the corona virus, should somehow be shined inside our bodies, orifice unstated but implied.
At the end of the day, the experts will make some misjudgments, but Trump, happy to send us out to spend and die, may actually get a lot of Americans killed, because talk and narrative is not the equal of truth and knowledge.