If you can put aside for a moment the stupefying amount of unnecessary death and suffering involved, the MAGA revolt against their own dictator over the COVID-19 vaccine is a fascinating development. Here is where the metaphor I introduced earlier in this blog, of the “very stable genius” dictator as the second coming of the “Greatest Genius of All Times and All Peoples,” Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, breaks down. On no account was any Soviet citizen during Stalin’s 25-year reign allowed to dissent from any of the the GGATAP’s pronouncements. Anyone doing so even in her own apartment, with the shades drawn, whispering her thoughts to her closest family members, risked arrest, exile to the Gulag, and death. The VSG would love to have that sort of power, but he does not, and while the “cult of personality” within the Party and among his base does have Stalinoid features, it is becoming increasingly clear that there is a mass MAGA mind undergoing its own malicious development.
If some fan of the dictator were to try to draft a Little Red Book of VSG-Thought, he would have to record all the contradictory features of the great man’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the one hand, he acted swiftly to prevent those sneaky Chinese from entering the United States carrying the plague! On the other hand, the whole thing was concocted by Deep State Elites and Enemy of the People media to ruin his presidency! Nobody did as much and him and his son-in-law to generously distribute PPE (all of which was their personal property) to the public! If you don’t like it, why not try drinking bleach and opening up your asshole to the sunlight! You, Jonathan Q. Public, should take horse medicine against the pandemic, while the Very Stable Genius gets the very best of care when he gets sick! Dr. Fauci and the other scientists are committing lèse–majesté against the VSG! But the dictator alone deserves all credit for the vaccines they invented! Masks are for pussies, though the dictator himself, long before COVID-19 was a twinkle in the eye of a pickled bat, was infamous for dousing his hands in sanitizer after every handshake. And so on.
Viewed in this light, you can’t really blame the MAGAs for settling on their own version of things, which is that COVID-19 is “overblown,” we chosen people won’t ever get sick with it, masks and vaccines are violations of our “freedom,” and anyway, screw you Jack, I’ve got mine. This weltanschauung comes in different flavors for the discerning MAGA consumer, of course. For the Q-Anons, the whole pandemic is a gigantic hoax concocted for sinister purposes by the Clintons and George Soros. For those who are still within hailing distance of reality, the pandemic is real, but it affects only unfortunate other people like Black welfare queens and old people who are no longer contributing to the economy, so how dare you ask us to run the slightest inconvenience? It says right here in the MAGA version of the Bill of Rights that we have the right to bear arms, arm bears, spew foul racism at the tops of our lungs, and also to spew germs everywhere if we so choose, so help us God.
Here again, we see a point of similarity with Stalin’s followers, many of whom were arbitrarily arrested and would shout hysterically in the faces of the firing squad, “Long Live Stalin!” Just so, it is well attested that many MAGAs dying of COVID-19 will insist with their labored last breaths that they don’t have the hoax-disease. And here I will insert my own quiet plea for compassion. I too have an inner H.L. Mencken that chortles with vengeful glee every time some boob who bellowed that there is no such thing as COVID-19 and he would never get no damn vaccine croaks his last on a ventilator. But a quieter voice within me imagines his physical and mental suffering, and the lifelong mourning of his children and his wife and his brothers and his sisters, a pulse of pain expanding endlessly throughout the universe. You have that voice within you too, dear reader. Listen to it.
Regardless of how we feel, though, history marches on. Anyone care to bet that if the VSG does drop dead before ’24 from the organ damage he sustained during his own near-death brush with COVID-19, the MAGA mob will simply disperse? I will place any amount you care to name on the counter-proposition.