Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The Final Solution: Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Remember Hannah Arendt's "the banality of evil?" Without bowing to the enemy, there's an Eichmann or Donald Trump, in all of us. That may explain the confounding nature of his appeal.  In this case the genocide involves the denial of an almost biblical plague that has affected the one of the wealthiest and most powerful countries of the world in a particularly potent way. Speculators on the intentionality of God with respect to man, might even say that Americans are being punished. But amidst all this you have a person who claims that coronavirus is like the emperor’s new clothes. It’s not really there and if it is, it’s going to go away and if doesn’t there will be a vaccine that will cure it before you can say boo. The idea is that to say something is to make it real. That would be a seemingly easy enough premise to disprove. However, the icing on the cake is that even though facile and hopeful iterations may be disproved, one after the other by spiking case counts and death, the baseless cheerleading continues to be swallowed hook line and sinker by a base that's now thrown a conspiracy theory into the mix. Those who criticize the leader are part of a deep state which practices pedophilia. A cartoon vision of reality predicated on magical thinking has now became the lingua franca of American political discussion with in fact Michael Caputo, assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, perpetrating the idea that his colleagues were like the pods in Invasion of the Body Snatchers ("Trump Health Aide Pushes Bizarre Conspiracy and Warns of Armed Revolt," NYT, 9/14/20). Quick fixes. It’s not the message but the messenger. To what lengths will a population go, in terms of denial, to believe in a Second Coming?

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