Caution: Low-flying Black Swans, by James Howard Kunstler

Don’t think that coronavirus will knock President Trump out of the ballgame. It may even help him. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

The New York Times almost wet its panties breaking the pre-dawn news that the president has tested positive for coronavirus. By the end of day, Democrats across the land — or, at least, up and down the east and west coasts — will be gathering unto Santeria shrines, lighting MAGA hats on fire, sacrificing chickens, drawing Wiccan pentangles in the moonlight, and entreating all the other unseen powers of Providence to rapture Mr. Trump into everlasting oblivion somewhere beyond the crab nebula.

The Judeo-Christian God of our fathers must have a special animus for the Golden Golem of Greatness. He / She / It / or They have heaped more tribulation on Mr. Trump than on the biblical Job of Uz, anguishing in Yahweh’s holy whirlwind. RussiaGate, VeryFinePeopleGate, UkraineGate, BoltonGate, now this! It typically takes about four days for Covid-19 symptoms to present, so early next week sometime the world will know if the bug made the president sick or if he shook it off like just another impeachment effort. The ordeal will also be an interesting test of the hydroxychloroquine + zinc regimen Mr. Trump says he’s been on.

The joyful hysteria in the mainstream news is so boisterous this morning that The Times hasn’t even played its obvious next card, which, I guarantee you, will be an effort to postpone the hearings over SCOTUS nominee Amy Coney Barrett on account of coronavirus being on-the-loose among government officials. I’m pretty sure that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will keep a firm hand on the tiller of that ship — even if the darn proceeding has to go full Zoom meeting, they will git’er done (as we say in Deplorable Land).

If the virus doesn’t knock Mr. Trump on his ass, I imagine we’ll be seeing quite a lot of him campaigning by video in quarantine, old game-show performer that he is. I wouldn’t even rule out some updated Oval Office versions of The Apprentice, with the president taking the opportunity to dismiss a few of the seditionists still lurking in government. Gina Haspel, you’re fired! Christopher Wray, you’re fired! Michael Horowitz, take a hike! General Mark Milley, you’re busted to corporal! Remember, the old Chinese word for crisis, weiji, means a combo of danger and opportunity.

Of course, there are small-but-real odds that the disease could make Mr. Trump very ill, or even launch him up to that great boardroom in the sky. What then? Does Veep Mike Pence carry on in his place? Or do the Trump forces in the GOP bring in Rick Grenell or Johnny Ratcliffe as an emergency candidate for president? Just as in the case of mass mail-in voting, this is a scenario the country hasn’t run before.

Technically, Mr. Trump’s two-week quarantine will be over by October 15, just in the nick of time for the second debate with Joe Biden. But Ol’ White Joe is sure to demur on that meet-up for reasons of virus exposure risk — though his peeps seemed less than eager for Round Two even before last night’s announcement of the president’s positive test.  If that happens, and the president comes through his infection in good shape, then Mr. Biden will be seen as a weakling, which, technically, he is on cognitive grounds, apart from his inherent character deformities.

The focus in days ahead surely will be on Mr. Trump’s medical condition, but there’s plenty more action in the offing as October rolls out. There’s the aforementioned Amy Coney Barrett SCOTUS business, there are new rumblings out of John Durham’s office just in the past few days that something consequential may be up there, and there is the stalemate on a coronavirus relief bill in Congress.

The latter matter hints at the catastrophe lurking in the background of the election: the stupendous mass bankruptcy of unemployed or laid-off middle-class people whose rent and mortgage payment holidays will eventually run out, not to mention car payments and all the other overdue, usual, rotating bills each household must pay to stay above water. After half a year of lockdowns, millions are on the brink of financial ruin.

Of all the things that have made Americans anxious and hysterical this year, this horror of middle-class financial ruin has not quite expressed itself overtly in the public arena — at least, not in the streets. For sure, the Antifas and BLM mobs have been active looting, burning, and smashing things up, but many of these are unemployables, and the ones burdened with college debt may be counting on Democratic Party promises of a jubilee on that.

The foundering middle-class may be people most sympathetic to Trump and Trumpism. You can’t sell them on the identity politics nonsense that has become the Dems’ stock-in-trade. Laid-off airline pilots, hair stylists, and insurance adjusters are probably not interested in critical race theory, gender dysphoria, re-imagining law enforcement, able-ism, and the travails of the “neuro-diverse” (the latest term-of-art for the mentally ill). They may also catch a whiff of yet deeper economic calamity in the Democrats’ relish for more lockdowns, and even in the promised “universal basic income” schemes that would pay the able-bodied to not work. The question for this large group is how many will swap their liberty for the very sketchy and conditional security of a Woke nanny state that requires strict obedience to whatever crazy crusade it thinks up next?

There’s your true friction point in the current disposition of things. People used to being busy, productive, and independent may feel a mighty resentment about becoming that kind of society, and they may fight over it. At least they’ll turn out to vote on it. Maybe they’ll do both.

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