Donald Trump declaring that he wanted to avoid a panic is akin to a hedge fund manager not wanting to make money or a porn star not wanting to have an orgasm. It’s what they love, it’s what they do. Nevertheless, that is the revelation coming out of Bob Woodward’s new book. President Trump was caught on tape choosing to lie to the American people about the reality and dangers of Covid-19 rather than cause a panic.
It’s amazing really, Trump lied to the American people, but while he was admitting the truth to Woodward, he was still telling another lie. Trump is incapable of self-reflection, so he probably doesn’t realize it. Either way he’s sticking to that panic story line.
He told reporters on Wednesday that “We had to show calm. The last thing we can show is panic or excitement or fear or anything else,” He then told Sean Hannity on Fox News that “I’m the leader of the country, I can’t be jumping up and down and scaring people.”
Anyone willing to pay attention, however, knows Trump has made his political career on causing panic, excitement, and fear. It wouldn’t be a stretch to call his whole presidency four years of “panic, fear and mayhem.”
Panic at the Border
To illustrate my point, the first thing he did after announcing his candidacy in 2015 was to incite fear and panic about immigration at the Mexican Border. “They’re sending people that have a lot of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists,” he said.
Before the 2018 midterms, he doubled down. He claimed that women traveling to the U.S. in a migrant caravan were being “raped at levels nobody has ever seen before.” He said later that “some very bad people” were heading to the U.S.-Mexico border, declaring “this is an invasion of our Country.”
Panic at the Airports
Trump’s Islamophobia has also been the center of his fear and panic campaigns. His Muslim ban was actually an executive order titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.”
Residents from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, mostly countries the United States had recently bombed, were banned from entry in the U.S. because of unsubstantiated terrorist fears.
“Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life” Trump once said.
Panic in the Streets
“If I don’t win, America’s Suburbs will be OVERRUN with Low Income Projects, Anarchists, Agitators, Looters and, of course, ‘Friendly Protesters,’” Trump tweeted recently. He has repeatedly called Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters “thugs” and “domestic terrorists.”
President Trump said of his Democratic opponent Joe Biden that “If you elected this guy, the suburbs would be overwhelmed with violence and crime.” Biden has said he plans to expand a housing rental assistance program for low-income people, but Trump has taken issue with it saying it would destroy “the American dream.”
Panic at the Post Office
Trump has been fear mongering about the so-called “unfairness” in our elections before and after he won in 2016. But now in 2020, as he trails Biden in the polls, he’s saying that mail in voting is “The only way they can take this election away from us ― if it is a rigged election.”
Since May, Trump has called mail-in voting “a very dangerous thing.” And would lead to “the Election disaster of our time,” “the scandal of our times” and “the most RIGGED Election in our nation’s history.” Last month he went further suggesting falsely that ballot boxes are a COVID-19 risk.
Panic on Wall Street
If Democrats win, Wall Street loses. If only that were true. Voting for Biden will ensure another great depression if President Trump were to be believed, but the fact of the matter is, like Clinton before Biden, Wall Street prefers Democrats.
He said recently at a rally in New Hampshire, “You have no choice but to vote for me because your 401(k), everything is going to be down the tubes. So, whether you love me or hate me, you’ve got to vote for me.”
Panic and fear is just how Trump works. It’s how he won the first time; it’s how he might do the same again. For him to say he wanted to show calm without inciting fear or panic is just plain ridiculous. He just didn’t want to face it, or handle it.