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Tomorrow’s Day #100

June 20, 2020

Yep, tomorrow’s day #100 … it’s been one hundred days since the state of California implemented its stay at home guidelines.  I’d write about that tomorrow, except it’s also Father’s Day and the Summer Solstice .. and I’ll have much better things to write about!

So here’s a hundredth day-related story, even though we’re only on day 99:

We’re still in the throes of the pandemic. Unlike other countries of the world who are seeing, finally, a decline in cases and a return to normal, the US is not seeing a decline in cases. In fact, in some parts of the country, the rates of infection,  hospitalizations and deaths are increasing dramatically.  This is because Trump has encouraged the relaxation of guidelines so that he can bring the economy back from the dead before the November election.  He’s long dismissed the use of masks because they make everybody, especially him, look weak, and social distancing also sends the wrong message, getting in the way of business as usual. He’s ready to have people put the pandemic behind them and get on with things, start buying stuff again, go to bars and restaurants, travel.  People will die, but people always die… of something. On balance, their dying, whoever they are, is less important than getting the economy back (esp by Nov).

So, against the advice (and to the horror of) every single public health professional coast to coast, Trump planned a huge indoor, germ-spreading rally.. both to get his campaign going and to show the world the pandemic is over. Today was that rally…his first in months, held in deep red, Trump-friendly Tulsa, Oklahoma.

He’s boasted for weeks about predictions that he’d draw record breaking crowds, predictions based on the numbers of tickets requested. He’d fill the hall (20k seats) and the overflow would be in the hundreds of thousands. It was reported that a million people had rsvp’d. The poor city of Tulsa’s been bracing for this for weeks. Trump’s been stoking protestors (he calls them thugs) in hopes that violence and chaos would break out, and had the National Guard at the ready so he could show that he’s the law and order president.

For almost five years now, these rallies have been nauseating, creepy events. His base needs them to maintain their ridiculous fervor, he needs them to juice his ego.. they are frenzies of disturbing pathology as far as the eye can see.  But the worst part about holding this particular stupid rally at this time has been his shocking contempt for the health and safety of these hundreds of thousands of people who are flocking to Tulsa. (Indeed, crowds started building early, like days early, with people camping out on the streets in front of the venue in order to secure a spot .. given so many gazillions of people were going to be vying for one of those 20k seats.) Oklahoma’s one of the states that is seeing Covid cases going up (dramatically). Epidemiologists have been characterizing this as a super-spreader, perfect storm event, with implications beyond just Tulsa.

But he did it anyway.

It’s all terrible. Terrible leadership, as terrible as a thing can be. But something very interesting and unexpected happened today. They were wrong about the numbers. People did not show up in the numbers predicted, by orders of magnitude. Not only were the overflow areas nearly completely devoid of people, the arena had vast bald spots. All those people who slept out on the sidewalk for days on end to ensure a spot, got in easily with space to spare.

It appears Trump and his campaign got punked. It appears that thousands and thousands of teens (and other lefty political groups) mobilized and organized behind the scenes to reserve space at the rally with no intention of going. Wow.

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez tweeted:  “Actually you just got ROCKED by teens on TikTok,”

Simple. Brilliant. And very effective.

They succeeded in creating this fiction of hundreds of thousands of people coming to a rally. But the only ones who showed up were the Trump fans, who alone couldn’t fill the arena. The planners anticipated bazillions more, which necessitated massive supplemental staging and crowd control measures. On his arrival, Trump’s plane circled above to get a look at, and make a show for, the crowds, but no crowds. Trump and Pense were set to address the overflow crowds, but no overflow crowds. The stages had to be broken down, unused.

It’s a temporary little victory.. a nice, well-executed joke at our egomaniacal, soulless president’s expense.

A couple nice photos…

Speaking of We will, we will rock you:

you big disgrace

 

 

And here’s Mr. Ridiculous, raising a fist to a whole lotta empty seats:

 

empty seats

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