Give Me A Frappuccino or Give Me Death!

To be sure, the Coronavirus pandemic has crippled the U.S. economy. Millions of small to mid-sized businesses are under enormous financial stress, and to date almost 40 million people have lost their jobs as a result of the shelter in place orders that have been issued across the country. Anyone who thinks that we’re going to have a V-shape recovery in the third quarter of this year should probably check themselves into a half-way house as soon as possible.

I can’t even begin to imagine the hell these people must be going through. I don’t blame a single one of them for being frustrated and, yes, even angry at the prospect of watching their life’s work go down the drain. And for the more than 40 percent of American workers who live paycheck to paycheck, many of them are going to come face to face with unspeakable economic ruin, the likes of which haven’t been seen in this country since the Great Depression.

But let’s get one thing straight: do NOT confuse the anguish these people are going through with the antics of thousands of morons who have taken to the streets dressing up like Rambo and protesting the stay at home orders that have been issued by their governors. These people are no patriots; they’re thugs. Period! And whether they’re congregating outside the steps of the capital building in Lansing, Michigan or parading along the streets of Commack, New York, it makes no difference.

I have seen a lot of stupidity in my day, but these “protesters” take the cake. The idea that wearing a mask and standing six feet apart from one another somehow represents an infringement upon their personal liberty isn’t just bizarre; it’s the sort of psychosis trained professionals have spent their entire lives trying to treat. I swear if you told these idiots that taking a deep breath would violate their constitutional rights, most of them would choose to suffocate.

Oh, if it were only that simple!

But while they don’t represent the vast majority of the citizens of this country – many of whom are more worried about opening up the economy too soon – they are certainly the most vocal in their opposition to what their states are doing. And while they certainly have a right to express their opinions, that doesn’t give them the right to threaten not just their local officials, but members of the press and media who are unfortunate enough to show up and cover their events.

Case in point, a reporter from a local news channel who happened to show up to cover a protest organized by the Setauket Patriots that took place on Jericho Turnpike in Commack, New York a few days ago. The reporter wanted to interview some of the protestors. Instead he was not only met with hostility, but threatened by some of the protesters, one of whom was carrying a sign that read, “HANG FAUCI, HANG GATES, OPEN UP ALL OUR STATES.” Well if nothing else, at least we know the asshole can rhyme.

Naturally, President Bonespurs couldn’t help but tweet his support for these scumbags. As a result, an event that might’ve gotten the attention of maybe a few thousand people wound up getting the attention of millions. And that was their whole point: to gain the national notoriety they would otherwise never have gotten. And it came, innocently enough, courtesy of a cable news channel that was only trying to do its job. I’ll say this for Trump and his supporters; they could write a book on media manipulation. They couldn’t read it, mind you, but they sure as shit could right it.

I have been pleading with the press and the media for years to cut Trump off; to deprive him, as it were, of the oxygen he needs to spread his three-alarm fire across the country. Sadly, those pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Like a heroine addict who can’t get straight, the media is incapable of resisting this man. If The Washington Post and The New York Times were former wives of his, there’d be an order of protection issued against him; that’s how much he’s threatened and abused them.

But while Trump can call them fake news all he wants, deep down he knows he needs them in order to get reelected. There’s only so much Fox News and The Wall Street Journal can do for his sagging poll numbers. To win, he needs coverage, and these protests give him the perfect platform to spin the worst response to a national crisis in over a century to his advantage.

Trump is a master deflector. Instead of owning up to his mistakes, which would be normal in any person with a soul, he denies all responsibility and instead looks for people to blame. During this pandemic, he has blamed the Chinese government, the WHO, the Obama Administration, the Democratic governors and, of course, his favorite target, the media. Everyone, it seems, is to blame but him. Like most sociopaths, his ability to lie at will is his greatest asset. Rather than retreat and come up with a plan B, he doubles down on plan A.

Even now, with all the country is going through, he has 40 percent of the population believing he’s doing a good job. Mark my words, political scientists will be teaching courses on this man for generations to come.

But my concern here isn’t what will be written about him in the future, but how much attention the media is giving him now. The simple fact is that if reporters didn’t show up at their disgusting rallies, these modern-day avengers would eventually go home. Really, how many times can people prance around like deranged super heroes before they realize no one’s there to pay attention to them? Ever see a parent ignore a spoiled child? After several minutes of ranting and raving, the little brat finally has an epiphany and calms down.

I’m not suggesting these people are capable of rational thought. Let’s not forget we’re talking about Trump supporters, so rationality isn’t something we should expect from them. They can dress up like Rambo to their heart’s content, but even Sylvester Stallone knew when it was time to take off the makeup and go home.

We all remember that classic philosophical question, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” I submit the question is irrelevant. The real question should read, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, will anyone know or even care that it made a sound?” By their very nature, all things are capable of producing a sound. It is only our proximity to them that determines whether or not we can hear it. Or, more to the point, whether or not we even care about it.

Author: Peter Fegan

Progressive but pragmatic. Lover of music, die-hard Giants' fan and reluctant Mets' fan. My favorite motto? I'd rather be ruled by a smart Turk than a dumb Christian.

What say you, the people?