The Diana virus is infecting the world. The symptoms of the resulting pandemic include mass hysteria, grossly sentimental effluvia, acute self-righteousness, moral torpor, aesthetic paralysis and highly contagious loss of taste.
And by George, the disease is lethal. As in George Floyd, hailed as a hero and martyr in the US and beyond. This strikes me as incongruous.
After all, heroes and martyrs are role models for all to venerate and follow. Yet I’m not sure that a drug-addled career criminal is suited for that role.
In fact I’m sure he isn’t, especially considering that Floyd’s crimes included such distinctly unsaintly acts as aggravated assault and armed robbery. Not to mention that the fatal incident resulted from Floyd, flying high on meth, being caught red-handed by a green-handed sales clerk (whose fingers turned green from contact with a $20 note George had counterfeited somewhat clumsily).
There exists a semantic distinction between a hero and a victim, which seems to be lost on the mob. Floyd was as far from a hero as it’s possible to get this side of Jack the Ripper, but a victim of a crime he undoubtedly was. So by all means demand maximum prison terms for the criminals, and I hope they get them, but please, please, spare us the emetic displays.
But they won’t, will they? Once the Diana virus gets out of hand, it’s unstoppable.
Unlike other popular viruses, however, it produces a curious side effect. The carriers demand that the unaffected individuals, especially those in the public eye, submit to the infection willingly and with a broad smile on their faces or, better still, tears filling their eyes.
Disgruntled Gen Mattis, ex-Defense Secretary unceremoniously fired by Trump, vented his rancour by attacking the president for being infection-free. Writing in The Atlantic, a magazine not generally known for Republican sympathies, the good general got his own back:
“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people… Instead, he tries to divide us… Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens…”
Allow me to propose a factually correct ending to the last sentence: “… to burn cities down, throw Molotov cocktails at police cars, loot shops, attack policemen and force an imposition of curfews in major cities.”
Actually, the last time I looked none of these rights was mentioned in the US Constitution. Peaceful protest, however, is indeed protected by the First Amendment to that document. So does the general think that Trump called for the National Guard and troops to be deployed in response to the people exercising their right “peaceably to assemble”? If he does, he justifies the mad part of his ‘Mad Dog’ nickname.
As to Trump being divisive, that is the common leitmotif in the liberal press, which is to say the press. Chaps working for the New York Times, The Washington Post, most TV networks and, for that matter, The Atlantic brainwash the gullible populace, successfully, with messages of Trump’s divisiveness.
What supposedly makes Trump have that deplorable effect is his open contempt for the Beltway establishment and also his tendency not only to sound conservative (in the American sense), but even to implement some conservative policies.
The liberals know that the voting public won’t be repelled by Trump’s real failings, those I find repellant, such as his narcissism, illiteracy, bumptiousness, vulgarity, dubious dealings with Putin. Hence they have to repeat ad nauseum that Trump divides the nation, meaning doesn’t let it sink into the morass of ‘liberal’ uniformity.
How, according to Mattis and other victims of dianafication, is Trump supposed to heal the wounds of the nation? By being photographed hugging a black woman, like Terrence Monahan, NYPD Department Chief? Why, he’d be accused of sexual harassment faster than you can say Harvey Weinstein.
Anyway, if a soppy speech, a strategically placed hug and a tear or two can unite a nation torn asunder, how disunited was it in the first place? Not very, I’d suggest.
Do people really expect Trump to turn touchy-feely in his advanced age? If so, they are in for a let-down. At least he never pretended to be an old softie when they voted him into the White House. Or is Trump expected to tell those arsonists and looters that he feels their pain, shares it and – by George! – he’d be tossing Molotov cocktails too if only he weren’t president?
Would that unify the nation Trump has so egregiously divided? I don’t know how many Americans would wish to be united with the crazed mob, but I suspect not many.
When Trump talked tough, he was threatening not peaceful demonstrators but looters. And force is the only way to deal with a rampaging, marauding mob. When looting talks, conciliation walks.
If some people have a craving for nauseating spectacles, they don’t need the president to provide them. The sight of policemen ‘taking the knee’ in abject surrender to the horde in American cities and even in London (!) should satisfy that appetite – especially if accompanied by cops marching with the multitudes and even giving the Black Power salute.
The only reason for policemen to go down on one knee is to create a more solid platform for firing a rifle – unless of course they are being knighted. If they wish to express solidarity with the protesters, they should do so off-duty, not when trying to stop an onslaught with riot shields.
Does it ever occur to the guardians of the peace that the very fact they have to wield riot shields suggests that the demonstrations aren’t entirely peaceful? And hence kowtowing to the mob represents a gross dereliction of duty? No, obviously not.
The world is in the grip of the Diana virus, ultimately more toxic than Covid-19. The latter can only kill the individual body and lighten the wallet. The former is killing the collective soul.