A new book released by Donald Trump's niece revealed what anyone who has been paying attention already knew: sociopathy dominated Trump’s upbringing and he clearly didn't escape its grasp.
But what also became crystal clear this week is that the standard-bearer of the GOP has turned it into nothing short of a band of sociopaths masquerading as a political party.
Perhaps Trump's wild lie last weekend that 99% of coronavirus cases are "totally harmless" wasn't a surprise at this point—the man lies about everything and has an exceedingly estranged relationship with objective reality. But watching White House chief of staff Mark Meadows enthusiastically defend the claim revealed just how depraved Trump’s cronies in the administration have become.
Asked whether Trump had simply been generalizing on Fox News Monday, Meadows refused to take that somewhat face-saving out, instead defending Trump's lie with gusto. “I don’t even know it’s a generalization,” Meadows said, adding, “The vast majority of people are safe from this" and "the facts and the statistics back us up there."
No, they don't. It's a bald-faced, life-and-death lie, told with zero compunction or concern for the people Meadows might be leading to their death beds.
Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, retweeted Meadows appearance, saying bluntly, "This messaging will kill people." Tanden added, "I am healthy, under 50, exercise regularly, and this virus hit me for 6 weeks."
Still, Meadows continued pushing his lethal lie with White House reporters. "A lot of these cases are asymptomatic," he said, claiming the 99% figure came from "actual numbers" and adding, "You can look at numbers a number of different ways."
In other words, we're sticking with our alternative facts despite the death and destruction they will surely perpetuate as the coronavirus rips through the country. Indeed, Friday marked the seventh day in the last 11 of record-setting new infection rates nationwide.
But wait, it gets sicker. The Washington Post would also report Monday that the White House goal was to "convince Americans they can live with virus," rather than mounting any concerted effort to stop or mitigate its spread. In fact, the entire White House strategy was to let the pandemic so wildly ravage the country that the data would start to feel meaningless to the electorate, and they'd simply get used to the threat.
White House officials also hope Americans will grow numb to the escalating death toll and learn to accept tens of thousands of new cases a day, according to three people familiar with the White House’s thinking,
Seriously, what kind of dystopian hellscape produces this kind of "thinking"? Only one that is overrun with sociopaths.
But this misanthropic depravity clearly doesn't just start and stop at the White House doors, it has seeped into the DNA of the entire party just the way the sociopathy of Trump's father, Fred Trump, rained down on his family.
Witness Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst claiming last Sunday that Trump has been "stepping forward" on the pandemic in response to a question about 130,000 Americans already dying on his watch. When just 2 Americans died during the 2014 Ebola outbreak, Ernst had said Barack Obama exhibited "failed leadership." But Trump and his cronies intentionally marching more Americans to their graves is apparently "stepping forward." Keep in mind, Ernst gave that response just one day after Trump declared COVID-19 "99%" safe for the public.
But Ernst isn't the exception, she's the rule. Her response is emblematic of an entire conspiracy among Senate Republicans to explicitly avoid drawing the wrath of Trump in pursuit of maintaining their majority.
In a closed-door party lunch last week, veteran GOP pollster Frank Luntz advised Republican senators not to disavow the president, but to put some daylight between themselves and Trump, according to two people familiar with his presentation
The idea is for them to subtly signal their independence on issues that play well back home without ever upsetting madman Trump or his acolytes. Senate Republicans up for reelection this cycle need the votes of his loyal supporters too badly to risk losing them, so instead of taking a decisive and moral stand against Trump’s dangerous disinformation, they're trying to win over independents and swing voters with a trail of breadcrumbs.
“The sweet spot is finding real ways to show your independence and to do it in ways that don’t antagonize the base,” Republican strategist Matt Gorman, vice president at the consulting firm Targeted Victory, told the Post.
In other words, the "sweet spot" is standing silently by while Trump and his top lieutenants lead Americans to slaughter in some sort of wicked frog-in-boiling-water scheme.
That's what's left of the Republican party—silence in the face of death to achieve one's own ends. Sociopaths—all of them—from the White House to the lawmakers to the strategists. It's one big sick family made in the image of the sociopath in chief, Trump.