Donald Trump’s Deadly Crowd Addiction
Why the renewal of campaign mass rallies may get the U.S. President sued, despite waivers being signed.
June 15, 2020
Donald Trump claims that he never consumed a beer in his life. His ostensible purpose has been to avoid the fate of his older brother Freddy, who died from alcoholism in 1981.
While it is hard to believe the current U.S. President on that issue as on almost any other one, let us give him the benefit of the doubt on this particular point, even given his excessive partying in the 1980s and 1990s.
Trump’s adoration addiction
But Donald Trump suffers from a very special form of addiction — the chronic need for popular adoration, adulation and mass approval.
That is why he licensed his name to adorn dozens of buildings around the world with his name in gaudy golden letters (Donald Trump actually has not “developed” or “built” much).
And that is why he created the now-defunct Trump University (not much of a university), the now discontinued Trump steak (not good enough a steak) or the long-defaulted Trump Shuttle.
And it is surely why he found it so fulfilling to be the host of a reality TV show and ultimately a presidential candidate.
When an addict goes dry
But as every addict knows, with each fix the craving for the next buzz only grows bigger. It is an awful and vicious cycle.
With each campaign event during the 2016 presidential race, where tens of thousands admiring fans chanted and cheered their leader, his hunger for more grew and grew. This is one of the reasons why Donald Trump filed for re-election on the very day of his presidential inauguration on January 20, 2017.
Trump desperately needs the constant re-affirmation of his presumed greatness from his fanbase. Only campaign rallies give him the fill. In contrast, the actual work of governing bores him to no end.
The pandemic is sucking the air out of Trump’s lungs
And this is finally where the recent pandemic comes in. It has literally starved the President of much needed doses of mass-induced oxygen. No crowds, no adoration equals no fun.
No mass chanting of his slogans, no joyful cheering of his supremacist or misogynist remarks means no energy. No laughing and approving applause for his most discriminatory remarks or for belittling his growing number of opponents translates into deep inner distress for Trump.
Even Trump can’t live on his tweets alone
To be sure, President Trump has been trying very hard for over two months to get the most out of his Twitter feed. It’s his cheap fix — kinda his crack.
But even he simply cannot live on tweets alone, especially since Twitter seems to now occasionally fact-check him and call out his racism.
Trump’s rally cure
And so, Trump has scheduled his first rally since the pandemic broke out. It will take place in Tulsa, Oklahoma next Saturday.
One MILLION ticket requests for President @realDonaldTrump’s rally on Saturday‼️
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) June 16, 2020
Trump is ignoring the advice of all credible health experts, virologists and epidemiologists alike.
He needs his fix — and nobody will stop him
Trump being Trump, he has thought of the eventuality that his rally may indeed lead to a large increase in infections, not just in Oklahoma, but also across other parts of the country.
The reason for that is that his fans usually travel long distances to be with their Great Leader (and then travel back to where they live). But he does not care.
“If You Get Sick, Don’t Blame the Don”
As he has done throughout his professional life, Mr. Trump does not really care about other people. He only cares that he cannot be held accountable or legally liable for any infectious spread caused by his rallies.
And so, the Trump campaign makes every participant sign a legal waiver that would hold Donald Trump harmless in the event should his adorable “red hats” get infected in Tulsa.
The unfixable loophole
There is only one problem with that legal waiver of a lawsuit against Trump. It only binds the people who signed it from suing Trump’s campaign. But it doesn’t bind people who didn’t attend and therefore didn’t sign any waiver, but got exposed to the virus via campaign rally attendees.
This is no theoretical matter. The top Tulsa health official has pointed out that the pandemic is still spiking in Oklahoma. In large parts of the nation, an extensive web of testing and tracing has been put in place (without the President’s help, to be sure).
This web might very well lead to lay the groundwork for civil and criminal suits against Donald Trump, if non-attendees fall ill or die from COVID 19 because they were infected by sick or sickened attendees of the rally.
The sad truth about an addict
But just as many addicts, Donald Trump is aware of the possibly deadly consequences of his rallies as well as his potential legal culpability for these consequences. And as is sadly true for most addicts, Trump’s addiction to his followers’ worship overrides all rational thinking even in the face of death.
Bunker Boy may need all the help he can get to extract himself from this and other legal nightmares at the end of his term.
And yet, none of that really matters. His crowd addiction reigns supreme. If that means Trump rallies, directly and indirectly, end up killing people via spreading of the coronavirus, the current U.S. President isn’t worried about that at all.
If push comes to shove, he’ll just have his campaign organization declare bankruptcy. Trump knows all about that.
Donald Trump suffers from a very special form of addiction -- the chronic need for popular adoration, adulation and mass approval.
The coronavirus pandemic has literally starved Trump of much needed doses of mass-induced oxygen. No crowds, no adoration = no fun.
Even Trump can’t live on his tweets alone -- especially since Twitter seems to now occasionally fact-check him and call out his racism.
As he has done throughout his professional life, Trump does not really care about other people. He only cares that he cannot be held accountable or legally liable