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Donald Trump, Mass Murderer
Okay, that may be a little misleading. Yes, I think Donald Trump is a murderer, and yes, I think he is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths (so far). But the term “mass murderer,” at least in common parlance, is more appropriate for someone who plans and executes multiple killings. That’s not what we’ve got here. With Trump, it’s a case of murder in the second degree.

Accordingly, I will not place our president in the same category as Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, and Son of Sam. Those murderers killed their victims intentionally. They acted with the specific aim of killing other human beings. Trump does not. His actions are intentional, he does what he does on purpose, but he is not trying to kill someone. On the other hand, he doesn’t really care if someone dies, either. It’s just not part of his calculations.

Simply stated, he is indifferent to human life. He does things that cause the deaths of others — many others — and appears to be fine with it. All that matters to him is how he is affected. My evidence for such a claim? Well, there’s plenty, but let’s go back to March 6 and the incident that first launched the coronavirus into our American consciousness. The Grand Princess cruise ship, with 3500 passengers and crew on board, was idling off the California coast. Twenty-one of those people had tested positive for the virus, and they were awaiting instructions for how to proceed.

Trump was stunningly clear in his preferences. “I would rather (they stay on board) because I like the numbers being where they are. I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault.” He did not mention the welfare of the people on board, nor the danger to people on shore. In fact, he had nothing to say about other human beings at all. His only thoughts were about how these events might reflect on him.

Which, it turns out, is not very well. Those 30-odd cases in March have ballooned to nearly 1.5 million, and the death count will hit 100,000 very soon. In order to turn that perception around, he has had to really pick up the pace with his lying. He has lied about everything from the beginning. That is not news, of course. But even though we might shrug off the petty grandiosity of the lies he tells about himself, when it comes to matters of life and death it’s a little harder to be forgiving.

He hides the truth about the virus. He says that he knows, but knows that he doesn’t. He misleads and fantasizes and and gives false hope and shines us on and yanks our chains…while knowing that people are depending on him for the truth. Oh, I do not, and you may not, but many others do…and we are all together on this whether we like it or not. He is the angel of death for the faithful and the heretics alike. He may not be trying to kill us all, but he’s good with it either way.

That makes him a murderer. A second degree murderer. The classic example of that crime is recklessly firing a gun in a crowded room. He hasn’t done that, but his lies are just as careless and dangerous. I suppose his defense attorney might suggest that his client is insane. I’m not sure that malignant narcissism, however, is enough to keep someone from knowing right from wrong. His narcissism would only make right and wrong irrelevant. That alone would not be enough to get him off the hook.

We might also imagine that he’d defend himself against our charges by saying that his actions — and failures to act — have been simple misjudgments, the kind we are all heir to. He could argue that everything he has done was designed to save lives, and that he simply screwed up. In other words, it was just an accident.

But that argument is not available to someone who must be seen as infallible. And since his claim of infallibility demands that he double down on every failure, he cannot learn from his mistakes. The result will surely be even more deaths. Nor will there be any apologies, nor mea culpas, nor appeals to mercy. We can expect nothing but brazen denials right up to sentencing and beyond.

Ah yes, the sentencing. What would be appropriate in this case? He’s no Joseph Stalin or Pol Pot or Adolph Hitler. They murdered millions, after all. President Donald Trump has only murdered tens of thousands, and only in the second degree. So there can be no death penalty, if that was your pick. Those victims are still dead, though, and it is his fault. So how about life in prison as an appropriate sentence? And just to make him an example for future presidents, why don’t we make it 10,000 consecutive life terms?

Please Note: Tim Eagan will read your comments but he is currently not publishing them.

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Trump supporters are people who know what they believe.
~ JC, Bonny Doon