The Un-Masking of Donald Trump

2020-07-21 – I’m sure that many of his followers were relieved to see the Donald in a mask. Contrary to conventional wisdom, these people are not stupid, just human. They’ve been in a bind. The guy was going to be their savior, but he’s hurt them every step of the way. And now their own families are at risk. Donald in a mask relieved the stress.

But not all of his followers are like this. Many of them feel betrayed. They believed the stories Trump told about the pandemic being a hoax. And they believe that the deep state wants nothing more than to get them into a mask. (For what purpose, I don’t know, other than to protect them from disease—but that’s another story.) To the conspiracy junkies, Donald in a mask is a betrayal. To them, he’s gone over to the light side.

Regardless of which group you were in, Donald Trump’s switch is a problem. For the group who wants to wear masks to protect their family, it is a moment that highlights the fact that their hero was never on their side. For the group that now believes that Trump has abandoned them, well, who knows what they’re going to do now?

So why the switch? Speculation centers on the shake-up in the Trump campaign. Maybe someone told the Don that he’s going to lose by a landslide if he can’t get himself over to the side of helping rather than hurting the fight against the virus. Did they know that the switch might shake up the base? Who knows? Maybe they take them for granted. Maybe they see them as captive and that the momentary disorientation will go away in a few days. Maybe they are right and maybe they are wrong.

But Trump supporters were never more than a quarter of the nation. Trump with a mask might be his un-masking for the base. But the rest of us have always seen him without his mask.

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