Flat White

I see dead people

10 May 2020

3:18 PM

10 May 2020

3:18 PM

Beaming Boris attends the birth of his son showing the political power of looking healthy.  

Juxtapose COVID Boris in intensive care, potentially near-death and unable to attend cabinet meetings 

Meanwhile, rumours of a dead Kim Jong-un keeps everyone entertained. It throws world politics into disarray at the prospect of what might follow. International relations hates uncertainty even more than a pandemic. But now he is alive again, reborn with a stent-scar on his arm. Dictator-Jesus with medicalized stigmata.   

But this also may or may not be a rumour. You should never believe everything you hear about North Korea especially the in-depth analysis on Channel 10.  

There are those driven by their political beliefs that just want to see dead people – or at least dead politicians. Social media seemed to do a lot of celebrating when it turned out Peter Dutton was infected, or wished ill of the Boris due to the whole Brexit and everything else thing.   

The who-has-COVID-now is a litmus test for political beliefs and common decency. Whether it be left-of-centre Justin Trudeau with his faux-JFK good looks and too-good-to-be-true politics going into isolation when his wife contracted the virus or Prince Charles who’s pending demise seem to please anti-monarchists sick of seeing Harry and Meghan on the front page.  


Then there are the political ghouls who wish Donald Trump dead whether from coronavirus or anything else. They were disappointed when he initially avoided testing (what has he got to hide) and now even more disappointed with each COVID test he passes (what has he got to hide).   

Maybe the Strong Man leadership theory once prevalent in Latin American nightclubs and communist dictatorships is right. The notion that what the public really want is strong powerful-looking people to tell them what to do. It pays to publicize your virility. Ask Dan Andrews.  

Maybe Vladimir Putin is onto something – posturing bare-chested on a horse, his chilled nipples proudly pouting in the arctic winds; winning ice hockey matches and judo bouts against men one-third his age 

Like most politics, this is often an illusion — JFK hid his physical malaises (depilating back operations, crippling Addison disease) behind a carefully crafted veneer of health and intern sex and only at the end did Franklin D Roosevelt allow himself to be publicly seen in a wheelchair. 

In Donald Trump and Joe Biden, we have a fight for president between two men both within the most at-risk demographic for the coronavirus. Old bastard redux. 

Trump seems fitter but Biden is invigorated. There’s more fire in the belly at the public rallies and he has stopped walking into the corflutes  

Biden once got caught for plagiarism now he’s borrowing from Ronald Reagan who also got old, told bad Dad jokes and occasionally forgot stuff (later lurching into Alzheimer’s). But Joe Biden, you’re no Ronald Reagan. 

While a macho, oranged Trump has in the past been seen as a frontrunner against a sicklier opponent, things may now not be that simple and it may not just be because of his many missteps during the pandemic. Churchill managed to save Europe from Hitler but was gone at the next election as the public said its time to move on.   

Trump is no Churchill, but his supporters may also decide that with the worst of the pandemic hopefully passed by November that just like Joe Biden or a self-induced coma they just want to forget as well. 

Michael Scammell writes at https://mdswords.wordpress.com 

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