Why I'm wishing Trump a speedy recovery from coronavirus

His supporters need to see him lose the election. Trump must not become a martyr.

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After the recklessness Donald Trump has promoted regarding coronavirus — to the point where he contracted it himself — many people are wishing him suffering and death. You can see it on social media and I’ve certainly heard it from some who’ve called my SiriusXM radio program.

But the best way for the country to move forward — with some Americans even realizing they’ve been deep in a cult — is for Trump to stay alive and beaten soundly in the November election.

It’s not surprising people want him to suffer a painful death, as Trump’s negligence, lies and disregard at handling the pandemic as president has cost the lives of tens of thousands. It’s also cost the health and well-being of millions of people who will survive but live with debilitating after-effects. Many of us have lost people we know and those close to us, and could never forgive this monstrous, dangerous authoritarian. And that’s not to mention all of the other horrific suffering and injustice this hateful man has caused for so many, from immigrants to transgender people.

I do agree with those who don’t wish death and suffering on anyone, and I don’t want to see anyone hurting themselves or others. I felt the same way when Trump’s former campaign manager barricaded himself in his home with ten guns, having allegedly threatened harm against his wife and himself. And yes, there’s an issue of national security that makes it wise not to want any president to be ill or to die.

We also have no idea how the process of replacing a candidate on the ballot this close to the election will play out. Both parties have plans in place for a candidate dying as late as August or September, with a committee within the party — in the case of the Republican National Committee, it’s a committee of 168 members — deciding on a new candidate, who could be virtually anyone.

It seems unclear how it plays out this close to the election, however, when millions have voted already for Donald Trump and ballots with his name have been sent out to millions more. Each state has its own laws regarding changes, and it would be a messy series of court challenges that could rival all the chaos Trump has caused in this country already.

But all of that said, a major reason I wish Trump a speedy recovery is that I want to see Joe Biden beat him soundly in the election.

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If anything dire happens to Trump he will become a martyr, the subject of countless conspiracy theories about how he became infected — those are already out there now — and the vast majority of his supporters will claim he would have won in a landslide if he’d lived. They will never move on and there will be a heightened risk of violence and chaos.

Yes, I know many of his supporters won’t accept his losing the election anyway, will still believe he won, and will claim he was the victim of massive voter fraud — and Trump will certainly promote that, never accepting any loss. He will never change and will continue leading a cult in whatever new thing he does with his time once he’s booted from the White House. Trump is a sociopath and narcissist. There is no progression. He has a severe personality disorder.

But there’s a real chance that a chunk of his followers will change. I don’t believe 40% of the country are narcissists and sociopaths or have severe personality disorders. But that many people can surely be conned by someone like that — it’s happened many times in the past. The followers are surely many other things — including racists and bigots, and pathetic and deluded individuals — but I don’t think they’re all beyond change.

Some of them may reassess and move on. How many? It’s hard to know. When the bubble bursts and a cult leader is exposed, the most committed stay. But some or many may rethink.

However few that is, it offers the best chance of the country healing and moving forward than if Trump died and those people aren’t challenged at all. So the best outcome right now is for Trump to recover, and for Joe Biden to give him a thrashing big enough that any of the voter suppression efforts and attacks on the election won’t work.

Trump’s already weakened in this regard, having lost ground. And with some of his top lieutenants, like Kellyanne Conway, Kayleigh McEnany and his campaign manger, Bill Stepien, out of commission because of their own coronavirus infection, the White House and the campaign have been thrown into disarray — as if they weren’t chaotic enough already. The most important thing we can all do is to make it a big win for Biden, take back the Senate from the GOP and expand the House majority even further. And that means continuing to organize and getting people out to vote.