Guest Column

Let’s call it the “Trump Bubble.” This is the fantasy world created by President Donald Trump in which he chooses to live. Joining him are commentators such as Jerry Falwell, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham as well as millions of his followers.

In the Trump Bubble, studying up on facts is unnecessary because Donald Trump is all-knowing. He knows more about hurricane tracks than meteorologists. He knows more about global warming than do climate scientists.

In the Trump Bubble, preparation for meetings with world leaders is a waste of time. He knows enough to wing it when he meets with the leaders of other countries.

In the Trump Bubble, the president can do whatever he wants and is not governed by the law or our Constitution. When he phones the president of Ukraine and attempts to extort him for his personal political gain, the call is “perfect.”

In the Trump Bubble, his crowds are always huge. Trump’s inaugural crowd was the largest in history; clearly the photographs that show that the crowds for Obama’s inaugurations were larger were somehow doctored.

In the Trump Bubble, there is always someone to blame when things aren’t going well.

1. Within the government, the fault always belongs to the “deep state” — the civil servants who dedicate themselves to serving the people of this country.

2. When stories come out that counter the fantasy world and describe actual facts, it is the fault of the “fake news.” This consists of CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post. All of these organization reside outside the Trump Bubble.

3. Should the economy slow down, it is the fault of the Federal Reserve (the Fed).

4. Should the budget deficits go up, it is the fault of the Democrats.

In the Trump Bubble, those who are loyal to Trump are patriots; those who oppose Trump are traitors.

In the Trump Bubble, Vladimir Putin is completely reliable and did not interfere in the 2016 election and will not interfere in the 2020 election. Whatever Putin says is to be believed; if the U.S. intelligence community disagrees with Putin, their information is a part of the deep state threat.

Congressmen and senators of both parties dwell outside of the Trump Bubble. Democrats dispute every aspect of the fantasy world; Republicans know a fantasy when they see one. However, they choose not to argue with the Trump Bubble as they may find themselves running in their next primary against a Trump Bubbler. For congressional Republicans, the Trump Bubble is an inconvenience that makes its residents feel good about themselves so, “What’s the harm?”

COVID-19, better known as the new coronavirus disease, resides outside of the Trump Bubble but has the ability to affect those who live inside. It can make those inside the Trump Bubble sick and can actually cause some of them to die. It also appears to be totally immune to the Trump Bubble’s fantasy stories. Jerry Falwell, from within the Bubble, says it is has been overhyped by the media to hurt Trump. The coronavirus ignores Falwell and continues to infect and kill people around the world. Donald Trump, from within the Bubble, says that we have it under control. The coronavirus keeps spreading around the U.S.

From within the Trump Bubble, the president tells investors to calm down and stop selling. Wall Street, operating completely on actual facts, looks at the effects of the coronavirus and anticipates lower earnings to come; they keep selling. From within the Trump Bubble, the president demands that the Fed lower interest rates by 0.5%; the Fed complies and, from outside the Bubble, Wall Street sends the Dow down another 700 points.

The coronavirus, living in the real world, represents an existential threat to the Trump Bubble. It just might stab a hole in the Bubble and watch it explode. We may all find ourselves covered in the residue; this could get really messy.

Rich Belzer lives in Bend.

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