Trump's personal politics mean a cruel April for American cities
President Donald Trump's mind does not work in mysterious ways. Facing a pandemic, the president's ways and words stayed the same, but with blunt force flattening the American people.
Crisis defines character. The president's personal politics enlarged in the month of March, shaping a jagged response to a dark hour of national need.
Some grievances were on shop display. Trump refused to speak to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., while a bipartisan $2 trillion rescue bill was hammered out. Other vendettas matter more to the country's outcome, remaining under the radar.
March revealed an insidious pattern: Trump's seething grudge against great American cities, clear on the chart. It's no wonder why.
In Trumpthink, cities are colored blue -- true -- and Democratic strongholds are enemy camps. A diatribe about Baltimore last summer foretold his hostile stance toward cities, even now.
But first, from the beginning, Americans learned Trump cares a great deal about television ratings and crowd sizes. He took time to tweet on his coronavirus briefings, "President Trump is a ratings hit."
Second, presidential wrath toward the press is well-known. Lately, one-on-one attacks on White House correspondents like Peter Alexander ("You're a terrible reporter") escalated venom to a new level. In his mind, his rants and ratings may go hand in hand.
The coronavirus first struck Seattle, a blue city in a blue state with two female senators. Nemesis Jeff Bezos built his Amazon empire there. So, what did Trump care? He lambasted the Democratic governor, Jay Inslee, as a "snake" and a "failed presidential candidate."
Usually, American presidents seek to bind and unite in a state of siege -- not this one.
Early on, COVID-19 was just a "Chinese virus" that would magically vanish. Visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the afternoon of Friday, March 6, Trump wore a red MAGA cap, signaling a casual contempt for the enterprise of science.