Careless People


There’s a tendency to think of crime families in terms of cinematic ones. We call Donald Trump, Jr. “Fredo” as a comparison to the dumbest, most inept of crime family boss Vito Corleone’s sons. The problem with that analogy is Donald Trump isn’t Vito Corleone. The Trumps may be a crime family, but at best they are all Fredo. Well, maybe not poor Baron. 

If you are looking for a more accurate description of the Trumps, the answer is not in The Godfather, but in The Great Gatsby.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel The Great Gatsby is an examination of the perversion of the American Dream and considered a prime example of “The Great American Novel.” As major characters, Tom and Daisy Buchanan do whatever they please, getting several people killed by their indifference or actively causing it. They are horrible people who do horrible things and then simply walk away.

There’s a quote late in the book where our narrator, Nick Carraway, describes Tom and Daisy.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”17″]I couldn’t forgive him or like him, but I saw that what he had done was, to him, entirely justified. It was all very careless and confused. They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.[/perfectpullquote]

These are the kind of people we have in charge. Callous, dismissive, and holier-than-thou. They were contemptuous of people much smarter than them because they believed, mistakenly, that having money made you instantly smarter. It does not. They believed people who contracted this virus were suckers and losers. Perhaps, now they will understand the virus doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, a Democrat or a Republican, or smart or dumb. 

Now, we have a deluge of members of this administration testing positive for COVID-19. Some might get seriously ill. 

These people dismissed the calls for masks. They actively made fun of people wearing masks. They politicized the very act of trying to minimize the spread of the virus. 

They’ve ignored more than 200,000 people who have died of this virus. They didn’t care. They still might not care. 

President Trump is in a hospital room at Walter Reed Medical Center and no one knows just how sick he truly is which is a nightmare scenario. His health could quickly take a turn for the worse over the weekend. We don’t know. 

Earlier today, I saw a man at the grocery store walking around with a Trump 2020 mask on. Alanis Morissette could not have asked for a better simile of irony. All I could do was shake my head and try hard not to look upon him with disgust.