October 2, 2020 | Reading Time: 4 minutes

Say it: Donald Trump had it coming

Let's hope he makes a full recovery, though.

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The last thing any of us should want is the president becoming some kind of QAnon martyr. Other than that, however, I reserve the right to feel however I want to feel about the president and his wife coming down with a case of Covid-19. My life and your life have been turned upside down—and we’re the lucky ones. Some of us are out of work. Some of us are getting sick or sicker. Some have buried mothers, uncles, cousins and sons. All of us have felt the empurpled rage of being lied to endlessly.

I’m writing this in a co-working space where I have to sign in every day (for contract tracing purposes), where I have to disinfect my desk every day, and where I have to wear a mask every day. I don’t shake hands anymore. I don’t hug anymore. My family’s income is rockier because universities are reeling and arts nonprofits are walking dead. We don’t invite friends over anymore. We are not invited over anymore. Our fourth-grader can’t go to school physically. She has to zoom into class six and half hours a day. She often curses the pandemic, painfully reminding her mother and me how powerless we are. My mother-in-law—more mother than my mother—is overcoming Covid. She’s asymptomatic, so far, thank God. Thank God. Thank God.

Why should I avoid taking a little pleasure in seeing what comes around going around?

All of the above is a picture of good fortune by comparison. Nearly 213,000 Americans are never coming back, per Worldometer. More than 7.5 million more are infected. The economy will not return to normal until the new coronavirus is contained, and given how bad things are right now, it’s not going to be contained for a long, long time. One in four working-age Americans has filed for unemployment benefits, according to the Times. That’s 40,000,000 people. Public spaces have been turned into hot zones—churches, synagogues and mosques, theaters and concert halls, museums and nightclubs, restaurants and bars, sporting arenas, any place indoors where more than 20 people gather. Revenues are drying up, businesses going under, dignity being lost.

Amid all this, we’re bracing ourselves for bloodshed made inevitable when a president won’t commit to a peaceful transfer of power—when he refuses to condemn white-power vigilante groups, indeed orders them to “stand back and stand by,” and when he repeatedly extorts the American republic, saying “either I win or something real bad happens.” Amid all this, he repeatedly blames the sick and the dead for being sick and dead, or tells us we’re making up all this suffering, that it’s a hoax by the fake news trying to make him look bad, and that everything is for real super-duper jim-dandy.

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That’s why I reserve the right to feel however I want to feel about the president’s health. The insult added to injury is too profound for me to tolerate exhortations by otherwise well-meaning people that no one say he had it coming to him. Let’s be clear: Donald Trump had it coming. The president deserves to get sick. He deserves to suffer for all the suffering he has caused millions of people knowing full well that millions of people were going to suffer. He lied, and he lied, and he lied, because nothing is more important than his desiccated fetish for winning, which isn’t winning at all. It’s the wounded pride of an empty man who can afford to deny for a lifetime he’s weak. This is the same man who mocked the disabled, women, people of color, Black people, anyone he considers beneath him, even people of integrity and honor doing the noble work of public service and trying to prevent the spread of a lethal virus. This is the same president who kidnapped babes-in-arms, banned Muslims, insulted war heroes, and pretended he was a big-shot when in reality he’s up to his eyeballs in debt. Why should I avoid taking a little pleasure in seeing what comes around going around?

That said, I hope he makes a full recovery. (I will not say the same for the hundreds of degenerates who have enabled him, turned an opportunistic blind eye, or tried grabbing as much as they can while they can; they all deserve the worst of the fate awaiting them.) I hope the president makes a full recovery. Too many Americans already believe the coronavirus plays a role in a conspiracy by radical leftists, under the influence of an international cabal of rich Jews, to prey on children sexually, even drink their blood, in an effort to bring down Donald Trump. It’s one thing to say he should suffer. It’s another to want him dead. If you thought Trumpism would be with us long after Election Day, wait till the president is a sainted martyr for the heavily armed white Christian nationalists prepared to sacrifice themselves—and who are already sacrificing themselves to the pandemic—to save “the real America.”

Most of all, I hope he makes a full recovery so voters can sit in judgment of him, so a majority of the people can stuff democratic consequences into his orange face, and so law and order with justice can be administered in the name of God and country.

John Stoehr

John Stoehr is the editor of the Editorial Board. He writes the daily edition. Find him @johnastoehr.


  1. Jeff Baker on July 30, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    No, John, don’t hold back! Tell us what you really think! 🙂 This is pretty much the same message I gave my high school freshman daughter this morning – I kind of hope Trump suffers, but I don’t necessarily want him to die. I hadn’t considered the martyrdom his death might create and agree that would be bad. I hope this all dominates the month of October though and that it’s a hard (and ideally losing) fight for the GOP to focus attention back on their sham Supreme Court nomination…

  2. Bennett on July 30, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    In other words, our wishes for a recovery–but not necessarily speedy–for Donald Trump are entirely political. However much this hurts his political standing, I’m all on board. In other words, my sympathies are utterly pragmatic, in service to our country, not Donald Trump. Martyrdom doesn’t help us (and it certainly won’t help him–personally, that is–Trump has not a martyr-esque bone in his body. He throws others under buses, not himself…ever.

    But let us not fool ourselves. His contracting COVID will be a messaging problem for his re-election. But it will not miraculously result in his personal, political or spiritual transformation. We already know this not only because of who he is but also because Boris Johnson and Rand Paul have already modeled how to contract COVID and remain unrepentant assholes who blithely endangered–and still endanger–the public’s health for personal gain.

  3. John Smart on July 30, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    Best one yet!

  4. Michael Liggins on July 30, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    Still think it’s a desperate ploy by the fat orange bastard

  5. Michael Liggins on July 30, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    And he is in my prayers to receive the correct outcome

  6. Jim Prevatt on July 30, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    I’m thinking the media should post as little as possible about #45s Covid-19 illness. Better to post as much about Biden’s campaign and how much better this country will be with Biden and Harris in charge.

  7. Thornton Prayer on July 30, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    This whole spectacle will be fascinating to behold. At a minimum, he can’t hold his public hate fests for 2 weeks. What happens if he’s debilitated beyond that time frame? His base mechanism for adulation and campaigning is gone for the foreseeable future, perhaps permanently.

    Furthermore, even if he doesn’t get seriously ill and does recover quickly, does he return to holding his rallies with everyone including his followers knowing that they are super spreader events? Would anyone even show up if he tried? Will his polling crash further as soft supporters, independents, and swing voters look at this idiocy and say enough? As usual, his arrogance and hubris has caused his own self-destruction. Given the mass murder, economic collapse, and reactionary violence he’s unleashed, then yeah, I’m truly hoping he really experiences painfully and deeply the chaos and destruction he’s loosed upon us all.

  8. Ronald Defenbaugh on July 30, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    Thanks for writing what some of us feel. Not calling a monster a monster to be politically correct is nonsense.

  9. Dennis Skinner on July 30, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    I agree with much of what you’ve said. Right now, though, I’m more interested in Lee and Tillis testing positive. Isn’t that the committee that will need to pass the Barrett nomination up to the full Senate for confirmation?

  10. David Mikulec on July 30, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    Laid off – called back – just renewed my EB sub. At least it’s not all negative today.

    But, no love for Trump or his enabler, #MitchWormtongue. If they’d (the Senate) held him accountable when they had the opportunity, it may have saved lives. I say screw ’em. After all, how many members of #Cult45 are still cheering the death of The Notorious RBG.

  11. Bern on July 30, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    I wouldn’t give this guy a thruppence
    Nor even so much as a tuppence
    Whatever he’s caught
    My innermost thought
    Is he’s finally got his comeuppance

  12. Random on July 30, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    You’re probably right.

    My take?

    “Hopefully Trump resigns before he dies.”

    Not (yet) struck down by Facebook.

    I hope he dies.

    Trump’s “democratic consequences” would only be a prelude to the most dangerous and destructive period in American democracy, possibly leading to the dissolution of the Republic.

    I do not want to risk that, not for the cheap schadenfreude of seeing him lose in a landslide.

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