Both the Corona virus and Trump are aliens to our bodies; the former is alien and deadly to our physical bodies, and the latter is alien and lethal to the American body politic. Trump’s unrelenting attacks on the safeguards of our democracy, and the extremely well coordinated flow of targeted disinformation by and to his supporters, both domestic and foreign, have poisoned the public discourse, and make it easy to keep his tens of millions of mostly white, non-college educated cult-like followers neatly within an opaque shell of disinformation, and primed for manipulation.
Seemingly without a heart or a soul, incapable of human compassion and empathy, and indifferent to the pain and suffering that surrounds him, Trump is like another alien, as well: the beast with whom Sigorney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley does battle in the 1979 Sci-Fi/horror classic Alien. Ripley is pitted against “a creature that gestates inside a living human host… and has concentrated acid for blood.” Its birth, or rather “burst,” happens when, from the convulsing, blood-spouting chest of the immobilized and semi-conscious, dying human, it thrusts and tears its way out until it’s free of its now dead host. The last survivor of a crew of 7, Ripley manages to make a daring escape in a lifeboat shuttle craft, just as the main ship, the star freighter Nostromo, self-destructs.
Ripley believes she and Jones, the cat, are safe and alone as castaways on the shuttle. She disrobes and prepares to enter hyper sleep for the long journey back to earth, when suddenly a grotesque limb with finger-like extensions pops out a few feet away from what a moment ago looked like part of a normal console of the ship; the alien had somehow made it aboard the lifeboat and so effectively blended into its surrounding as to go unnoticed. Shocked out of her momentary paralysis, Ripley manages to slowly back up into a closet where she dons a space suit, still as yet unnoticed by the alien. She arms a harpoon, (much like the American election where the people’s voice, the VOTE, became our harpoon) and steps out of the closet gingerly, in a last ditch effort to get rid of the unwelcome guest once and for all. Surreptitiously, she straps herself into the pilot seat, watching the alien out of the corner of her eye (as we witness more than 50 failed law suits). As it suddenly rushes toward her, she spins around to face it. At the very last moment, she opens the air lock door and the alien starts being sucked out into the vacuum of space, but it holds onto the doorframe. So she shoots the alien with the harpoon, which dislodges it from the doorway and it’s sucked out into space.
But, the harpoon line becomes jammed when the airlock door closes, and provides the alien a tether back to the ship. As it starts to re-enter the ship through an engine exhaust, Ripley blasts the engines on and watches as the monster is finally purged out into space, once and for all. (The ridiculous purge of our Democracy fails!)
Just like the alien, Trump is dangerous and without any redeeming qualities whatsoever. He’s desperate and will lash out at anyone and anything to retain power and to avoid the consequences of what he’s done. Having “sown the wind” he conspires to avoid “reaping the whirlwind.”
Despite his decisive election loss, and despite losing lawsuit after lawsuit, he’s selling another con to his followers to get them even more emboldened. Incredibly, he keeps upping the ante and placing the country at greater and greater risk. It’s looking more and more like getting Trump out of the White House will be almost as tough as getting the alien off Ripley’s ship.
No matter what happens, though, we must not lose hope or lose sight of the day soon to come when the wind Trump has sown, blows him far, far away from the American ship of State.
(Did someone say Ripley’s on the way??)