Our European allies — who once saw the United States as a paragon of democracy, scientific advancement, and bountiful competence — now look at our nation with horror, pity, and shock as the Trump administration fails to confront the COVID-19 pandemic in any coherent and meaningful fashion as American coronavirus cases continue to skyrocket upwards in many parts of the country.
Perhaps the most befuddling aspect of America’s current collective COVID nightmare is how deeply the failures that have caused it are intertwined with tribal partisan politics, with the wearing of personal protective equipment such as facemasks — which anywhere else in the world would be considered a no-brainer medical requirement that reduces the spread of the virus — now a mark of political affiliation signifying whether a person supports Donald Trump or not.
Today, as America sets a new record for the highest number of cases in a single day and after Florida has seen a steadily rising rolling average of new cases for 17 days straight, Trump supporters and people who value their own personal freedom over the responsibility to be public health-conscious citizens turned up at a meeting of local government officials in Florida’s Palm Beach County to express their opposition to a proposed ordinance mandating the wearing of masks in all public places as an emergency health measure.
The opinions they expressed were so unmoored by reality and science that the one can only conclude that mass stupidity and insanity due to GOP defunding of education and a steady diet of Fox News have rendered a significant portion of the Florida electorate so unhinged as to warrant a new classification of sub-species of homo sapiens be recognized.
Call them homo ignoramus, or better yet, use the term coined by 80s rock gods Devo: Jocko Homo.
“They tell us that
We lost our tails
From little snails
I say it’s all
Just wind in sailsAre we not men?
We are Devo
Are we not men?
D-E-V-O” — “Jocko Homo” – Devo
Rather than repeat the gems of delusional blather that these prospective examples of this new offshoot of the de-evolutionary process shouted at the public meeting, we’ll let you watch for yourself in the clips compiled below.
This first video is a megamix of the most eye-roll-inspiring combustible comments delivered to the profoundly patient county politicos edited together by CNN.
"You literally cannot mandate somebody to wear a mask knowing that that mask is killing people … we know what citizen's arrest is" — these rants from a Palm Beach County meeting are among the nuttiest I've heard pic.twitter.com/ky5lXFon1M
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 24, 2020
The CNN video — while showing a broad cross-section of the people who give the terms “Florida man” and “Florida woman” such tabloid potency — does not allow you to see the full rant by the first woman that they showcase.
Luckily, one Twitter user was so astonished by her level of insane ranting of refried right-wing tropes and discredited QAnon conspiracy theories that they posted the extended version of the public comments that she will one day likely regret ever having made.
Luckily, none of the primarily Democratic commissioners voting on the Palm Beach County mask mandate seemed to pay any attention to the more vocal members of the lunatic fringe today.
The resolution requiring the wearing of masks in public to stop the astronomical spread of COVID-19 passed with ease.
Perhaps after the Democrats retake the White House and the Senate in the November elections, they can include a much-needed program of remedial education for those poor souls whose brains were eaten by the Trump propaganda machine and right-wing media.
Let’s hope that the de-evolutionary damage isn’t permanent. If it is, at least Trump has left a series of facilities along the southern border that can be repurposed to house those driven to the far reaches of rationality by the endless drivel that’s been pounded into their brains for the past few years.
That’s exactly the kind of thinking that members of the Trumpian Jocko Homo branch of humanity would propose as a solution…or the government of China.
“We’re pinheads now
We are not whole
We’re pinheads all
Jocko Homo” — “Jocko Homo” – Devo
Notice that most of them are wearing masks!
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.