By Gallagher & Schleicher
Finally! Something about which we agree with Donald J. Trump: an Invisible Enemy is attacking America at this very moment. From there our views diverge. The President is referring to…well, actually we’re not entirely sure. But we are sure what we are referring to is the dreaded new Gullibilivirus.
Lots of people are saying that run of the mill gullibility has been with us since the snake in the Garden of Eden misled Eve. Believe us, it was earlier. Precisely 194,625 years ago, when a Homo Sapien assured one of her Neanderthal colleagues, “Don’t worry, buddy, when we humans finally hit the big time, I promise we won’t forget you. Partners all the way to the top.” While the Neanderthals as a distinct species went extinct, their genetic naiveté was passed down through the gene pool to even the most modern among us.
What has made today’s gullibility so much more dangerous is that it has merged with a virus. This new Gullibilivirus (translated from the Latin as “infectious stupidity”) is sweeping across the country. It is the ultimate comorbidity, profoundly compounding risks posed by COVID-19. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. After all, Uncle Sam is nearing his 244th birthday and agedness itself seems a risk factor for suffering grave effects from COVID-19. Multiple studies such this one and this one correlate Alzheimer’s and dementia with increased signs of gullibility.
Perhaps we were less susceptible to conspiracy theories as a younger country? No, it turns out conspiracy theories have played an important role in American history from the Colonial America period to Prohibition to the Vietnam War. Could it be America has congenital Gullibilivirus and 2020 just happens to be one of those years that symptoms present? And as importantly, if the administration succeeds in persuading the Supreme Court to overturn Obamacare, will Gullibilivirus be an uninsurable pre-condition?
On a more helpful note, using the honorary medical degrees we were awarded by Trump University, we’ve been able to develop a list of signs of Gullibilivirus infection.
First, you believe that when it comes to the economy, we should trust the economists because they are the experts and are rarely wrong and that when it comes to an infectious disease pandemic, we should trust the economists because they are the experts and are rarely wrong.
Second, you get all your really juicy news via links that your friends send you in texts or with WhatsApp. You follow these to read stories about how major human events are the result of hidden forces, plotting among the elite, and grand designs in play behind the curtain. You readily disregard tens of thousands of years of human history that make clear that the grander the design, the less capable we are of pulling it off.
Anyone who’s served on a committee charged with developing a mission statement, seen an episode of The Office, or read the Dilbert cartoon, has been reminded that humans’ most predictable behavior is immense ineptitude. Mingle among the elite in any setting and one finds they may be slightly brighter, funnier, or prettier than the average human, but assign them to a joint project and they are just as capable of achieving a Bay-of-Pigs-level failure as the rest of us.
Yes, if you’ve got the Gullibilivirus, your high fever will keep you from understanding that even if Bill Gates, Dr. Fauci, Hillary Clinton, and the Chinese secretly agreed they would create the Coronavirus, spread it around the world, earn billions off a cure, and ruin the “Trump economy” in the process, they wouldn’t be able to carry it off. After all, if Bill Gates were truly an evil genius, wouldn’t your Windows software crash less often? And if Hillary were a successful Svengali, wouldn’t she also have figured out how to win the 2016 election?
Third, even among those who consider themselves immune because they never watch Fox news, the Gullibilivirus can cause voter blindness. Blindness to Biden’s leading role in getting the original Violence Against Women Act passed, blindness to the fact that a Trump re-election would result in Roe v. Wade being overturned, and blindness to the fact Biden’s election would mean the first female Vice President. For only a blinded citizen asks, “Why bother to vote when Biden himself was accused of assaulting a woman?” Here the viral load persuades the infected that Biden will be the same sort of leader as Trump, though it is only Trump who is accused by at least 25 women of sexual misconduct and was recorded bragging about sexual assault.
Finally, you likely have Gullibilivirus if you find yourself sharing a “Plandemic” meme with all your friends, in turn leading them to abandon physical distancing and mask-wearing. Unfortunately, a sneeze between an unmasked Coronavirus-denier and a person who believes it’s an enormous health threat may kill them both. And someone’s grandparents. And someone’s children, as is happening in increasing numbers in New York.
So it’s time to ask yourself, “Have I become host to the Gullibilivirus?” And if so, “How many Americans unnecessarily will have to die before I bother to get treated for it?”
David Gallagher is a transplanted Texan, living and working in London, who may be reached via Twitter @TBoneGallagher. David Schleicher is an attorney licensed in DC, TX, and WA who represents federal employees around the world in job-related disputes.