Since Trump failed in real estate, casinos, sports, and airlines, he’s built a successful second career as a brander. The brand he flogs is his persona–brash, brilliant, scrappy, over-sexed, and authentic in a cheesy, inauthentic way–and it has worked well enough when it’s slapped on gold-plated hotels and condos, golf resorts, clothes, steaks, vodka, even real estate seminars. It worked for a fantastical TV show about business success, and it opened up some really profitable money-laundering opportunities. It worked for a political campaign in which his supposed street smarts prevailed over the cluelessness and malice of the elites. It even seems to be working for a deranged death cult, in which he heroically but secretly battles the latter-day Elders of Zion–a vast secret society of child-molesting Jeffrey Epsteins who control everything except Trump and the Q believers.
If Trump’s brand was faced with a global pandemic, you know what it would do? It would prove itself smarter than the doctors, more efficient than the politicians, more caring than the blood-sucking fat cats who seek to profit off it. It would do the impossible, curing it at a stroke, just like it built the ice skating rink, just like it crushed the Clintons and sent Obama back to Africa in shame.
This is Trump’s challenge over the next 70 days: to hew to his brand proposition with absolute discipline. But this time, he actually has to DO something, because he already occupies the most powerful office in the world. Announcing that he can cure the virus, restore the economy, and put black people back in their places isn’t enough: he actually has to do so.