We thought we were making satire—then Trump actually did it. That's the problem with trying to use humor when fascism looms....
By May 2020, Trump's push to reopen America in the midst of a deadly pandemic had already demonstrated that for reelection, he was willing to sacrifice thousands of lives—especially those of his own supporters.
Inspired by a project that had worked like gangbusters in 2012, we decided to try warning Trump's supporters by taking his crazy into the impossible. Together with partners the Good Liars, we created a website, DoctorsForOpeningAmerica.com, that pretended to be a Trump call for medical pros to produce and spread pro-death ads. We also tried spreading a country song called "Don't Plug Me In," by a ready-made group called Tim Weary and the Deplorabillies, in which the singer volunteers for self-sacrifice for the "econom-usssss."
The essence of the website and song were accurate: Trump was fine with mass death if that meant reelection, as his push to reopen demonstrated. We thought taking it this small step too far would shock at least a few Trump supporters into seeing the mass-murderous crazy of what Trump was doing.
We did get some emails about the website from Trump supporters, mainly critiquing the execution; one suggested we needed better quotes from more doctors. But that was about it: neither the website and the song really seemed to surprise anyone.
They obviously didn't go far enough: a few weeks later, Trump's team did pretty much the exact same thing, but for real, with a press conference of "America's Frontline Doctors"—one of whom, you might recall, blames "demon sperm" for many health issues.
You wouldn't want to make this shit up.