We thought we were making satire—then Trump actually did it. That's the problem with trying to use humor when fascism looms....
Against a sociopathic president, satire is probably useless; it's better to become a poll worker, sign up for a phone bank, send some postcards to voters, or spread info about mail-in voting.
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.