Analyzing Trump’s YMCA Dance

Donald Trump isn’t exactly a rhythmic person. Every movement he makes seems labored and awkward, and that was before he was diagnosed with COVID-19. Back on his rally circuit Monday, though, a little lung butter and 215,000 dead Americans couldn’t stop Trump from … busting a move?

It’s a stretch to call this a dance, really. Trump is basically bending his legs and swinging his arms vaguely to the beat of the Village People’s “YMCA” for less than 10 seconds. This is the movement of a man who isn’t just physically frail but also actively afraid to pick either of his feet up off the ground. It’s a nice little grandpa dance, colored with the context of Trump’s tremendous personal cowardice and responsibility for hundreds of thousands of American deaths via COVID-19 and the infection of untold thousands more.

Dancing is a hell of a choice at a time like this. Then again, so is holding a campaign rally with no face mask or social distancing requirements in a state with nearly 750,000 COVID cases while you yourself are still infected with the virus. Trump’s decisions to hold public gatherings to bolster his fragile ego aren’t just selfish—they’re actively harmful. Even after actually getting coronavirus, he’s still doing more than arguably anyone else on the planet to continue its spread.

From Trump’s perspective, though, what isn’t there to dance about? After facing a deadly disease, he’s feeling better than ever off a cocktail of steroids and experimental treatments available to roughly zero percent of regular Americans. He’s still got thousands upon thousands of adoring fans willing to risk their health to cheer as he rambles about China, Antifa, and Sleepy Joe. And no matter how many senators he infects or constituents he loses he’s still got the Republican Party by the balls, at the very least through early November. Nothing has stopped him to this point, and “beating” COVID proves to him that he’s unstoppable, even if he loses. So what if 215,000 people have died and several thousand more will? It’s a small price for Trump to keep dancing to his own music.