My next newspaper column:
First, the bad news: Trump is still president. Two months after lying that everything was “under control,” finally acknowledging the seriousness of the coronavirus crisis, which he’s now calling “the Chinese virus” because he never misses an opportunity, he’s still getting it wrong. Focusing first on the stock market, for continuing the Obama recovery of which he took unwarranted credit, and which has lost all post-election gains, he wanted spending where it’s least needed.
What if his first economic move had been getting money to people losing jobs, small businesses losing customers, hospitals running out of protective gear and beds. What if he’d listened to experts, instead of Jared Kushner? Imagine him having the leadership instincts of this man.
Trump still looks for people to blame (Obama, the Chinese) and credit to take. On a scale of one to ten, he awards his initially irresponsible, belated, and inadequate response a ten. Now he’s saying “I always knew” how serious it was. Then why did he waste weeks saying otherwise? Incredible.
The words by which history will remember this “president” are those he uttered when asked what responsibility he takes for the lack of testing and other missteps: “I take no responsibility.” That’s Trump, encased in his own words like Han Solo in carbonite. It’s his “Ask not what your country can do for you…;” his “… of the people, by the people, and for the people…,” and his “… a day that will live in infamy.” Plaster it on billboards and write it large: “I take no responsibility.”
Oh, but now, like George Bush, he says he's a "wartime president." How'd that last one work out?
Suddenly socialist, Trump is okay with giving struggling Americans a thousand bucks or two. Consider again that $1.5 trillion to bolster stock markets. Divide it by the number of Americans who are and who’ll be in need, and get it to them. There’s the economic horse we need, not the cart Trump put before it. The stock gains about which Trump had baselessly bragged are wiped out. Lies aren’t soothing markets, nor are the incompetents and yes-men with whom Trump has surrounded himself.
More bad news: Moscow Mitch McConnell is still Majority Leader. While Nancy Pelosi worked out a rescue package with Trump’s people, Mitch left town. When the plan was made known, he dismissed it as a “liberal wish-list,” and engineered severe dilution of paid sick leave. Now, as even Republicans are agreeing to massive critical spending, the stupidity of Trump’s unnecessary tax cuts and trillion-dollar deficits in a time of prosperity, emptying the treasury, becomes obvious. This is the time for deficit spending, not then. The price will be enormous.
The good news: Fox “news” screamers flipped like a switch when Trump finally woke up, never acknowledging their prior politicized attacks. Maybe their viewers will realize they’ve always been lied to. Also, people like Alex Jones and Jim Bakker, soulless scammers of bogus cures, are being told to shut up.
The best news: notwithstanding examples of the worst, we’re also seeing humanity at its finest. For everyone selfishly hoarding goods, fighting over remainders; for every scalper, every paranoid deplorable buying guns and ammo, there are hundreds looking out for their neighbors, shopping for them, sharing what they have.
If the corporations Trump wants to bail out (socialism!) are refusing to provide help for their employees, many small business are; and they’re finding ways to supply their customers at a distance. A distillery in Portland (hippie libtards!) created a hand sanitizer and is giving it away. Zoos and museums and teaching institutions (educated elitists!) are offering free online teaching. Celebrities (Hollywood liberals!) are giving free online concerts and donating money. Conservatives, too.
People are hosting video gatherings to help parents do creative, fun, and educational activities with homebound kids. Shuttered schools are still providing meals to students who’ve counted on them.
Hilarious videos of dealing with social isolation are being posted online. Around our country, governors have filled the federal leadership vacuum with reality-based, tough-but-wise directions which, except where ignored by Trumpists who can’t believe Trump finally told the truth, will help curtail the spread. Generous countries are donating supplies to others.
Humor, community, and creativity will get us through. Now, perhaps, people will see that “government is the problem” only when people like Trump and McConnell are running it; and that ignoring the least of us endangers us all. Maybe they’ll even resume appreciating reporters who pursue important stories despite being called enemies of the state.[Image source]