Never Trumper Max Boot warns in his latest column that we’re all about to pay a fearful price for not just Trump’s epic incompetence, but for the blind foolishness of the almost 63 million people who voted for him and most of all for the senators who refused to remove him from office. There are a lot of reasons we’re in this boat right now and Boot correctly lays the blame squarely where it belongs, at the feet of a complacent America who has come to take prosperity and peace for granted and a corrupt senate.
What I find totally ironic is that Trump has loved nothing more than to get up at the podium for three years now and proclaim that “his” unemployment figures and “his” stock market are “unprecedented in history.” That claim may well become fact, as we go plunging into the uncharted territory that the coronavirus has driven us to. Maybe Trump will end up reprising the role of the one term Republican president in office when America hit rock bottom. Washington Post:
For the past three years, Trump supporters have scoffed at critics, claiming we are out-of-touch, pointy-headed, coastal elitists too focused on Trump’s unconventional way of speaking while ignoring his historic policy achievements — meaning an expanding economy that he inherited from Obama. Perhaps they would like to rethink that argument now that the stock market has given up all of the gains it made under Trump and the unemployment numbers are heading for Great Depression levels?
One of the biggest, if unstated, reasons so many voters opted for Trump is simply because he is an entertaining showman. His unscripted rallies were so mesmerizing that he earned billions of dollars in free airtime. The underlying assumption was that the federal government is so unimportant that it could be handed over safely to a reality TV star who revels in “unpresidented” behavior.
There is a certain naivete that MAGAts have, and it is two-fold: First of all, they believe Trump’s lies about himself, that he’s some mega successful billionaire businessman, rather than a total failure in business, who squandered a vast inherited fortune and declared bankruptcy six times, while ripping off anybody stupid or desperate enough to do business with him; and secondly, that government is such a simple endeavor that the right outsider could come in and shake it up and set it perfectly on course. The latter idea is beyond naive, it is insane. And now we find ourselves in a tremendous pickle, facing a crisis of global proportions, a matter of life and death and we have a TV pitchman running the government. And his first instinct was to bury the issue because it was way over his head and he decided to blow it off.
Because of Trump’s negligence, the United States lost two months of response time — precious days that should have been used to test the population, produce more N95 masks and ventilators, and build new hospital beds. This past week, the Pentagon finally announced that a Navy hospital ship would be heading to New York — but it will take at least two weeks to get ready. Why wasn’t the deployment order given sooner? Even now, with the crisis upon us, Trump hesitates to use his full authority to order wartime production of ventilators needed to keep thousands of patients alive.
Utterly lacking in empathy, Trump is incapable of rallying a shell-shocked nation. When asked on Friday, “What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?,” Trump launched into a tirade against the reporter who asked the question. Like the snake-oil salesman that he is, his version of reassurance is to tout miracle cures that have not been verified by medical science.
Trump’s cluelessness and playing down of the coronavirus threat for months has worsened our situation considerably. If we had gotten on top of this issue immediately, we might have had a situation like in South Korea, where only a little over a hundred deaths have been reported. Instead, we’re closer to Italy, where 783 people died on Saturday alone, the biggest daily death toll so far. Their total death toll is close to 5,000.
As we speak, the White House is flailing, infighting and chaos carry the day. Trump will undoubtedly ad lib policy yet again in his next press conference, and it will be the first time his aides hear of it. This administration is all about sound bites and short term gains and the coronavirus does not fit that paradigm at all. Therein lies the rub and may God help us.