This is no longer a disaster waiting to happen. This train wreck of a presidency has stopped being a spectator sport – watching from afar while Trump instigates the next calamity.
This time, this isn’t an event taking place elsewhere, although we were given a preview following the impact of Maria in Puerto Rico, as this administration sat by and watched thousands of fellow Americans die – not from the hurricane but from disdain and neglect. This time, we are all on that train, travelling at breakneck speed, to a tragic fate and the conductor is a spoiled, self-engrossed 10 year old who lacks the critical component of ‘humanity’ or ‘character.’ Hard to define but you know it when you don’t see it. And now we finally know the train’s destination; hospitals and crematoria all over this country.
At a time when we need the foresight of a leader, someone who challenges us to rise to the occasion, a person who leads by example, who listens to the experts, someone who takes and accepts responsibility, someone whose word you trust – we have just the opposite. A leader is adept, is able to change on a dime when conditions warrant, shows respect and generates trust, and listens to experts. A leader is a master communicator (Forbes, Aug.2018). Sarmad Hasan from TaskQue, calls it ‘emotional intelligence’ and adds truthfulness, humility, empathy and accountability to the list. Trump isn’t just lacking in these characteristics – he is constitutionally unable to demonstrate them because he has no idea what they actually mean in terms of his behavior. He doesn’t lead by thoughtful, intelligent example, he leads by dictum. No one knows more than he does. About anything. About everything. His opinion is always worthy even when suggesting people ingest disinfectant as a cure for Covid19. Imagine that. Well, actually, no need to imagine.
Trump did not cause the coronavirus. And these comments have nothing to do with the content of other policies or programs. But they have everything to do with how he approaches every policy and program. Trump’s first, second and third response will always be about one thing – maintaining, protecting, and feeding his massive ego. Even as people die, this is about him as it is always about him – his polls, his political enemies, the need to project blame, as he always does, on others. It’s about the one thing neither Trump nor his supporters can change. It’s his character – or more precisely, his lack of it.
This is perfectly represented in a series of tweets to “LIBERATE MINNESOTA,” “LIBERATE MICHIGAN,” and then “LIBERATE VIRGINIA.” (all-caps are his). The last I looked, these are part of the United States, not enemy territory – unless you consider these key swing states, with Democratic Governors, the enemy. His own medical advisors warned that social distancing and wearing facial masks were critical to controlling the virus but Donald agreed with the marching, gun toting masses carrying and wearing Trump paraphernalia, along with swastikas and confederate flags. When asked to comment about the protesters who were not abiding by rules put in place to save lives, his comment was, “…I hear a lot of them like me…”
And there you have it. That’s all that matters. That’s all that has ever has mattered.
Our biggest threat isn’t Covid19. Our biggest threat is, and has always been, Donald Trump.
by Marsha Shearer | Marsha is a Club member and author of “AMERICA IN CRISIS: Essays on the Failed Presidency of Donald J. Trump”