Death, Distraction, and Resistance

Over the weekend, Americans were bombarded by press accounts with what we already know, Donald Trump is a liar, a tax cheat, and a possible felon. In case you think that is hyperbole—Mr. Trump, ask Al Capone. My theory is that Donald Trump released his tax information so debate moderator Chris Wallace will not ask him about the latest death count from the Covid-19 virus, topping 204,000, according to statistics from Johns Hopkins University. America lost almost three-thousand brave souls in the September 11th attack of 2001 on the Twin Towers. Former President George W. Bush carries those deaths as a part of his presidential ledger. Whether it was from faulty intelligence, mismanagement of that intelligence, or arrogance, his administration dropped the ball. Of course, Mr. Bush was not responsible for the attackers but one of the ways we judge our presidents is by their effective leadership following a crisis.

Donald Trump is not responsible for the Covid-19 virus but his ineffectual leadership since February, as evidenced by his own words, has cost America the equivalent of about sixty-five 9/11s since the first reported Covid-19 death February 6th of 2020. Unlike the claims of poor communication between intelligence agencies by Mr. Bush, we have proof Mr. Trump knew, “This is deadly stuff,” Trump told Bob Woodward on February 7. Having this fact as the center of tomorrow’s debate with Joe Biden would be disastrous and he knows it. Making the debate about his ability to ‘beat the government taxes’ which is catnip to his followers, is a winning argument for him. Trump will sneer and accuse Joe Biden’s son of malfeasance to rattle him. Mr. Biden, I fear, will be too much of a gentleman to bring up the grift of the Trump children, or at least Mr. Trump is counting on it.

Meanwhile, we are again seeing roughly 1,000 deaths per day as a result of Mr. Trump’s horrendous failure to protect us. At the same time, the President gives himself an A+ grade for his handling of the virus. “On public relations, I give myself a 'D.’ On the job itself, we take an 'A+,’” said Trump, who in March said he would consider a coronavirus death toll of “between 100,000 and 200,000” an indication that his administration did “a very good job,” according to a Salon article written by Jake Johnson in September. Be prepared for a barrage of outrageous and ridiculously constructed statements to distract from the Republican hypocrisy of the impending hearings of Amy Coney Barrett for her nomination to the Supreme Court. Be prepared for more talk of resisting the peaceful transition of power following the elections should he lose. Be prepared for more attacks on one of the most trusted institutions in the country, the United States Postal Service.

Mr. Trump has the talent of a great magician, waving hands, glowing lights of rhetoric, and ridiculous costumes of orange with long red ties, but do not be fooled. His self- delusion of being a great president hides his bag of dangerous tricks. Making American justice vanish, civil rights cloaked by white supremacy,  and democracy dealt from the bottom of the deck by sleight of hand. The last gift given to us by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg was allowing Americans to give her one last chance to speak. Americans chanted “vote him out!” as Mr. Trump stood close to her flagged draped casket. Even in death, she resisted.

Vote in 2020 for Change.