Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The Rear View Mirror

 I have railed. I have ranted. I have marched. I have written. And written. And written. And written.

And in the end, it was not what I did or what I said. Nor anything you did or said. This all came tumbling down because of one man and one man alone.

It was not because he insulted Mexicans. Or banned Muslims. Not because he abandoned the climate treaty. Not because he broke our pact with Iran. Not because he sidled up to Putin or had a love affair with Kim Jong-un. Not because of unwinnable trade wars. Not because he found John McCain lacking or insulted the memory of dead veterans. Not because he didn't want to get his hair wet in the rain or because of a perfect conversation that was anything but. Not because of children locked in cages. Not because of Robert Mueller. Not because of Congressional subpoenas. Not because of Michael Cohen or Stormy Daniels. Not because of his hate affair with Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff, or the media. Not because of his opening up pipelines or closing national parks. Not because he didn't give a damn about clean air. Not because he wanted the vote suppressed. Not because he tweeted instead of governed. Not because he listened to the counsel of Fox News. Not because he allowed Rudy Guiliani to run free. Not because he was a pathological liar. Not because he was a narcissist. Not because he demanded fealty to him and not to country. Not because he surrounded himself with those equipped only to destroy rather than protect. Not because he loved to create divisions. Not even because he was impeached. 

All of these matters were of Donald Trump's own doing. These were not unprovoked enemy attacks. He picked his fights. He chose his enemies. Those he knew he could challenge without serious repercussion. He decided his friends. Those who welcomed a democracy that did not challenge their methods. He did not have to govern his way out of crisis. Rather he merely had to create issues, amplify them and then move on. Protected by a party that could not afford to abandon him. Or adversaries too weak to wound him. Or old enemies more than willing to play pretend friends.

But that all changed when the first and only true crisis, not of his own creation, emerged. Coronavirus was not a foe that Donald Trump went looking for. It was not selected by him.. It did not have an agenda. It did not have to be careful how it approached the President. It did not have to hide its hatred, its weapon of mass destruction. Donald Trump did not manufacture this problem. Rather, Covid 19 landed in his lap.

This time, it would take actual leadership. It would not respond to threats of annihilation. It could not be dissuaded by tweets. It was not looking to compromise. It was not coming at us, at Donald Trump from a point of weakness.

And Mr. Trump had no answers. He was not prepared for actual battle. He spent the first three years of his presidency playing at the role. Now, faced with the reality of his office, he flailed.

He sent all the wrong messages. He took all the wrong steps. When he actually needed the experts to guide his hand, he bit their's instead. When the situation called for calm, for a clear head, Donald Trump instead relied upon the only voice he could call forth; shrill, grating and wholly unresponsive to the dictates of the moment.

If only Donald Trump had met the Coronavirus with even a hint of competency, he would not be trying to put together a foursome for a tee time in Florida later this week. If he did not allow this disease the space it needed to spread out, but had attempted, no matter how successfully, to limit its growth, he would be contemplating Ivanka's candidacy in 2024.

Donald Trump's Achilles heel was not his ego, his laziness, his thousand errors upon a thousand errors. It was the great misfortune in actually being called upon to govern. A task for which he has no weapons in his arsenal.

But for Covid 19, all else would have been forgiven. But for the terrible, terrible tragedy of this disease, tomorrow would have been the beginning of the second term. And maybe the beginning of the end of our democracy.


Anonymous said...

SO well said!--RE

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Unknown said...

You got it! So pathetic that he then went into hiding on the 6th. AM

Anonymous said...

Yep. There is one thing to like about Covid. PB

Anonymous said...

Yes I agree. The only good thing about the pandemic is it caused his defeat. JP

Anonymous said...

Get this published


Anonymous said...

One of your best!


Anonymous said...

So well said. Passing it on.
Tomorrow will be a bittersweet day.


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Anonymous said...

No one has or will say it all with more passion, pain and purpose!