The irony of “social distancing” is that we may finally reunite as a nation.
The spite and abject selfishness of those who have worked so hard to divide us has proven toxic in our time of pandemic crisis. The institutions and social safety nets that were built during and following our last crisis—the Great Depression and World War II—have been systematically dismantled since the end of the Cold War, first by the Tea Party and now by Trump and the Trumplicans. Trump’s “very stable genius” appears to be as phony as his spray-on Orangu-tan. I cannot decide between “appalling” and “despicable” as the best adjectives to describe his performance in the Covid-19 pandemic, but the results are certainly catastrophic. His self-awarded grade of “10” is both laughable and extremely dangerous. Delusion reigns in the White House while people are losing their livelihoods and lives. If there is a hell, Trump needs to take his throne there, sooner rather than later.
When presidential historians finally unearth all the documents related to the Trump administration’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, I suspect they will find there was a concerted effort to delay testing for Covid-19 in the United States because, as Trump himself put it, he did not want to see “rising numbers” that might hurt his reelection campaign. Forget the fact that early testing would have provided critical intelligence to thwart what we now have, a pandemic, Trump opted to preserve his poll numbers rather than preserve our lives. Further, we need to be aware that he will undoubtedly instruct his Diabolical Department, headed by the reptilian Stephen Miller, to look for every way possible to use the pandemic to manipulate the election process—including attempting to delay or cancel the presidential election in November—to keep him in power. Trump clearly cares more about being a full two-term president than he does preventing the deaths of thousands—perhaps even millions—of Americans.
As we keep our distance from each other, we must find a virtual way to come together. Earlier in Trump’s presidency, efforts at unification were aimed at preserving our democracy and the American Dream. In the last few weeks, the stakes have become much higher. We now face a president who is literally trading our lives for his ego. All of us, regardless of party affiliation, must summon our strength, wisdom, and compassion and come together (virtually for now) to defeat both the virus and Trump. In November 2016, we traded the audacity of hope for mendacity and hate. In a “letter to my children,” published on November 9, 2016 at www.ameritecture.com, I wrote,
So, what to do? First, focus on your own physical, psychological, economic, and intellectual strength. Protect and strengthen those four cornerposts. Second, focus on the well-being of your family and friends. Their welfare is your direct responsibility. Finally, get politically active and organized. Your generation has more voters today than mine. The reality, however, is that we vote and too many of your peers ignore this solemn duty. Do not allow my generation to continue to damage America. You have the power. Do not squander it through apathy or neglect. In the end, we all—individually and collectively—are responsible for Trump and what happens next.
Inject the above call to action with steroids and jet fuel today and we may have a fighting chance at ending this nightmare. But, we can only succeed together. Yes, we must keep our distance to flatten the curve of the Covid-19 outbreak, while coming closer together than this nation has been since it faced the fascists of Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito. It is not just about our way of life anymore; it is a battle for our very existence. We must stick together and look out for each other today, or face the collapse of both America and world order. This is the challenge. We must prevail.