How Is It This Race Is Competitive?

First debate, just about a month ago

This President completely bungled one of the biggest crises in the nation’s history, and also throws wrench after wrench at our ability to respond as a people

Hundreds of thousands of American people are dead. About a hundred thousand more people are getting sick in the U.S. every day. That’s record levels. About a thousand more people are dying ever day. It didn’t have to be that way.

No plan to fix or even provide some relief. The antibody “cure” the President says he got and promised to everybody “for free”, is not available to you or me. Unless we can fight our way into a clinical trial, and then we might only get a placebo. The President didn’t get any placebo. 

And that’s on him: he could’ve invested in mass production of therapeutics long ago. But no, he put everything behind a vaccine. Beyond that, we are on our own and have been from the start.

So some strategy from a President, or at least showing his heart was in the right place would’ve helped. Some response that wasn’t totally confrontational, and didn’t focus entirely on himself as a victim of something that was entirely China’s fault, but instead on the true victims: all those dead Americans.

Man, show some leadership! Provide some guidance so people wouldn’t have had to piece things together for ourselves in order to function given the vacuum of leadership at the tip. Which we’re doing: getting business and schools reopened, and life not back to normal, but to a functional level. 

But it all could’ve happened a lot sooner, and with a lot less death had the President not made fun of and undermined efforts along the way: ridiculing people for wearing masks, steering them to drugs that his gut told him would work, but didn’t, and punishing people who were already hurting, who happened to live in places that didn’t vote for him, which he’s still doing to this day. 

That’s why there’s been no new stimulus package. Not because Trump didn’t want to print up and hand out tons more money before Election Day. He did. It’s because it was more important to him to refuse to budge on blocking support for “Democrat run cities”, which have gigantic budget shortfalls and plummeting sales tax and other revenues. And they can’t just print up as much new money as they want. A huge chunk of any city budget goes to pay for law enforcement. So it’s actually Trump right now who’s defunding the police

And perhaps most importantly: some, any words or expression of empathy from the nation’s leader for those we lost. “One death is too many” is all we ever hear him say. But that’s always said as a preamble for a bunch of excuses about why he’s not responsible for anything. Not a genuine expression of grief and compassion. Why not a day of mourning for people who have already died?

And for a President who campaigns on “promises kept”, his response to the pandemic is promise after promise that hasn’t been kept. It’s gone from “everybody who wants a test can get a test”, which wasn’t remotely true at the time he said it early in the year and still isn’t. To “15 cases going down to zero”, which never happened. To “100 million doses of a vaccine read to go by Election Day”. So where are they? And so many promises in between. Nearly all of which have not been kept.

Meanwhile, the President rips into the sensible, carefully laid out plans of his opponent, Joe Biden. Which is easy to do if you have no plans of your own. Is this political brilliance? Or just laziness that happens to give him something to hide behind.

And something that’s gotten surprisingly little notice: a big part of Trump’s Executive Order swearing he’d cover pre-existing conditions in any new future health plan is the President arguing that pre-existing conditions were already covered before Obamacare. Anybody who had individual health insurance before Obamacare knows that’s not true at all. So guess what? If he goes by that, they won’t be covered.

If Trump’s using pre-Obamacare rules as his benchmark for this “promise”, pre-existing conditions won’t be covered. At least not without great additional expense and uncertainty to those who have them.

And of course, another promise not kept is a “beautiful” new health plan, which he’s promised is ready-to-go and just “dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s” on since as far back as a few days before his inauguration. Yet he hasn’t delivered a thing.

We see Trump getting high marks in polls in recent days for his handling of the economy. So let’s get this straight too: Trump is not better on the economy. He’s boosted it by using the federal government’s power to print out unlimited amounts of cash. Which was designed to prevent sheer disaster in times like these.  But Trump printed up trillions to hand mostly to corporations and wealthy individuals way before now: at a time when the U.S. economy was booming and there was no nationwide crisis. Leading to federal budget deficits—long before the pandemic—the likes of which we’ve never seen. And that’s after campaigning on the fact that since he’s a businessman and not a politician, he’d eliminate the budget deficit easily during his term, and close all kinds of loopholes. But he was never going to do that: free money is too big a part of his way of keeping the economy looking good, when beneath the surface it may not be. It’s an economic spray tan. And by the time it catches up to us, and means taking away social security and Medicare and social programs like that, he’ll be long gone and it’ll be someone else’s problem to fix.

All the while he throws gasoline daily on the flames of a nation growing more violent. And violence and intimidation tactics, when it’s in his name, is cheered by this President. Is there any doubt this nation will be a more violent, more deeply divided, more joyless place if we get 4 more years of this? Or possibly even more? As Trump seems to be increasingly seriously suggesting he deserves 4 more years in office after the next term because he was so set upon by his opponents in his first 4 years that he deserves a do-over? Even if he doesn’t get one there are other work- arounds.

The party that opposes you in an election is supposed to oppose you on many things: that’s their job. Democrats are trying to win this election because it’s their job to try to win this election. Not because it’s a coup, no matter how much Trump wants you to think that. Which means it’s OK to change your mind, even if it means admitting you made a mistake putting your faith in him in the first place. There’s no shame in humility and loving they neighbor and doing the right thing.

And most offensive to me, and I would imagine many of us who don’t snap to it and line up behind Trump, is the assertion made first and foremost by Trump, that if we don’t support Trump, we hate America. Telling you right now, no matter how many times he accuses me, or what he tries to put me through, no matter how many words he puts in my mouth about what I want America to look like and what I want to take away from those who oppose me. It is not true. Yes I am a Liberal. No, I am not hell bent on “coming for you” and your rights, as the President insists. I don’t hate America. I’m a patriot. I live by what my father taught me about what’s great about this country. I love America.

This man must be voted out.