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By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Donald Trump (Image source: Public domain)
At this point it's hard to remember that just a year ago there were two sides: those who thought it was wrong that Donald Trump broke the law to be elected and continued to do so afterward, trying to hide it, and those who thought he didn't do those things and that nothing unlawful happened.
But that seems so long ago and at some point now doesn't seem to matter. Just two to three months ago there were two sides once again: those who thought it was wrong that Donald Trump went against the Constitution to aid himself in the next election and those who believe he didn't do anything wrong and that it was the Democrats trying to ensure a victory.
But even that seems so long ago. Political parties no longer matter. We're in a fight for our lives — individually as well as for the whole of the country. It's a very frightening time, even for those who went along with the administration's narrative that the media was making the coronavirus out to be more worrisome than it needed to be.
But even these people are walking into the stores they frequent and are being met with faces covered up by masks, bandanas, and anything else they can fashion around their mouths and noses. They're picking up their dinner Saturday night, not allowed to walk into their favorite restaurant.
This seems like a third-world situation that we're living in, like somehow we were transported out of the 21st century United States. At the risk of sounding like the Talking Heads, you may be asking yourself, how did we get here?
Face it: it's confusing, no matter what side the aisle you vote on. This is the U.S.A. We're supposed to be leading the world. We're supposed to be fixing things for those countries that can't fix it themselves. We're supposed to be helping Italy and Spain, not following behind them blindly like sheep.
It has to come down to leadership. Donald Trump wants to keep saying this is what he has been handed and that he's been trying to fix it since he took office more than three years ago. But he wasn't handed a pandemic. He was handed a National Security Council pandemic unit to take care of these things. But he dismantled it.
What was Trump focusing on instead? He was placing a lot of emphasis on solving the immigration problem. He was focused on building a wall, bolstered by supporters constantly chanting "Build that wall" when he was elected.
And sure, the immigration situation wasn't perfect when he took it over. But it was working. He dismantled a process that was in place, instituted his own, made it worse, struggled to fix it, and had record-setting numbers for the number of people crossing the border last year. All that has shown his supporters was the increased need to build a wall.
But Trump became so focused on building that wall and fixing the immigration situation out of a narcissistic need to show up his predecessor, that he stopped paying attention to everything else. Like possible pandemics.
He is so focused on winning and ratings, that he seems to spend more time on changing the mindset of people to see him as a winner and to prove that he deserves his ratings that he's not doing the very things he was put in charge to do.
When we pull the level on Election Day, we're electing a leader. We're electing someone we believe will keep us and our families safe. Secondarily, we want to be fruitful so that we can provide for our families.
Because he's a businessman at heart and through blood, he knows how to be fruitful. He was elected to do what he knows. And he did. But he was so focused on that and being reelected and proving himself, that he forgot to keep us safe.
Trump treated the coronavirus news the same way he treats all news he doesn't like, like it's fake, a hoax. But there were larger stakes on the line than winning or losing an election — people losing their lives.
It's just not an issue where you can pit two sides against each other. There are no sides. There is people dying, and there's instituting laws to be sure people don't die.
Pretending it doesn't exist and calling it a hoax wasn't a choice. But he chose that. When he realized it could hurt his chances in November, he tried to walk it back by recognizing it as a real situation and blaming it on China. But it doesn't matter where it started. Assigning blame doesn't save lives.
Last weekend there was a changed man, they said. He finally realized the depth of this situation, as he has a good friend who is battling COVID-19. Suddenly, he seemed to understand it's about life and death, not winning and losing.
Yet, a few days later, he somehow forgot that reality. He was oddly bragging about his popularity on Facebook
But that's not what a leader does. That's not going to keep us safe. It's not even going to make us fruitful. It serves nothing other than possibly showing his supporters than he has won something.
We will continue to be in this life and death situation, however; there are still many people in the country, who, like him, do not understand the importance and what's on the line. And this is because the leader of our country has not done what he could to embrace the situation and convince the citizens how dire the situation is.
At this point, it doesn't seem that is going to change anytime soon, and that means more weeks for us at home and too many more lives lost. The first life lost to coronavirus should have been an awakening to him, and if it wasn't, the thousands who have now died probably won't change anything either.
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