To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Observercast

Opportunity Lost

on

President Trump’s abysmal failure on the coronavirus front – despite pathetic lies by GOP bootlickers – caused infections and deaths that might have been avoided with decisive leadership, with a president who cared more about people than Wall Street.

Yes, I know, his incompetence also contributed mightily to Main Street economic grief, which was then ignored by the Republican-controlled Senate, which prefers offering financial “relief” to millionaires and billionaires.

A more lasting pandemic casualty will likely be our national fiber, which Trump spent five years ripping apart as if under instructions from a sworn enemy.

Trump’s selfishness, advocating a kill-off of Americans in the name of greed, reflects the worst side of American individualism:

“Me, my, mine – and if I don’t get what I want I’ll whine.”

It could have been different. It would have been different with a real leader at the helm.

A real leader would have implemented a national policy to protect everyone – those not guaranteed Walter Reed Hospital care if they became ill [and we can question if Trump was indeed infected; too many lies revoke his credibility].

A national mask mandate, social distancing requirements, sheltering in place or other forms of semi-isolation – with a president demonstrating that he gives a [hoot] that we survive – could have created a united front, a “We’re all in this together attitude.”

Those of us who trust science and our doctors have been taking precautions as a matter of course. It has been Trump who made non-masking and mass congregating a sign of political loyalty – even after that policy cost his own supporters’ lives. And Trumpista cultists have taken this ignorance to state and local scenes as well.

We entered 2021 with 340,000 COVID-19 deaths – still right at 19% of deaths worldwide for a country with less than 5% of the population. And, of course, scarcely an acknowledgement from Trump, whose lack of leadership likely cost him the election.

Stupid he is. Stupidity was his downfall.

And, if anything, we’re more divided than ever.

In Spain, which has too many political parties for me to track, there has been organized national action, consistent aid to people and businesses in need, constant national monitoring and agile adaptations on a daily basis. They seem concerned and caring about people’s lives.

Writing at the end of the year in Valencia’s La Provincia, Ismael Quintanilla expressed optimism: “ … the coronavirus is channeling solidarity, empathy and generosity. Beyond the ups and downs and the confusion, it was soon found that the way out of this crisis depends on the collective effort.

“Certainly not all people will respond in the same way to what is happening to us. It is logical. But the pandemic, beyond its individual impact, is a collective phenomenon.

“Egoism is an engine of individual benefit, intelligent self-interest. However, great changes are achieved through intelligent collective effort. This is the logic of the common good, seeking collective solutions, without underestimating individual ones, to face the great changes that are coming.”

His article is headlined, “The return to frivolity will not be easy,” quoting German philosopher Pieter Sloterdjik.

Not so over here. Shallow, selfish, mindless frivolity remains the American way – and the person who should have been the most serious has been the most frivolous.

Gary Edmondson
Gary Edmondson
Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democrats. He lives in Duncan, following a sporadic career as a small-town journalist, mostly in Texas, and as an editor of educational audio-visual materials. Some days he's a philosopher/poet, others a poet/philosopher.