We’re staring into the face of America’s worst political crisis since the civil war

Trump doesn’t give a damn about COVID-19. Or about the death rate. Or the millions of people who have lost their jobs or homes or health insurance.

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“Trump Floats Delaying The Election. It Would Require A Change in Law”

~NPR, Thursday, July 30, 2020

A sitting president floats delaying a fast-approaching election which the polls indicate he will lose and lose decisively. It might not be safe to open the polls in the midst of a pandemic, don’t you see? POTUS is only doing his job and protecting us is Job One. Of course, if you believe that you’d have to believe that facts are not facts. That there are alternatives. Alternative facts. 

What you see when you go to one of the official White House websites is the smiling face of Donald Trump. It’s the photo of a congenial man—a nice guy—and, as such, it is a fake. A fable. A lie. A testament to the alternative reality this White House serves up on a daily basis. 

A more realistic photo would be to feature the grimacing orange face of a reckless man intent upon engineering a political crisis. A president determined to win at all costs. To remain in office and do whatever it takes to guarantee that outcome. 

The president who is suggesting it might be necessary to postpone the elections for reasons of public safety is the same president who did nothing when the pandemic hit and refused to set an example by social distancing and wearing a mask.

The same president who has demonstrated no inclination to deal with what is clearly the worst public-health crisis in a century. 

The same one who has obstructed efforts by governors of blue states and mayors of blue cities to enforce rules and behaviors to “flatten the curve”. 

Who has sought to discredit doctors he appointed and scientists working to find a cure. 

Who has pushed to reopen public schools with little regard for local infection rates or adequate testing of teachers, staff, and students. 

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We have entered into a new phase in the crisis that started with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of this year. The public health crisis was and is real. It’s not a conspiracy. Not alternative reality. It is real. 

That it happened when it did is not the fault of Donald Trump or, heaven forbid, Dr. Anthony Fauci. Nor is it China’s fault. The contention that a mad scientist or evil empire has deliberately let a killer pathogen loose in the world is daft and devoid of any factual basis.

One of my favorite writers on the contemporary scene is Masha Gessen, a brilliant observer of life in Russia and America.*  The one-line teaser for her latest column in The New Yorker, “Why America Feels Like a Post-Soviet State,” asserts: “The callous nihilism of Russian society is everywhere in the Trump Administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” Gessen holds both Russian and American citizenship. No journalist on either side of the Atlanta is better qualified to make this harsh judgment.  

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Trump doesn’t give a damn about COVID-19. Or about the death rate. Or the millions of people who have lost their jobs or homes or health insurance.

He only cares about the election. About his money. His power. About staying in the Oval Office. And out of court. Trump’s face is baggy and orange. He just needs a matching jumpsuit. Then and only then can we begin the arduous task of making American great again.

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*Masha Gessen was born in Russia in 1967 and first came to the U.S. with her parents under the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program in 1981. The family moved back to Moscow in 1991 but she eventually returned to the U.S. in 2013 when the Putin government considered taking children away from gay parents. 

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