This blog represents the views of the author alone and not the newspaper.
After following politics for over thirty years I’ve lived by two notable adages to keep my sanity. 1. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good 2. Truth is not determined by majority vote. ~Doug Gwyn
I can apply those sayings to the local issues we are experiencing. A lot of citizens do not want to don masks because it will not stop the virus dead in its tracks. Some don’t want to entertain any thoughts of removing the statue because it won’t change a thing.
I’m not blaming Covid-19 on our republican leaders but I am faulting their leadership at the national and state level. Local leaders are defaulting to the governor and we are left with hearing the horror stories of this virus spreading.
I’m exhausted with laying the blame of the initial response to the virus on an inexperienced arrogant administration who has since thrown up their arms and turned it over to the states.
After reading countless books about different presidential campaigns, I am shell shocked over the ineptness of the Trump administration these past two weeks.
Regardless of political party every administration has staffers whose only job is to research every phrase, the talking point, event, history and customs that the president might encounter that day, week, month or year. Nothing is supposed to be left to chance.
The Trump administration is Donald J. trump driven, so the staffers have to wait for the president’s words in a press conference or a tweet, and then they have to tailor their actions accordingly. A lot of times they are left with egg on their face because Trump will change his mind midstream. For example, Kayleigh McEnaney said Trump was joking when he said he stopped White House Covid-19 testing but later Trump told a TV host that he was not kidding about that.
Hang on, I’m getting to my point.
A week or so ago, we all woke up to learn that the virus is spreading at an alarming pace in three states: Texas, Arizona, and Florida.
Any other administration would have assembled an all- hands- on- deck 9/11 response. The governors are all acknowledging the spike but not without first blaming young folks’ careless actions and Hispanic migrant workers.
The White House put Coronavirus on the backburner, they had to get the president on the campaign trail. Nothing like a crowd of 20,000 indoors and 20,000 overflow crowd to soothe the president’s ego.
I first thought that Stephen Miller wanted to antagonize the black community by staging a rally on Juneteenth. Remember I said administrations go over every detail before a trip is announced. Then of all places, the rally was where the 1921 Tulsa riots took place. After that oops moment, they moved the rally forward a day to not interfere with Juneteenth. That wasn’t enough, President Trump said that he made Juneteenth famous because no one knew about it.
What a wonderful PR move it would have been if President Trump would have made an announcement that now that Tulsa, Oklahoma has become a hot spot with a rise in 450 cases that he is canceling to not endanger his staff, secret service or the good people of Tulsa and the great state of Oklahoma. No, that’s what a competent administration would have done.
The inevitable happened as the Trump administration landed in a hot zone. Six White House staffers and two Secret Service officers tested positive for Covid-19 but the show must go on.
Was it worth it? If you think 6,200 people in an 18,000 arena, most not wearing masks or social distancing was an optic you wanted to project; then yes. President Trump barked out the same racists’ material, lies, and exaggerations. A photo emerged of the president exiting Marine One, tie undone, carrying a MAGA hat and dejected. It was as awkward as the one of him holding a bible in front of St. John’s. Again, the PR team gets an F.
What does this all mean?
Our country is leaderless when it needs it most desperately needs it.
Libertarians will argue that we don’t need the government to tell us what to do. Americans always need that nudge. Look how long we had slavery and I believe we are the only country that had to go to war to abolish it. How long did it take to get civil and voting rights or to allow women to vote?
I fully understand why businesses don’t want to demand that customers wear a mask, without a law being in place. Antagonizing customers will not help their business and it makes them the bad guy.
I can see where some Texas local officials and businesses are taking the bull- by- the- horn without the governor’s full backing but will others?
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a trickle-down effect I can agree with?