This week, in spite of Trump saying the country is doing great in a pandemic that just infected its four millionth plus U.S. victim and is killing over approximately 1,000 Americans a day, Trump is beginning to have to face reality. After months of mocking mask wearing and physical distancing guidelines, faced with sliding poll numbers and a pandemic that is showing no signs of weakening, Trump reluctantly canceled his convention in Jacksonville, Florida, stating he was doing so to “protect” the American people. So now, after allowing more than 145,000 Americans to die from the coronavirus, Trump suddenly cares about the American people?
Trump is still solely focused on trying to salvage his re-election. For months he downplayed the threat posed by this virus to the U.S., ignoring health experts’ warnings about reopening too soon before we could get a handle on the pandemic. And in his arrogance of “he knows more than anyone else on this planet about everything,” Trump pushed states to reopen prematurely in a vain attempt to bolster the economy and save his own rear. Now, as the majority of states are once again facing shutdowns, Trump has turned his assault on America towards this nation’s children, doubling-down on his demands for schools to open, as well as taking aim at Democratic mayors across this nation, unleashing hundreds of federal agents upon their cities, using federal power in ways that are alarming local officials and constitutional scholars alike.
And as if all this isn’t enough to be concerned about, at a time when many believed U.S.-China tensions couldn’t get worse, under Trump, they just did, as both the U.S. and China are forcing consulates to close, raising the risk of missteps which could lead to that which none of us want to focus on.
Trump – our Law and Order, Tough-Guy president – who, in the middle of a pandemic, is still trying to prove his cognitive abilities by repeating 5 simple words over and over again and again to anyone who will give him an ear, is leading this nation…into oblivion.
We are in perilous times and seemingly getting more so. Even Mother Nature is getting into the act again, as the most powerful storm on the planet currently, Hurricane Douglas, is taking direct aim at Hawaii while Hurricane Hanna is hitting South Texas and Gonzalo is churning towards the Windward Islands and eastern Caribbean after having already claimed a record for the earliest “G” storm this past Wednesday in what is already a record-breaking season.
As life moves forward haltingly, nothing seems real anymore and time is a blur. Life as we knew it, before Trump and the pandemic and lock downs and masks and secret police and a climate proving it’s still mightier than all of us combined, that life is gone, it exists in some “prior time.” We seem to be stuck in a time in which many now feel there’s something much worse lurking just around the corner as we continue to bicker about trivialities, oblivious to the doom about to strike.
But none of this is rational…it’s a function of rational analysis filtered through an underlying anxiety that pushes the imagination of outcomes and endgames into places most of us normally wouldn’t contemplate.
Yet here we are…a nation where the numbers of unemployed continue to grow, where our own president purposely continues to divide and provoke us against one another, where most individuals are rightly terrified of infection by an unseen pandemic while others claim it’s a conspiracy, where police marginalize and brutalize African Americans, and where nearly everyone is disgusted by institutional incompetence. And then the economy really starts to tank, resulting in bankruptcies and layoffs; evictions leading to increased homelessness; increasing crime and violence beyond that which we’ve already witnessed; foreclosures pushing banks to the brink, erasing homeowners’ equities; and finally, when the stock market collapses, the majority of this country’s retirement funds are wiped out.
America, ‘Our Time’ has come and the clock is ticking…tick, tock!
JOIN Barb and John as they discuss Our Time.
Ken Goldstein comments each hour on Grit (Rebroadcast from July 22, 2017)
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