Some people look back at this past week and say that Donald Trump is finished. Four years ago, many people thought that Trump was done after the “Access Hollywood” tape was shown.
I am referring to Trump’s comments to Bob Woodward on February 7, when he admitted he knew COVID-19 was an airborne disease that was exponentially worse than the flu. Later on, he explained that he did not tell the American people because he did not want to cause panic. In addition, there were also comments about soldiers. There is a common theme between the sets of comments.
Trump sugarcoated the danger of the virus and “misled” people to think it was a minor condition that would go away. Many people died and got sick listening to him. That is the part of the revelation that has gotten most comment. There is another aspect of his conduct that deserves to be addressed.
Trump, for years, has been stoking fear and panic. In 2015, his campaign for president started off talking about Mexican rapists who are coming over our borders and he has not looked back. He is the fearmonger in chief. The same day when he explained his justification for misleading the American people, he held a rally in Michigan which blew apart his excuse of hiding the truth. It was the typical Trump rally, playing to the fears of the crowd. Also, there was no social distancing and few people wore masks. Months after Trump found out about the destructive effect of this coronavirus, he is still acting the same, playing down the significance of COVID and inflaming fear and division. Thus, his claim that he lied to the American people to avoid panic is not credible.
In any event, assuming he is correct, it is a window as to what he thinks of the nation. He thought that we could not be trusted to hear the truth. He believed that there will be panic in the streets if we were told the truth about the virus, so he kept it from us. Franklin Roosevelt famously said that the only thing to fear is fear itself. In contrast, Trump’s mantra is that the only thing to fear is the truth. This is his indictment of the American people. This is worse than when Hillary Clinton called some of Trump supporters deplorables in a private conversation. In Trump’s mind, all of us, including his own supporters, are deplorables - simple-minded morons who cannot handle the truth.
He underestimated the American people. When we finally found out the truth, there was no panic in the streets. People have generally abided by the requirements.
Trump has shown the same attitude toward those in the military who served, were captured, and killed. It is undisputed that Trump in 2015 denied that Sen. McCain was a war hero “I like people who weren’t captured,” he said. It is undisputed that the other foreign leaders went to the American cemetery in France despite the rain. The Atlantic reported that Trump said: Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers. Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood (battle in WWI) as “suckers” for getting killed.
To no one’s surprise, Trump denied it. However, the reporting was not only verified by “liberal outlets,” but even by conservative media outlets such as Jennifer Griffin at Fox News.
I did not serve in the military, but two of my uncles and my father-in-law fought in World War II, in the Air Force, Army, and the Navy. They did not want to talk about their experiences. I find Trump’s comments an insult to every person who ever wore a uniform defending our country. There are many people who were outraged by his comments.
Trump must had felt that way even back in the 1960s, when he got his phony exemption for “bone spurs.” Only suckers and losers went to Vietnam and he was not going to be one of them.
The icing on the cake was Trump taking a page out of “Hanoi Jane” Fonda and other anti-war leftists’ playbook. At a press conference after the Atlantic story broke, Trump said “the top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t (in love with me) because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.”
The common thread is Trump disparaging the intelligence and the capabilities of the American people and those who have served in the military. It is our chance to show who is the loser by making him one in this election.