The coming US Presidential Election (Nov 3) will be unlike any other in the history of the republic.
I have always believed … supported by 50 years of actively witnessing all kinds of election campaigns in BC, Canada and the US … that by far the vasy majority of “undecided” voters make up their minds within two weeks of the voting date.
Usually based on some precipitous major event, promise or faux pas by the leader or party candidates and/or strategists..
Not so this time in America.
The future of President Donald Trump and his Republican Congress and Senate allies will hang on how many Americans die, suffer or lose relatives, friends, jobs as a result of the coronavirus.
Even Trump supporters know the US President BUNGLED the crisis at the start.
He called media warnings that the virus devastating China was heading this way “another hoax”.
What an idiot!
And that “anyone who wants a test could get a test.”
Then he told Americans the virus would abate by April, when the warm weather comes.
And even proffered that those with mild coronavirus symptoms could still go to work.
Endangering human lives!
In 2018 … a year after its director warned about the dangers to the US of a pandemic starting elsewhere … Trump disbanded the unit.
Last week, the unit’s former director said that move contributed to the “sluggish response” to the virus that is now sickening, killing Americans at a still-rapidly-growing rate.
In the US … where health care costs are higher than any other country in the world … test kits are still almost impossible to find. And Trump TURNED DOWN the offer of millions of test kits from the World Health Orgnization!
So the official coronavirus infection toll is 3,500 … but everyone knows it is actually higher … much higher … and many Americans are panicking!
So you might think that Trump’s ignorance, deception and deer-in-the-headlights reaction to the REALITY that is now crippling America would destroy any likelihood he would be re-elected?
This is America 2020 … a country where the principles, standards and even rules-of law enshrined in the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights no longer apply.
Those once-proudly proclaimed quoted and revered documents have become to those currently in power like the Constitutions of Russia and China … and probably North Korea, Iran and Egypt: they look good on paper … and make a splendid uplifting read … but do not apply to the countries’ leaders and their lackies, when inconvenient.
So election borders are regularly twisted like pretzels; identification rules are imposed to make it much more difficult for those leaning away from those in power to even vote; polling stations are severely limited in areas where opponents have strength … forcing determined voters to wait up to 8 hours in the sun to get in; and, where even provisions of the laws of evidence and witnesses and procedures governing the Administration and Congress can be regularly bypassed … or simply ignored.
So the US President can now: govern increasingly as an autocrat; terrorize almost all of his party’s elected officials into total submission; lie to the American people an estimated 14,000 times without any serious repercussions; dishonour and dismiss the findings of the country’s own top intelligence agencies; question the heroism of a Senator who endured torture in a Vietnamese prison rather than forsake his comrades; but pardon a convicted criminal US Navy Seal who brought dishonour on the unit; and can try to coerce a foreign government into creating troubles for his own domestic political opponent.
And abandon multiple allies and ethnic minorities who fought for and died beside the US in some of the worst areas of conflict around the globe. While kowtowing to killers and dictators like Putin, Bin Salman, Kim Il Jung.
This NOT what the United States used to stand for to much of the world.
Principles, ethics and honour have been pushed aside by many in the richest country in the world for the love of even more money, the celebration of xenophobic nationalism and the fomenting of domestic division and hate.
It’s sad to see in such a once-great country.
Frankly, in this the decade of ultra-tech instant visual media, many Americans see the current US Presidency as just another reality show taking place daily … even instantly … before their eyes and tweets: Trump is entertaining, brash, rash, dramatic and even funny.
And don’t forget, until the coronavirus struck, the US economy was doing very well (for many); the unemployment rate was very low; and nationalistic “pride”, verging on hubris, among many Americans was quite high.
So after spending much of this past winter in the US, I would not have ruled Trump out one month ago from winning a second term of office ….
But Coronavirus could change that…
If Americans conclude too many of their family, friends, neighbours, co-workers and other fellow citizens suffer or die from Trump’s bungling, lying and mishandling of the coronavirus crisis.
(A personal note: as you can see, I’m back safe and sound from my latest cruise … aboard the wonderful Celebrity Equinox, where sanitizing supervision and practices were superb … but I have still been largely self-isolating … because the new reality in Florida is more frightening than the conditions were at sea. Also cutting short my US stay … flying back to BC in a few days … where I will self isolate again … until I conclude I picked up nothing at the airport or on the flight. Thanks to those who wrote their concerns.)