In various films since 1936, the Three Stooges included a gag about selective blindness. “I can’t see, I can’t see!” screams Larry in the 1936 rendition. “What’s the matter?” asks Moe.
Larry opens his eyes and says, “I got my eyes closed.”
That is the same selective blindness played by the President of the United States in his thinking that the reason we have a high level of Coronavirus is because we are testing too much. In other words, if we did not test, the virus would not exist in this country. By extension, if we keep our eyes closed, we can not see the 4.73 million cases in America, the 157,000 dead and counting. This, together with comments like, “We have it totally under control; “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear” fuel the selective blindness and lack of leadership in the most important medical moment in the history of this nation.
With respect to testing, lack of national leadership has made our capabilities problematic as it sometimes takes weeks for the average person to get the results back and therefore not useful in combating the spread. However, those with power and money, including the President, can and do get tested immediately and have results in a very short time.
To make things worse, President Trump insists that we open the country up for business with no national plan to limit the effects of more person to person exposure. The outcome has been that COVID-19 is out of control.
Also, the President’s reelection bid has not spared endangering children as he is demanding that schools open up in this environment and that kids attend classes. As the school year approaches, the majority of parents are having to make difficult decisions and find attendance under these conditions unacceptable.
The President is also bringing up an old theme of a rigged election as he did in 2016. This time, it is voting by mail that is the culprit according to him. That reminds me of the story about a partner in a marriage that accuses the other of infidelity only to be discovered later that the accuser was carrying that burden and wanted to unload it on the other. This is the case with Donald Trump.In the 2016 he accused the election system of being rigged against him. We found out later that he, his Russian intelligence allies and Wikileaks had collaborated to rig the election and squeeze out enough votes in three Midwestern states to win the electoral college.
This time his reelection hangs on his ability to convince enough people that the 2020 election is rigged against him because he clams fraud in the vote by mail option that has become popular because of the pandemic. His political future is in real trouble and can only be saved by the delay he is proposing. Instead of taking his responsibility seriously to assure a safe and secure election system, Trump has opted to do everything possible to discredit it and win by losing. This attack on yet another fundamental institution of our democracy is his self-serving way of doing everything possible to win in November.
The President’s failure in leadership includes not seeing or taking the pandemic seriously, not responding to it effectively and crushing the economy as a result. We are in for very difficult time, made worse by a so called leader in the White House.