So here’s a dirty little secret that even most of my family and friends don’t know about and I’ve been lying about for several years because I didn’t want to take their grief.
I voted for Donald Trump in 2016. I tell most people I didn’t vote. I didn’t really like the two options, and while Trump clearly had the kind of moral baggage that usually disqualifies him for office among most people, it was clear we weren’t in normal times.
I reasoned we could either tread water for another four years with Hillary Clinton, or we could try a bold choice in Donald Trump and if the experiment failed, we could fix our mistake in 2020.
The experiment has failed.
Like New Coke, Pets.com, the recent Cats movie and hydroxychloroquine, I came to the conclusion today that the Trump presidency has seen a massive failure in the kind of leadership this country needs at this point in our existence.
I don’t really like the state of the Democratic Party, I’m not a big fan of Joe Biden and I’m still concerned he’s going to pick a running mate that speaks to polls and not the best person for the job, but I cannot imagine that he could divide the people of America between 2021 and 2025 any worse than our sitting President.
The people of this country — or at least the ones I want to stand beside — are very angry about the George Floyd incident in Minnesota. While I don’t agree that violence is the way to show your anger, it’s not completely unfathomable why some people are now resorting to it. For those too young to remember, take a look at the Rodney King/LA Riots situation. This is probably going to get a lot worse before it gets better. I come from either the 49th or 50th whitest state in America (Maine trades the title back-and-forth with Vermont) and I can sense the racial unrest in this country. I can sense the frustration with civil rights. I’m not going to try and deliver a rousing speech about the Floyd incident or what it means because so many people have given so many great ones already. If it doesn’t upset you, something is wrong.
Today, this country crossed the line of 103,000 deaths of Coronavirus. It will probably be 104,000 before midnight passes on the West Coast. As I wrote in a post earlier today that you can read HERE, I think that people are launching into the new normal because the virus was not Armageddon, and the novelty of being at home 24/7 has worn off. I urge you take this moment and visit the Johns Hopkins website HERE. If you can find any information on that page that indicates things are a) getting better, b) leveling off or c) in any way not getting worse on a national level… show it to me. If this doesn’t upset you, something is wrong.
Our country is at a low point that I can’t remember.
And what is our elected leader, the person who is supposed to display strength and character and see us through this difficult time doing today?
He’s fighting with his favorite website.
No, Trump didn’t quickly get on a flight to Minnesota. He didn’t even issue a statement. His press secretary just said he was upset because really, what else can she say? Remember, this was the guy who publicly stated that there were good people on both sides of the white supremacy debate.
Trump didn’t fly to Minnesota because he was busy with one of his press conferences about the pandemic. Nope, those stopped when his advisers finally told him to shut the fuck up when floated the injection of disinfectant idea — which several people followed and died from, BTW. Yes, you didn’t, but the fact that more than one person did shows what power his words have, no matter how asinine. Nope, aside from perhaps talking to the press, answering only the questions he deems appropriate, every 10 days or so, we just don’t hear our leaders thoughts on one of the greatest catastrophes of modern time.
I’m not going to try to defend Trump’s civil rights record and I had to stop trying to defend his handling of Coronavirus. I actually thought about taking the blogs down I wrote in March urging people to give him a chance and stressing he wasn’t the problem. I’m embarrassed by those comments today.
We live in the United States. That first word is important. United. No, we’re never all going to be on the same page. We’re going to disagree and fight and argue and see bad times until the comet kills us all. But we need someone running the show who knows how to be a leader in the times that are called for and can try to make us more United.
As somebody who is neither Republican, nor Democrat and generally hates both labels and both sides, I think I can objectively say with the exception of George H. W. Bush, every President in my lifetime has been the right guy at the right time. GHWB, who I’ve actually met twice, like his son, seems like a decent guy from all accounts. He just didn’t know how to manage the economy and had to follow Ronald Reagan’s act. And in truth, I’m too young to accurately say how Carter or Ford did because I was watching cartoons.
But, I’m the only person I know who can say he has been able to vote in the past 6 presidential elections, back to 1996 and I have voted Republican in 3 and Democrat in 3. I really have no ownership on either side of the aisle.
No matter how you felt politically about Clinton, or Bush II, or Obama, or Reagan, and even the first Bush, they were the right guy for the time and always put the health of the country and the safeguard of its people at the top of their priority list.
What did Trump do today? He tried to distract you. He tried to make you think that fighting Twitter (which just about every legal scholar, both on the right and left have laughed at) was more important than the fallout of George Floyd or Coronavirus. He wants you to be upset that a private company pointed out that he lied…no, really, that’s what he wants. Screw your unemployment, personal health or fear of the police…a website made our President angry and we need to stand behind him…Who’s With Me??!!
Donald Trump doesn’t care what you think about Twitter. Donald Trump doesn’t care about the eventual lawsuits that will come over his Twitter executive order. Donald Trump just wants you to not pay attention to George Floyd or Coronavirus because they are symptoms and examples of his leadership problem.
Donald Trump is going to be successful at getting his blind legion of followers to care about Twitter today. That’s fine. The rest of us need to awaken from the zombie slumber of trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. I was cast under that spell for too long. I’m done with it.
It is going to suck to punch that hole next to Joe Biden’s name. It really is. But it’s time to admit the Trump experiment is a failure and we are worse off than we were before him. His leadership has failed.