Day 31: The Empty Shell

What are your thoughts on hearing of the unexpected illness of a president who has pitted his fortunes against those of a majority of the American people? After flouting and dismissing measures known to protect the public against COVID’s spread, Trump has gotten the disease himself. He’s in the hospital and said to be doing well, but any outcome is possible. He could recover after just a slight case, or he could worsen; he could die.

Many in Trump’s Republican party mimicked his cavalier approach to the disease. Just as he became sick, so too have a passel of his Republican allies taken ill with COVIDat the same time: GOP party chair Ronna McDaniel; First Lady Melania Trump; Senators Thom Tillis (NC), Ron Johnson (WI), and Mike Lee (UT); Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s close aide Hope Hicks, his campaign manager Bill Stepien, and former Governor Chris Christie, who, with several others listed here, helped Trump prepare for last Tuesday’s debate.

The White House approach to COVID protocols was lax, leading to an outbreak that threatens the stability and security of the United States by sidelining, distracting, and disabling too many of its influential figures at once.

Yet one’s overall impression is how little any sick or healthy Republican cares. It doesn’t matter much to Republicans that the White House can’t do the work of the people, because that long ago vanished as top priority. The Republicans’ main focus since Trump tested positive has been on his suddenly changed situation and what it might mean for them. The party’s agenda consists of two main items: rushing Amy Coney Barrett onto the Supreme Court and making sure (by any means) that Trump wins re-election. No one cares whether Trump misses a few days of work at the White House, because, in all his tenure there, he’s avoided the chore of serving the people.

This has become clear as his schedule over the past week or so has been scrutinized for the bearing it might have on Washington’s contagion. Jetting around to campaign rallies, schmoozing at fund-raisers, preparing for the presidential debate, putting in a ghastly showing in it, and hosting a GOP love-fest for Amy Coney Barrett in the Rose Garden: such are the events that engross Trump most.

In the meantime, millions of Americans are out of work, running out of funds, and going hungry. Many are worried about losing their homes and access to medical care, even as winter comes on and the virus lingers and spreads. Businesses are folding, wildfires rage, and the bright possibilities of vibrant, solvent cities have evaporated. Cities like New York and Chicago, which represent some of the nation’s greatest concentrations of human and real capital, are barely holding together. Some vast piles of money that Congress set aside to help with these problems remain unspent or were spent improperly, attesting to Mr Trump’s ineptitude and indifference when he’s taxed with helping anyone but himself.

Under Donald Trump, the White House has become an empty shell. While he receives Cadillac treatment at Walter Reed, Americans can’t help but notice how little Trump and his ilk care about them.

Image: Currier & Ives print of the White House (1877),
from this source.

4 responses

  1. I confess some satisfaction that Trump has contracted Covid-19. I wish he would suffer greatly before recovering, so that the gravity of the virus would be impressed upon him and many of those who have been so dismissive of its threat.

    Then again, he has lied so often and thrown so much confusion and doubt into the public’s mind, that even now we cannot be certain what is actually happening. So many are easily drawn into conspiracy theories that it seems impossible to regain solid ground.

    Ultimately, I am disturbed by the hostile thoughts and feelings that this man provokes. We will always be a polarized society if such hostility continues. I do my best to revive my equanimity, but the forces that lead to conflict are very strong.

    • You put it so clearly. Ultimately the hostility Trump provokes is the most ominous feature of his presidency. It is terrible how his need to dominate and continue on is destroying every sweet thing about the country, notably its citizens’ liberties and its foundation in the rule of law. I hope that Americans wake up to how much they have to lose by allowing this person to remain in power.

      Thanks, Peggy. Stay strong.

  2. I just wish that the man will be removed from office, in any way possible, by any means. He is, as I often say,”a piece of sewage, trash DNA.”

    The damage he has done to our country is horrifying. He’s got to go, and good riddance to him when he does.

    • The pressure is all on the American voter. No other group has succeeded in standing up to Trump or curbing his influence. The situation will continue unless the American people en masse exercise the rights and power the Constitution gives them.

      The president is supposed to be “the people’s sovereign.” That is, the president should be someone who truly represents them. I sure hope all those apathetic and indecisive people who didn’t vote last time around get their act together and cast the crucial truckloads of votes for Joe.

      It will be great if the American people manage to pull this off!!! Think how happy we’ll be to know we got rid of this guy legitimately!