Trump's to Blame for This Scared New World
The pandemic was an act of God, but the willful failure to respond to the crisis is the fault of Donald John Trump.
|Greg Olear||Apr 3|| 58||17|
AT 8PM on Wednesday, March 11, I was coaching basketball practice for my kid’s 6th-8th grade girls rec league team. Our squad was 7-2 and in a three-way tie for first place heading into the playoffs, which were slated to tip off that Monday, March 16. I’d already spent a lot of time preparing for the postseason, tinkering with lineups and defensive strategies. I wanted to win the trophy, for the third time in four years (my kid is really good at basketball, which inflates my coaching stats).
“Maybe we can go one more week before they shut it down,” I thought. “It’s just another week, and it’s not like these games are a big draw.” But part of me already knew that the practice might be the last time we took the court. I didn’t bother with the drills that night. I just let them scrimmage the whole time. When I got home, I saw on Twitter that the NBA had suspended the season. I immediately jumped in my car and went to the grocery store, where I dropped $300 on food, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies.
The next morning, word came that the Thursday youth league basketball practices were cancelled. Also, the college was shutting down—and that’s where the games were held. And then I got the dreaded email that the season was off. This was devastating, but inevitable. There was no good reason for my kid to be playing organized ball when Lebron, Giannis, and Kawhi were in self-quarantine.
Again, this happened on March 11—less than a month ago. And I was in crisis mode earlier than most, as evidenced by the fact that I was still able, three-plus weeks ago, to buy toilet paper.
In those 23 days, the entire world has changed, maybe forever.
We are all processing what just happened to us. We are all struggling with our conflicting emotions: with grief, with anxiety, with panic, with despair, with depression, with anger—and with fear.
In his inaugural address in 1933, FDR famously said, “first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
But the situation is different now, and those words no longer ring true. There is so much to fear. We are afraid of catching the virus. We are afraid of having to be hospitalized because of the virus. We are afraid of dying alone. We are afraid of losing loved ones, friends and family members, people in our communities, famous people we admire. We are afraid of losing our jobs. We are afraid of another Great Depression. We are afraid of being evicted from our homes. We are afraid of running out of supplies. We are afraid of the unknown future. We are afraid of the election. We are afraid of the election being cancelled, of Trump winning, of the republic falling. We are afraid of the mental strain of being in quarantine for months and months and months. And we are afraid of all of these things simultaneously. Convert retreat into advance? How can we even hope to advance, when the way to fight covid is to stay home?
Roosevelt also said: “Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment. Yet our distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague…” Well, we are. Americans in 2020 are sticken by plague. So there.
The last few weeks have been about re-calibrating our lives. We’ve had to move our jobs to our homes, insofar as we can. We’ve had to shore up our stores of needed supplies. We’ve had to cancel vacations (our family trip to LA was supposed to kick off today), postpone flights, shut down proms and graduations and reunions. We’ve had to move around our money to avoid ruin. Emotionally, we are all drained. Spent.
For most of us, the unwelcome new reality has not yet set in. This is not a brave new world, but a scared one.
As we settle into our quarantined homes, as we set up “online learning,” as we tap into skills we didn’t know we’d ever need, we will have time to look back and process what happened to us—and, most importantly, determine who is responsible. A pandemic was inevitable, an event scientists have been predicting for some time—an Act of God. But the response to the pandemic—or, rather, the complete and total lack of response, which was willful, deliberate, and outright fucking evil—is the fault of Donald John Trump; his corrupt and inept administration (fuck you, Jared); his propagandists on Fox News and OAN and Breitbart; and, also, the Republican Party that has enabled him, coddled him, and, this past January, as the covid outbreak hit Wuhan, absolved him of his obvious and odious crimes.
Trump and his people were warned by the intelligence community in December and early January that this was going to happen. The warnings were not only ignored, but openly mocked by MAGA. Trump and his propagandists called covid a hoax, said it was like the flu, promised that it was contained, assured that it would just go away. (Even as they repeated the bullshit party line on TV, some Republicans dumped stocks in advance of a market collapse they knew was coming). Even now, in April, Trump has done as little as possible to help. He brings one message on Monday and a completely different one on Tuesday. He refuses to make companies take action to produce the PPE and other materials we need. He denies aid to blue states. He pits governors against each other. He attacks journalists and Senators. And he brags about his ratings, his supposed Facebook popularity, and the “tremendous job” he’s doing. He continues to golf.
As I wrote in November of 2018: “Donald Trump is a Russian asset, a mob money launderer installed by his mob whoremasters to sow chaos and weaken the US & our allies. EVERY SINGLE THING HE’S DONE since taking office is to achieve those purposes—that and to enrich himself personally.” It was true then. It’s true now. “All roads lead to Putin,” Nancy Pelosi said. And, yes: Trump is a Manchurian President. A hostile foreign power has placed him in the White House. And “Putin’s puppet,” as Hillary Clinton so accurately called him, doesn’t care if we die. To the contrary, from what we’ve seen in 2020, Trump would prefer that we die. He is actively trying to kill us all. Actively. Trying. He’s gone Full Jim Jones.
As I type this, the Trumpist/Putinist/GOP propaganda networks are trying their damnedest to hold someone else, anyone else, accountable. It was the Democrats who did this, by distracting him with impeachment. It was Obama who did this, by not being tougher on China. It was the Chinese that did this, by not being straight with us.
No, no, and no. Donald Trump is to blame. This is his fault. And anyone who says otherwise—whether it’s Mitch McConnell, Tom Cotton, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, Rush Limbaugh, or one of these mega-church grifters—is a fucking traitor, and should be—in the Afterworld, when the pandemic has passed—prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The motherfucker knew and did nothing.
Let’s be clear as crystal:
When your kid’s basketball season is cancelled right before the playoffs, Trump is to blame.
When there are no professional sports to watch, to read about, to gamble on—no NBA Finals, no March Madness, no Wimbledon, no hockey, no baseball, and probably no NFL either—Trump is to blame.
When the movie theaters and theme parks and summer concerts don’t happen, that’s Trump’s fault.
When you can’t get a professional haircut, or a mani-pedi, or a massage—Trump did that.
When you can’t have dinner at your favorite sushi restaurant, Trump is to blame. When you can’t go to a bar and have a few beers with your mates, Trump did that to you.
In South Korea, which had its first reported case of covid the same day we did in the US, the schools have reopened. When your children are kept out of school until the fall, Trump made that happen.
When you haven’t had sex, or even made out with someone, in months, that is Trump’s doing.
When you’re barricaded in a small apartment with your abuser, Trump is responsible.
When a beloved actor, writer, athlete dies of the virus, the blood is on Trump’s hands.
When your 401k turns into a pumpkin, Trump waved the cursed wand.
When your cousin, your sister, your father, your wife is hooked up to a ventilator for two weeks, Trump is to blame. When these loved ones don’t make it, Trump is the blame. When the hospital bills come and you can’t pay them, that’s on Trump, too.
No prom, no graduation, no Opening Day, no Easter egg hunt, no brunch with Mom on Mother’s Day, no sleepaway camp, no summer blockbuster, no fireworks on the Fourth of July, no backyard barbeque, no day trip to the city, no beach house rental, no pick-up basketball, no dancing at the club, no dating, no reunions, no weddings, no funerals. Thanks, Trump!
Sure, there are others who helped Trump piss on our collective parade. Shall we name some of them? His despicable spawn, especially Don Junior and Ivanka. His seditious little prick of a son-in-law, Boy Plunder. Bill Barr, his fixer at the DOJ. Mitch McConnell, gaslighter extraordinaire. Rand Paul, who works for Vladimir Putin. The Fourth of July Traitors, ditto. Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, and Devin Nunes. Elise Stefanik and Lindsey Graham. Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, that drunk judge lady, Laura Ingraham, the hosts of Fox & Friends, Rupert Fucking Murdoch and his asshole son. Bernie Sanders, and his merry band of Russia-backed chaos agents. The media, which failed to tell us the truth about Trump in 2016. Jill Stein, Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore. Fuck all of these people.
Trump is a mobster. His debts to the Russian mob led to his takeover by Putin. He’s an enemy asset, in the White House—and the intelligence community and the Justice folks all know it. Yet Barr cockblocked the Mueller Report, McConnell and Justice Roberts made a travesty of the impeachment, and Trump remains, undeterred, angry, raging, bound and determined to kill us all.
Maybe you recognized this early on, as I did. Maybe it took you a year or two to come around. Maybe you voted for the guy and only recently saw the light. Maybe you’re still MAGA and won’t have your road-to-Damascus epiphany until someone you love dies. It makes no difference, as long as we all now emerge from our bubbles and accept our shared reality.
“This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly,” Roosevelt said in 1933. He also said this:
The basic thought that guides these specific means of national recovery is not narrowly nationalistic. It is the insistence, as a first consideration, upon the interdependence of the various elements in all parts of the United States—a recognition of the old and permanently important manifestation of the American spirit of the pioneer. It is the way to recovery. It is the immediate way. It is the strongest assurance that the recovery will endure.
Channeling his inner anti-FDR, the current president uttered the six words that define who he is, who he has been his entire noxious life—six words that should be in the first paragraph of his obituary: “I don’t take responsibility at all.” Ah, but ultimately, the choice of who takes responsibility is not his to make. We are going to lose a quarter of a million Americans—and that’s a conservative estimate. Whether he accepts the truth or not, it’s all Trump’s fault. All. Trump’s. Fault.
And we shall never forget, never forgive, and never yield in our quest for justice. We know who did this to us. And we will hold him to account.