We knew months ago—and so did Donald Trump—that the best things we could do to protect ourselves and others against covid 19 were pretty low tech: wear masks, keep “socially distant,” wash hands frequently, avoid crowds. The simplicity of all that makes the behavior of the man who aspires to a second term in the White House inexplicable. He refused for months to wear a mask or to require his staff to do so—and even now, does so only sporadically.
Trump’s behavior makes sense only as a psychological aberration, a break from reality so profound that those around him—and others who support him—have been unable to resist the vortex swirling them all into a kind of collective insanity. Who of right mind would routinely risk their own and their family’s lives by refusing to take simple protective precautions?
And what leader of right mind would hold events designed to lure those thus deranged—and most likely to vote for him—into the hazards we now call super spreader events? It makes no sense.
But then, the fact that we elected him in 2016 made no sense, and very little has made sense since then.
Hope is on the horizon. We have a stark choice between an ignorant, reckless, self-absorbed man who cannot lead and a proven, compassionate, thoughtful leader who understands the problems of real people. A major bonus comes with the latter: Joe Biden has extensive foreign relations experience, first as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and later as Barack Obama’s foreign relations adviser. He knows history and geography and how to conduct himself like an adult. Distracted by the domestic disruption caused by Trump’s bungled non-response to the pandemic, we overlook at our peril the damage done to our relationships with allies and competitors on the international scene.
The next four years: We can begin the work of rescuing an endangered species—government of the people, by the people, and for the people—or we can swirl around in the vortex. Which will it be?