Throughout history, presidents have brought people together during times of crisis and grief affecting our country. Who can forget the photos of President Barack Obama comforting residents following the Newtown shootings or after Hurricane Sandy ravaged a small town in New Jersey? Similar photos show President George W. Bush comforting victims of Hurricane Katrina and President Bill Clinton hugging children after Hurricane Andrew wreaked havoc on southern Florida. These photos are forever emblazoned in our minds of how a president should act in times of crisis.
Then there is “president” Donald Trump, whose reaction to his first hurricane disaster was to wear campaign merchandise and say idiotic things like this: “HISTORIC rainfall in Houston, and all over Texas. Floods are unprecedented, and more rain coming. Spirit of the people is incredible. Thanks!”
Trump made a trip to the CDC in Atlanta, decked out in his MAGA hat, bragging on how he could have been a scientist himself. He displayed absolutely no caring, no empathy, no feelings. Instead of a president who, no matter what, can display his care for the people of the country he was elected to lead, we have a self-aggrandizing, self-centered, dumb-as-dirt poser in the White House. He continues to learn nothing from his own history, using the pandemic to focus on his base by browbeating and denigrating others. That’s why his ass is going home in January.
As HuffPost so clearly lays out, Trump’s behavior amid the worst disaster in modern history is well below what is expected of and acceptable by a president. Is he focused on the 50,000 plus Americans who have died? How about the 20 million who have lost their jobs? Of course not. He spends his time attacking Democrats, blaming President Obama’s administration for his own shortcomings, and picking fights with reporters. He’s taking the opportunity to sneak in things like “banning foreigners” from the country.
Ari Fleischer, press secretary under President Bush, told HuffPost: “It drives me crazy, frankly, because part of being the president is to rise above, to ignore certain things.” Fleischer’s boss knew how to do that in the wake of the September 11 attacks, and his approval numbers went through the roof. Trump has waged war on Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who leads a state Trump desperately needs to won. He pays no attention to his own surroundings, even those that can lead to his success or failure. He is being challenged by someone many see as being able to reach across the aisle, has a pragmatic outlook, and has experience with these situations — Joe Biden. Instead of focusing on the problems with his potential reelection, for Trump, this is business as usual.
Other Republicans with sense fear Biden’s presence in the race. Doug Cole, a Republican in Arizona who worked on John McCain’s presidential bid, believes that “people are going to look for stability. Biden can capitalize on that.” Trump, meanwhile, can continue to believe that his very small base will carry him to the White House, but only in his feeble mind is that a possibility.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years