Caught in a whirlwind of weirdness
Dare I ask: What's next?
Let's roll tape: Ruth Bader Ginsburg passes on Sept. 18. Seems like about two months ago with all the tumult that has followed.
RGB's passing initiated the Great Republican whiplash – nearly unanimous GOP endorsement of rushing through a presidential Supreme Court nomination in the midst of a presidential election, when there was the same GOP unity behind NOT doing so in 2016 when President Obama made his nomination … too close to election, GOP leaders said at the time. Of course, that was in March of an election year, three quarters of a year from Election Day, not October, days from the vote. Americans don't need a lot of examples on why to not trust what politicians say, but the ease of which so many senators abandoned their firm standing from 2016 was stunning if not sickening.
But that's politics, we learn again.
Fast forward a few days, Sept. 26: President Trump holds his Rose Garden event to announce Amy Coney Barrett on what historians may one day call "Superspreader Saturday," where a mask was about as out of fashion as an Abe Lincoln hat. Three days later, Sept. 29, the nation endures the most off the rails presidential debate in American history. Remember when Ronald Reagan's "There you go again" jab at President Carter raised eyebrows as being a little disrespectful?
Couple debate lowlights in case anyone has forgot: Biden calling Trump a clown and telling him to "Just shut up, man." Trump calling Biden dumb, interrupting constantly, and Trump trying to embarrass him by bringing up his son's drug past as Biden was talking about his other son, a decorated war veteran who died of cancer. Taste and respect were nowhere to be seen on the debate stage. Rules were ignored. The two men are running to lead the United States of America, to become or stay president. Tuesday in Ohio, it seemed more like two old guys who'd been fighting since high school now battling to win the right to call Friday night bingo at the retirement center.
Possibly the most astute analysis of the debate was given by a handful of people copying each other. Not sure who said first, but it was painfully accurate. Who won the debate? Russia, China and Iran won it. I think it was Drudge Report that indicated the debate was like "watching a nation in decline."
But just as we emerged from our debate hangover, this past weekend happened. First, it's announced Trump assistant Hope Hicks has COVID and was very sick. Then Trump calls his defacto chief of staff Sean Hannity, during his show, and lets the world know that he, the president, is fine. But wait, hours later the big one hits: Trump, and the first lady, indeed, have COVID.
For about 15 minutes (give or take) liberal media cable news expressed concern about the president's health, before flipping into the "it serves you right" mode. The man who basically lived the "masks are for wimps" mantra had caught the horrible virus. Even the doctors at Walter Reed got into the political spirit of things, not giving detailed, or even straight, answers. We never fully found out all weekend how the president was truly doing.
That is until he decided to go for a cruise! How did that conversation go with the poor guys who had to drive with and protect the president during that Sunday drive? "Yeah, I know I have a virus that has killed a million people worldwide, 200,000-plus here in our country … but do you think you could hop in the Suburban and drive me around the block so I can wave to those nice folks across the street holding Trump banners? I'll even wear a mask and promise not to cough."
What's next? Wait, don't answer. It will likely be too strange to believe anyway.
Give the president his due. There aren't many 74-year-olds who can go at it with kind of verve and intensity President Trump does on a constant basis. If there was a guy in his age group and weight class that COVID couldn't beat, it might be President Trump. The last four years has proven that the guy takes a pounding and keeps on ticking.
We should all hope and pray he comes out of his COVID battle strong and healthy. If you feel otherwise, you should check yourself as a patriotic American – for that matter, as a decent human.
No doubt President Trump has the intense backing of about 40% of the country's electorate. In about five years, the former reality show host managed to personally absorb the entire Republican Party. That fact may likely be his most impressive historical achievement, win or lose this election. The GOP didn't even bother to establish a platform for 2020, essentially indicating the party is what the president wants it to be. Trump's seemingly unsolvable political problem, though, is 50% of the electorate absolutely do not appreciate him and the other 10% don't really like the chaos his style manifests – and that 60% collectively like to shout that the nation can't survive another four years of Donald Trump as president.
The way the last few weeks have gone, I'm not sure we can make it to election day.
But let's take it in baby steps. Let's at least make it to the next presidential debate, Oct. 15. Hopefully, the president is fully recovered and can take part. Maybe that debate can be a victory for OUR country, and not our adversaries. But in the turmoil that we're encased in, it's hard to feel fully confident in anything or anyone.
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