What are you writing today, my mother asks.
She and I talk or text in the morning and evening. She’s 91.
I tell her I am writing about misplaced empathy for Donald Trump.
It’s a tricky situation, I say to her. I don’t ever wish suffering on anyone. But he wants to take away people’s healthcare in the middle of a pandemic.
My mother is a most empathetic person. She’s always pointing out that Donald Trump didn’t get enough love as a child.
It is tricky, she replies. It’s both sad and criminal. It just goes to show you that you have to take good care of children.
I can’t think of those children at the border without starting to cry.
Isn’t that everything in a nutshell? So much suffering caused by one man.
She mentions that when she speaks to a friend about the president, the friend says,
Empathy is not something one has unless one has received it.
I imagine that is true. I also do not believe the people of this nation, and the world, should continue to pay with their lives for one person’s damaged soul.
I am not someone who believes there’s a God in the sky moving us around on a chessboard. I am not even sure I believe in karma. There are plenty of people on earth who are kind and good and suffering. Conversely, there are plenty of people with every opportunity handed to them on a silver platter, who cause that suffering.
In short, I don’t believe that life is fair. I don’t think Donald Trump has Covid-19 because of some unseen, universal justice system.
What I do believe is that one cannot outsmart Mother Nature, and that if you travel around the country without a mask, throwing events without social distancing, you will probably get exposed to the coronavirus.
If you are that person and happen to be president of the United States, your arrogance causes untold suffering to both those exposed to you, and the nation as a whole.
What a dreadful time Trump has wrought. He wreaks absolute havoc. This week is chock-full of the discord and criminality his presidency visits on our nation.
What I find particularly egregious is the sanctimony dripping from Republicans I see on social media. It’s much like forgetting about Merrick Garland. My feed is full of people demanding that I do as they say, but not as they do; as if I am now required to believe that the president hasn’t made the Covid-19 pandemic worse.
I suppose it’s inevitable. It’s not just the president who is at risk of losing office November 3rd. The Republican party is in danger of losing the Senate as well, and they should be.
Focusing on the people celebrating that manslaughter by the Executive Branch is on pause is a much better option than admitting their own culpability.
The president decides he doesn’t want the pandemic to be an issue, as if it’s something he can control. The spineless members of the Republican party fall in line, and set up a list of demands to please him.
They demand that the president’s nominee for the Supreme Court be pushed through by election day.
They demand that people survive on an amount of unemployment relief that doesn’t even pay their rent.
They also demand that we pretend the president’s situation isn’t his own fault.
All of this insistence that it’s business as usual, when it is clearly not. The evidence for this lies in Walter Reed, tonight; yet the demand is that we ignore why he’s there.
May I also point out the president is reckless with his life even while others risk theirs to protect him.
Why do we pay for Secret Service protection when he throws himself in harm’s way?
Keeping this in mind, it is not a rhetorical question to ask why this man has the judgment to appoint a lifetime member to the Supreme Court.
My wish is that members of the Republican party take stock of how their blind support for the president results in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans.
It may offend some sensibilities that a number of people are celebrating the president’s illness. Keep in mind that Trump, himself, is the number one cause of disinformation about the coronavirus. People have lost family and friends because of his reckless disregard of the truth.
This anger is justified. So is the hope that if the President is hospitalized, the Republican party might take some long-overdue actions toward amending this situation and require a national mask mandate.
Celebrating a man’s illness may seem unseemly. If we are all honest, though, we can admit that his illness might be the only thing that will save American lives this winter.
Saving American lives is usually something to celebrate.
The GOP can’t play both sides of the Covid-19 coin. If it’s terrible the president is ill, it’s more than terrible he’s caused so much of the same suffering.