Bob Franken




There are two ways to tell that President Donald Trump is reading from a teleprompter: First, when he does, he delivers his speech in an obvious whiny voice, stumbling over words when his aides were able to persuade him to adhere to the address they had written. Second, he doesn’t usually say things that are hateful, bigoted, obnoxious or just plain ignorant. Anytime he ad libs he does. We could call it the “teleprompter strategy” for re-election, but even when he does stick to the script, the script is reprehensible.
He or his flunkies portray him as a compassionate, decisive leader whose quick action saved the country from the coronavirus. The fact is it’s exploding now. The nation has more than 6 million cases of COVID from the beginning of the year; more than 180,000 have died. That’s from a lack of testing that exists to this day, although the president insists the count is so high because too many people are being tested. The administration has dithered its way since the start of this pandemic — from a shortage of equipment for the medical professionals who try to stem the tide, to masks, to the protective suits that are necessary to save their lives. As a result, many doctors, nurses and other front-line individuals have died of COVID.
Meanwhile, there was President Trump trying to wring whatever political advantage he could out of this tragedy. He was front and center claiming that the pandemic is no big deal, that the organism will magically disappear soon. He touted various existing medicines, like hydroxychloroquine, as miracle cures, in spite of expert research to the contrary. In fact, he has constantly ignored the counsel of his public health advisers and continuously showed his ignorance. As a result, he has created a disaster that’s not just physically deadly, but also economically. But now he and his flunkies claim that it was his steady leadership that has turned the situation around. First of all, it hasn’t been turned around, but he and his advisers will count on the obliviousness of voters to accept his claims.

He shows even more audacious hypocrisy when it comes to his racism. The country is wracked with massive protests as the nation realizes that we have systemic bigotry, which has reduced only incrementally since the days of slavery. Each killing of a Black person by police causes an explosion, a turnout by Blacks and whites of good faith aiming to change things. Unfortunately, a few protestors have set fires and looted, and now pro-Trump forces have mobilized with deadly results on both sides. Racial justice demonstrators should realize they just play into Trump’s hands with violence, and both sides should realize they are coming perilously close to civil war.
Trump presents himself as the “law and order” president and a friend of minorities, but he really is a member of the Black Lives Do NOT Matter crowd — or brown lives, or Muslims and so many other groups that he has demonized.
At the same time, he and his fellow Republicans are returning to their Jim Crow roots by trying to suppress the vote, particularly those constituencies who could be expected to vote for Joe Biden. They are discrediting the election. It’s fair to say that too many in the GOP are not only anti-Democrat, but anti-democracy.
But in this age of COVID, they are sabotaging every alternative to risking Americans’ lives if they are exposed at polling places. Turnout is everything, of course, and the president is counting on the passions of his “base” to vote, and will do everything he can to intimidate or discourage his opponents. That includes blatantly misleading those who are still undecided. If he gets away with turning some fence sitters’ minds he will have gotten away with his lying and dissembling. And he might still be president for another term.

© 2020 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

Posted in Uncategorized

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap