(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)
The US is facing three major crises, but the president is addressing only one, and not by trying to solve it but by trying to make it worse. First there is the COVID pandemic. Trump has made it clear that the administration will just wait for a vaccine that according to him might be available by Election Day. This is his wettest dream, but both the executive in charge of operation Warp Speed and nine pharmaceutical companies have already promised that there will be no shortcuts in getting a vaccine approved, and a majority of Americans doesn’t trust anything the president says about vaccines anymore. Secondly there is the economy. Trump is taking credit for its pre-pandemic strength, which was really created by Obama and the Fed, while its partial collapse due to the pandemic the product was of his ineptitude. The refusal of senate Republicans to pass an adequate second relief package means that the recession will intensify and well over 10 million mostly low income workers and their families will continue to suffer. And then there is the crisis in race relations, caused by numerous police killings of black Americans, the one crisis Trump has decided to take care of.
Violence in the streets is a necessary condition for the president’s law and order strategy, his Hail Mary pass to save his re-election chances, so he’s doing everything he can to stoke the flames in ‘Democrat’ cities, attacking both Mayors and demonstrators and urging his own armed goons to confront the latter, even defending a murderer who shot two BLM activists. It isn’t working all that well, because in Wisconsin, which had the latest riots in Kenosha, Trump’s poll numbers went down while Biden’s went up. To complement his strategy with a fitting insult to America’s minorities the president ordered an end to all diversity training within the government, calling it ‘anti-American.’ A fourth crisis Trump faces is entirely of his own making. The Atlantic reported that the president, who had refused to visit a cemetery in France where 1,800 US Marines are buried because his hair might get wet, had referred to the fallen soldiers as ‘losers,’ and on another occasion had said that only ‘suckers’ went to Vietnam. It was nothing new, in light of Trump’s earlier remarks about John McCain and George H.W. Bush, but it sounded harsher than ever before.
The article came out a few days after a poll showed that the president is no longer supported by a majority of service members, and a good rule says that when you’re in a hole you should stop digging, but Trump doubled down. Simultaneously he posed as a champion of the military’s rank and file by pretending that he wants to bring them home while top generals want to keep going to war, so that weapons producers can continue to profit. It was a peculiar statement from a president who prides himself in having significantly raised the Pentagon’s procurement budget.
A budget that wasn’t managed too well was that of the Trump campaign, where $800 million of $1.1 billion disappeared without much to show for it. Of the spent money $60 million went to Trump’s lawyers, $38 million to Brad Parscale’s digital business, and an unknown amount to the Trump Organization for space rentals, lodging and catering. The new campaign manager, Bill Stepien, who replaced Parscale, halted advertising in a number of states and now operates on a shoestring.
With all this going on there are the books. First Mary Trump’s about her uncle, then a book about Melania by her former BFF, now Michael Cohen’s farewell to the Trump mafia family and soon Bob Woodward’s ‘Rage,’ for which the president was interviewed multiple times but that he’s already attacking. With those titles and a number of earlier publications Trump can have quite a library after his presidency.
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