Lincoln He Is Not

(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)

In 1864 Abraham Lincoln won a second term that had looked unlikely a year earlier because the Civil War was not going well for the Union, but Lee’s defeat at Gettysburg and Grant’s victory at Vicksburg turned the tide, and Sherman’s triumph in the Battle of Atlanta sealed the deal.  Lincoln won with 55% of the popular vote and an Electoral College margin of 212-21.  Trump likes to compare himself to Lincoln and even claims to have done as much for black Americans as Honest Abe, maybe even more, but in this election his chances are a negative mirror image of Lincoln’s.  A year ago the president was counting on the strong economy Obama left him and a booming stock market to get re-elected, but then COVID-19 struck, killing over 225,000 Americans and causing over 10 million in job losses to date, representing his Gettysburg and Vicksburg, and this week the stock market started tanking, copying the Battle of Atlanta.  As a result Trump is campaigning in places he won before and has to hold now but where he doesn’t want to be, as he told the voters in Erie, Pennsylvania, while Biden is campaigning to expand the electoral map.

When Trump has died, his tombstone should say ‘Here lays Donald J. Trump, he’s doing a great job,’ because those are the words the president has uttered more than any others during the last four years.  That job apparently didn’t include protecting Americans against the corona virus, because the White House is now semi-officially pursuing a strategy of herd-immunity that will kill millions of elderly Americans unless a vaccine becomes available soon, and Trump is still making fun of wearing masks, with social distancing the only protection against getting infected.  Because spreading the virus is an essential part of this strategy the Trump campaign is staging a superspreader tour with rallies in places where the pandemic is spiking and with very few masks and no social distancing.  Research now shows strong and significant correlations between those rallies and local breakouts of COVID cases, with a national growth of 35% in the last two weeks.  In spite of these facts the president keeps claiming that the US is turning the corner and blames the press for the ‘fake news‘ about COVID, COVID, COVID that doesn’t fit in his alternate reality.

During a Sunday morning show Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows stumbled upon the truth when he said ‘we cannot control the virus,’ waving a white flag while strangely accusing Biden of surrendering because Biden wore a white mask.  Since then the Trump campaign has been in damage control mode, with the president claiming that COVID will be controlled and that masks are handed out and being worn at his rallies.  Reporters checked his claims and found that very few masks are handed out and that they’re only consistently worn in Trump’s immediate environment. In the second debate with Biden the president said ‘we’ll have to live with the virus,’ and five members of Mike Pence’s staff proved his point by becoming infected, suggesting that eventually the only place in the country with herd immunity will be the White House.  Pence, who still heads the Corona Task Force, meanwhile continues to campaign against CDC rules.    

After a cranky Trump walked out of a ’60 Minutes’ interview because Lesley Stahl asked him ‘tough questions’ the White House press secretary gave Stahl a pile of documents she claimed were the president’s health care plan, but that according to Lesley made no sense whatsoever.  Trump’s misinformation campaign continued in Wisconsin, a state he is almost certainly going to lose, where he produced 131 falsehoods during a 90 minute speech, indicating that he’s back in prime form.  In a win for the president the Supreme Court, where Trump’s and McConnell’s wench Amy Coney Barrett took the ninth seat yesterday, ruled that Wisconsin cannot count any votes after election day, possibly disenfranchising tens of thousands of voters.  It goes to show how fearful the president and his band are of the electorate this year.

In a temporary setback for Trump a federal judge ruled that the Justice Department cannot represent him in de defamation case of a woman who claims he raped her, but this case will undoubtedly end up in the Supreme Court where Justice Barrett will side with the rapist.  On Fox & Friends Jared Kushner once more illustrated why the money his father spent to get him into Harvard in spite of mediocre grades was wasted when he blurted out that the president ‘cannot want black Americans to be successful more than they want to be successful,’ effectively blaming the black community for its own problems after slavery, Jim Crow, systematic voter suppression and a myriad of forms of discrimination. 


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