While America burns

Nero, according to legend, played his fiddle while Rome burned. At least he didn’t fan the flames.

Trump’s presidency already represented a collapse of civic standards of decency we’d always taken for granted. Exacerbating ruinous divisions. Then came the pandemic. Together with economic meltdown. A hundred thousand dead; forty million out of work; businesses destroyed; trillions in costs; normal life up-ended; a nation traumatized and on edge. Needing just a spark to explode. Then police thugs commit a murder so callous it sears one’s soul.

The virus, and its economic fallout, had already disproportionately hit blacks, worsening our inequality divide. And now this. Reopening a long festering wound of racial injustice, rubbing salt in it. The resulting feelings of rage are entirely justified. The violence is desolating, making everything worse.

If ever we needed a real leader, a human being with a soul and heart, it’s now. Instead we’ve got the heart of darkness.

What is Trump doing while America burns? Not fiddling — pouring gasoline on the flames. Recycling old racist language; attacking “liberal governors and mayors;” threatening to escalate the violence with military intervention; denigrating protesters as having an illegitimate political agenda; threatening those outside the White House with “the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen,” relishing the idea of unleashing them, and encouraging his supporters to mount counter-protests. While also still encouraging their onslaughts against his own government’s public health measures. Attacking and pulling out of the World Health Organization. Accusing President Obama and his whole administration of unspecified imaginary crimes. Accusing a critical news commentator (Joe Scarborough) of a murder that never happened. Launching a fight with Twitter for labeling his tweets false and glorifying violence. Threatening to shut down the postal system to stop voting by mail. Retweeting a supporter’s video saying “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.” Suggesting CNN had it coming when a crowd attacked its Atlanta headquarters.

Compare Biden’s May 31 statement: www.fsrcoin.com/Biden.html. Trump’s behavior in contrast stirs up the violence he decries.

Calling America a “sick society” was a longtime cynical trope I always used to reject. But today it’s very sick indeed. Sick in the head and heart. The sickness is embodied in Trump and the supporters who enable him. Trump is insane. Electing him was insane. Approving of this depraved monster is insane.

In November we’ll have one last chance to restore sanity.

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One Response to “While America burns”

  1. Lee Says:

    Thank you for calling attention to the murder of George Floyd. If only the nation could come together in recognition of the inhumanity of the ongoing racism then there could be a silver lining. However, I fear that the media will focus primarily on the riots, and when the riots are over, all will become a footnote of history and nothing will have changed. Nothing will have changed despite all the peaceful demonstrations and despite the good words from good-hearted leaders.

    The racism permeates society in so many ways, and I do not see any leaders willing to lead an attack with the needed moral equivalent of war.

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