Donald Trump needed a miracle in the early days of what promised to be a lackluster election year. Being acquitted in an impeachment is, while a victory of sorts, hardly the kind of victory upon which you want to base a run for a second presidential term. In quick succession fate or nature handed him two miracles, and Trump blew both of them.
Thanks to the Bob Woodward taped revelation, Trump knew — and actually believed — what many of us didn’t know or believe, on or about the seventh of February, 2020, that coronavirus was airborne and deadly and coming for us. It is the kind of intelligence you actually hope the president of the United States has, believes in and acts upon. Not only did Trump not act on it, he decided, instead, to let it kill us.
The second miracle Trump was handed was George Floyd. Mr. Floyd’s appalling murder gave Trump a chance to say some fairly obvious things that would have gained him grudging respect on the Left without losing more than a tiny fraction of his racist base. He could have condemned Mr. Floyd’s murder in no uncertain terms and even penned an executive order making death by excessive use of force of any person in police custody a federal hate crime. That move by itself would have appealed to virtually everyone, from the Black Lives Matter Left to the angry, punitive, authoritarian Right.
In short, Trump had his re-election miracles handed to him on a platter. His response to both was so bad it’s difficult to imagine worse. This is more than a feature of Trump’s incompetence, it’s proof of just how far out of touch with reality Donald Trump actually is.
Trump didn’t know how to exploit his twin miracles because he simply doesn’t know how to negotiate reality. He doesn’t know what reality actually is. For the rest of us, reality is the thing we all deal with every day. When we do things right things go well for us, more or less. When we do things wrong things go wrong for us, more or less. We are all rewarded or punished by our actions. In short, we must take responsibility and consequences for the things we do. There is no mechanism that comes in behind us and cleans up our messes.
Trump has never known this. He still doesn’t know it. It’s not a thing he will ever understand until it’s too late, both for him and for us. Impeachment, what’s that? Trump is acquitted. The Mueller investigation? It’s full of documented evidence of multiple instances of obstruction of justice that Trump has committed, but nothing comes of it. From a tape of Trump bragging about where he can grab a woman whenever he wants, to a payoff of a prostitute, to years of money laundering, Trump has never had to answer for his crimes and his stupidities. All he’s ever had to do was offer weak explanations and lies, and trouble seems to magically go away.
So it’s little wonder Trump doesn’t understand why coronavirus and the murder of George Floyd were two miracles he could have exploited to his advantage. He doesn’t recognize them because he doesn’t know how or why they could have worked for him. Such a mental connection requires long term strategic thinking, and Trump can only think tactically. Trump can only react, in the moment. He has absolutely no capacity to plan long term, a thing that is essential in the arsenal of any good businessman and any good president, and Trump is neither.
This is why some eight months into the WHO’s pandemic declaration, Donald Trump still has no national strategy for dealing with coronavirus. And nearly four months after the murder of George Floyd, Trump still has no cohesive plan for dealing with nationwide racial unrest. He simply doesn’t know how to do it. He really is that incompetent.
There are a million reasons why Donald Trump is unfit to be president of the United States, this has been another one. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.