Alan Zendell, December 10, 2020
Three times in its history, the United States has been the victim of unprovoked attacks on its Homeland that killed and injured thousands of Americans. The first was the Day of Infamy at Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, Hawaii that killed 2,403 Americans, mostly military personnel, and decimated our Pacific Fleet. That attack triggered the most robust and powerful response in history, as we rebuilt our military almost from scratch, prevented any further incursion within our borders, and provided the impetus to turn the tide and defeat the Axis Powers in World War II. We succeeded in mobilizing both our armed forces and our production capacity because of strong leadership and a suspension of political differences.
The second was the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 that killed 2,997 people, mostly innocent civilians. Ten months after the most contentious presidential election in our history, the nation was once again able to put politics on hold for the common good, at least initially. But once the panic caused by that attack subsided, and those of us who lived near New York or Washington stopped hearing fighter planes scrambling overhead every day, politics reared its ugly head again.
The result was a tsunami of lies and misinformation about weapons of mass destruction, which ensnared us in a war in Iraq and Afghanistan that is still going on today. The longest war in our history, it is now eighteen years old and counting, and by most accounts has been misguided and accomplished little of value, while completely ignoring the real culprits among the Saudi Arabian elite who funded the nine-eleven attack. The lesson we should have learned was that ineffective leadership, partisan politics, foreign bad actors, and misinformation are the enemies we should be most concerned about.
Had we heeded that lesson, the invisible invasion of the COVID-19 virus would not have killed 290,000 Americans and be on track to achieve a death toll of more than 500,000 by Spring. Yesterday alone, the COVID invasion accounted for 3,124 American deaths, more than both Pearl Harbor Day and Nine-eleven. Unlike the latter two invasions, this one affected every country in the world, and the United States owns the worst response of any nation with the technology to count its casualties.
Had a foreign power caused that much death and destruction, they would probably have been met with a swarm of nuclear missiles. Such is the state of divisiveness and malfeasant, incompetent leadership in our country that we have suffered more loss than in any of our wars. And on the day when we saw more deaths than any since the pandemic began, our president was once more asleep at the switch of government. He has not addressed the pain and suffering caused by the virus in weeks.
Rather, he has spent all his time denying the results of the November election and handicapping the new administration before it even begins. As in every other decision he made as president, Donald Trump has ignored everything but his own self-interest and golf. Allowing so much death and so much economic devastation, much of which will never be repaired, cannot simply written off as “Trump being Trump.” Step back and look at all this the way the rest of the world sees it. Have the Castros in Cuba, Maduro in Venezuela, or Kim in North Korea done greater harm to their people than Trump?
Trump is willing to destroy the basis of our democracy to stay in power. He is being driven by his sociopathic narcissism, but an even stronger motivator may be the line of prosecutors who are waiting for him to leave office. They’ve been investigating him for tax evasion, bank fraud, money laundering, and racketeering for years. And now he has added the willful enabling of the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans to the list. He hasn’t shot anyone on Fifth Avenue yet, but there is no doubt that he is responsible for 90% of the deaths we suffered from COVID.
On October 16, 1946, ten high-ranking members of the Nazi leadership in Germany were executed for war crimes after being found guilty by the international tribunal at Nuremberg. Try as I might, I cannot see any essential difference between their crimes and the willful neglect still being shown by Donald Trump. None of those Nazi leaders pulled the triggers that murdered innocent civilians, and none of them physically turned the valves that activated the gas chambers. Trump didn’t kill anyone directly, but choosing not to save the lives of a half million Americans was as serious a crime as the acts those Nazis were convicted of. All he needed to do to avert their deaths was heed the advice of his medical experts and wear a f*****g mask.