Just Deserts

Just Deserts
Chidhambararaaja / Pixabay

From the day he announced his intention to run for the presidency, Donald Trump declared his prime objective was to make Americans much safer in a very dangerous world. He would protect us from hordes of Mexican rapists and drug dealers by building a great big beautiful wall along our Southwestern border, and even make Mexico pay for it.

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Making America Great Again, And Also Safe

Soon after taking office, he tried to prevent Moslem terrorists from entering our country by signing an executive order sharply restricting travelers from seven predominantly Moslem Middle-Eastern countries, and drastically limiting the number of refuges allowed to emigrate. He would make America great again, while also making America safe again.

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The president made it very clear that American lives were more valuable than the lives of people from other nations – especially the “shithole” nations of Africa. A superpatriot, he would always put America first.

As our nation’s leading epidemiologists began to warn of the deadly potential of the coronavirus, the president tried to minimize its threat, later claiming he had been trying to avert a panic. But in early spring, he finally decided to swing into action, declaring himself a “war-time president.”

Save American Lives

He was hardly exaggerating. The virus posed an existential threat not just to the United States, but to the entire world. Now he would get the chance to do exactly what he had promised to do from Day One – save many American lives.

As the pandemic grew worse, many governors began to partially shut down their states, beginning with the public schools, bars, gyms, restaurants, theaters, and other densely packed indoor spaces which were fertile breeding grounds for the virus. But Trump often sabotaged these efforts, even going so far as to encourage so-called militiamen’s efforts to sabotage these closures.

He would go on to promote premature re-openings, leading to the much feared second wave of the virus. On a personal level, he held well attended events at the White House, where few guests wore protective masks or practiced social distancing. As a result, the president, members of his immediate family, as well as dozens of his staff and Secret Service detail were infected. This earned him the title, “Super-Spreader in Chief.”

The War Against The Coronavirus

But then, just as the second wave emerged in the early fall, the president, entering the home stretch of his hard-fought reelection campaign, appeared to lose all interest in his war against the coronavirus. The “wartime president” had gone Absent Without Leave.

After attending and participating in almost daily public briefings of the coronavirus task force for a few months, he suddenly limited his involvement to an occasional cheery tweet, proclaiming that the virus would soon disappear.

Although Trump made periodic false claims about our success in fighting the pandemic, relative to the rest of the world, we are, by far, the world’s leader in the number of deaths. Before the end of this month, this total will pass the 300,000-mark – more than the number of U.S. combat deaths during World War II.

The Electoral Victory

One would think that after Election Day, the president might have had more time to lead the war against the coronavirus pandemic. But he had another war on his hands – to wrest electoral victory from the jaws of defeat. And then too, he certainly didn’t want his golf game to get rusty.

So, it would appear that our “wartime president” can no longer be considered AWOL. Those guys usually turn up again, spend a week or so in the brig, and then all is forgiven.

But the commander in chief in our war against the coronavirus has not gone AWOL In recent months, he has apparently lost all interest in saving American lives.

But when he leaves office on January 20th, his own life may be in peril.  That’s right! You know what happens to wartime deserters.

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Steve Slavin has a Ph.D. in economics from NYU, and has written twenty math and economics books, including “The Great American Economy: How Inefficiency Broke It, and What We Can Do to Fix it.” The 12th edition of his introductory economics text came out in September.
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