But First, Election Day – Change is in the air
It’s 37 degrees and sunny. So, chilly, but not imposing enough to effect the turnout.
This morning I drove around my area and checked out two polling places, my normal polling place and the larger voting place at the county’s East Cobb center. Neither had visible lines outside although there were cars parked in the lots. I wonder if the massive early voting reduced the Election Day turnout. We’ll find out as the day progresses, and whether this is a local or national phenomenon.
Yesterday, I volunteered with the Democratic Party of Georgia to take a shift calling local voters. Very interesting experience. I’ve never done that in my life. The virtual training was on Zoom. The trainers were volunteers and appeared to be in their twenties. Extraordinarily friendly, likable and knowledgeable. Once trained, I signed onto a system online with my identification code. It presented a page with the name, gender and age of a registered voter in North Georgia who had voted in the Democratic primary before, but not consistently, or they had not voted recently at all.
Our job wasn’t to try and convert them to the Democratic ticket but to remind them to vote on Tuesday. The system dialed for me and I spoke using the computer’s mic like an online call. It was easy to fill in what took place on the call. For instance, was the number no longer in service, or the wrong number, or no one answered. Once I completed the call and typed in info about the call, the system automatically presented a new person, I clicked the “Call” button and it dialed the call.
I made over thirty-five calls, reached three live people, just under 10% completion rate. Each of the three had voted early and volunteered that they had voted for Biden/Harris and for Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, Democrats running in the U.S. Senate racing in Georgia.
I plan to take another shift today. I wish that I had done this sooner, but at least I feel like I am doing something.
Pandemic: A dereliction of duty
Trump had a real opportunity to do good for the country, take the reins and lead us through this pandemic.
President Trump publicly denied it, called it a hoax by the Democrats, downplayed it, mocked it, predicted it to end by Easter, politicized it, whined and complained about it, while doing next to nothing to marshal the forces of the country to fight it.
His go-to point in defending his response to coronavirus is that he saved millions of lives when he banned travel from China. In fact he didn’t ban travel. He imposed porous restrictions, as did many other countries. There is zero proof that his action saved millions or even hundreds of thousands of lives as he claims.
He could have listened to the early warnings in December and January, reviewed the in-depth playbook left from the Obama administration on the lessons learned fighting HIV and H1N1. Although this virus is a totally new strain, the playbook gives the U.S. government proven steps to take. If he and his team had read the information, he could have taken immediate steps from the start to mobilize U.S. manufacturers and produce the PPE, ventilators, masks and other items that would be needed to contain the spread and treat the sick.
He could have quickly marshaled our troops into this new and different battle to provide boots on the ground support as hot spots developed around the country.
Instead he turned it into a political football and continues to witness the most dramatic loss of American lives in such a short period of time on his watch. These lives are on him. His magic wand waving didn’t do the trick.
Even today he says, “We’re turning the corner.” He’s not wrong. We are turning another corner as the graph of new infections has turned up signaling our third wave leading into the winter.
He showed us all that he was not the man to lead us through the pandemic. He admitted to knowing more about the virus in the beginning than he let on, and ultimately lied to us about its deadly potential from the beginning.
He lied to us about why he lied to us, saying later that he was protecting us from the truth to prevent us from panicking.
He made it a partisan fight instead of a United States fight.
He failed to listen to scientists while bragging about his ability to understand the complexities of epidemiology in an unmasked visit to the CDC.
He berated governors for actually trying to adhere to the guideline set forth by the CDC and his own Coronavirus Task Force.
He threatened to withhold aid to states governed by Democratic leadership.
Meanwhile, thousands upon thousands of Americans were filling up hospitals, morgues and graveyards.
Knowing that the best tool in our arsenal to stop the spread was wearing masks, he flouted them, didn’t wear them because he didn’t like the image, mocked those who did and turned masks into a political statement. His job was to lead by example, even if he lived in the safe bubble of the president…and his example encouraged people to NOT WEAR masks in public as a sign of unity with the president and to demonstrate their right to exercise their individual freedoms.
The one thing Trump did show us; even he could be infected by COVID19.
After three days of hospitalization cloaked in secrecy, he made his first public appearance after leaving the hospital early and against his doctors’ advice. He appeared on the balcony and, in a theatrical display, removed his mask, saying to his public, “Don’t let the virus take over your life.”
That prompted Alice Roberts of New Jersey to write an op-ed entitled, “My husband died of COVID19 and I have just one plea to make of you.“
I urge you to read her tragic story if you have any doubts as to the seriousness of the virus and your and your family’s susceptibility to infection.
He ultimately turned on his experts, the career doctors and scientists on staff trained and accountable for the health and safety of Americans, bullying them in public the same way he has bullied everyone else who is not Donald J. Trump because they dared to speak the truth which countered with the narrative he wanted.
Just this week, while stumping on the election trail, Trump hinted that he will probably fire Dr. Fauci after the election. Fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, the most trusted doctor in America! Sadly, the president’s “hint” excited those attending the mask-less rally to chant, “Fire Fauci, Fire Fauci…” reminiscent of the mob-like chant from 2016, “Lock her up!”
It is all the theatre of the unimaginable brought to life, right here and now in the reality of the United States of America in 2020. Please, please, please vote to make it stop!
As always, thank you if you made it this far.
I also invite you to read this AP FactCheck article. Although it is from the distant past of July 2020, it reveals the many untrue statements made by President Trump on a variety of topics including his travel “ban” with China, tariffs, immigration, Hunter Biden, hydroxychloroquine, what he claims Biden has said and will do and more.