CAPE COD – Before you vote for president, take a drive from one end of Cape Cod to the other. Stop in every town and look at all the people.
Look at the people from Bourne to Provincetown to Chatham to Falmouth and all the towns in between. Think of all the people on every street in every village of every town on Cape Cod; all 220,000 or so of us.
Now imagine that all of us have died since March.
You are the only one left.
Who do you plan to vote for?
The Covid-19 pandemic, in eight short months on President Donald J. Trump’s watch, has killed more Americans than the population of Cape Cod.
It has killed more Americans than those who died in combat in World War I, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq combined.
Those pandemic deaths all happened since March. Of this year.
As many Americans are currently dying every 10 days of COVID-19 as U.S. troops died during 19 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
We have not rounded the curve, as we keep being told. Things are getting worse.
On February 27, 1968, in an editorial at the end of a documentary about the Vietnam War, Walter Cronkite said this:
“To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To suggest we are on the edge of defeat is to yield to unreasonable pessimism. To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion.”
The current stalemate with the killer pandemic can end on November 3.
There are no perfect candidates. Joe Biden certainly isn’t one.
But he has a trait that that I admire, especially in a leader without a medical degree making life-and-death decisions about a complex health issue. He knows what he doesn’t know.
“I’ll trust science,” he says.
Facts exist. The media is not fake. From the beginning of this administration, the president has followed the well-worn strongman’s propaganda playbook of sowing doubt about truth. That he did it in America has been shocking.
That he did it with such success has been disheartening. That it worked in a way that has led to people dying is criminal.
If Americans can’t agree on basic facts or even what is a reputable source, there can be no consensus. What it has led to is frightening.
America is more divided than ever.
The pandemic has divided us even more.
The president’s dangerous rhetoric and soft spot for racist fringe groups, (“Proud Boys, Stand Back and Stand By” as one example) is often not even subtle. It’s just scary.
And the president talks about blue states like we are another country.
A reminder: he is talking about Massachusetts.
When/if the Trump presidency ends, I will look back to his five minutes of heavy breathing on the White House balcony after recovering from the disease as the ultimate encapsulation of the last four years.
It was like a demented version of the crazy new dictator in the Woody Allen movie, “Bananas.” Mask off, saluting for minutes to the sky, and desperately playing the part of a strongman while the world around him was collapsing. It will be an enduring image of this president.
Coming off his Jerry Springer-worthy performance in the first debate, the President got sick, got better, and then told every American, except for 220,000 very recently dead Americans, “Don’t be afraid of Covid.”
But on the balcony, he just stood there. He did not say a word. Not even, “Covfefe!”, which I think means Vote Because of Covid.
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–PLEASE SEE You Can’t Sell Right Field, a novel from Cape Cod Wave about land for sale, a crooked developer, a softball team called, “The Townies,” and an election.
Based on the true story of a Cape Cod development.
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