I never thought I would see a day when the ineptness and impotence of the United States of America was on full display for all the world to see.
According the Real Politics, 103,418 deaths have been attributed to the virus as of this morning; more than England, France, Italy and Germany combined. American deaths are now greater than the combat deaths of the Vietnam and Korean wars combined. Those war deaths occurred over years of fighting. Our pandemic deaths have occurred over the last three months.
Just look at the news from the last couple of weeks. Wearing a mask to guard against the coronavirus has become a tribal issue, with people refusing to wear them out of a sense of identity politics. Incidents of violence and even a shooting death have occurred over masks. Donald Trump was still promoting a drug that has now been proven to cause a greater risk of death when used in cases of coronavirus infection.
Madness surrounds us.
Our national response to the pandemic hasn’t been national at all. Lockdowns and social distancing has been state by state, city by city, county by county, business by business. Millions are not acting with a sense of what the consequences may be. One tribe is saying “Your freedom ends at my health” while the other retorts, “Your heath be damned! Freedom! Liberty!”
Heavily armed men occupied the visitors gallery in the Michigan State House a week ago. We are one trigger pull away from the sort of shit which happens in Kabul, Tripoli or Mogadishu.
Forty three million are out of work and there has been talk of cutting food stamps and the bonus to unemployment benefits that was just passed to force low wage earners back to their lousy jobs. Nothing it seems, is working as it should.
Meanwhile our very own Great Leader went on a tweet storm calling Joe Scarborough, a former Republican Congressman and critic from Florida a murderer bringing into the spotlight a long ago Qanon conspiracy theory debunked years ago. One of Scarborough’s staffers died of an undiagnosed heart condition while working late in his Florida office while he was in Washington, falling and hitting her head on the corner of her desk. A full autopsy was performed and was so ruled as a heart attack and fall by the coroner’s office.
Nonetheless Qanon accused Scarborough of having an affair with the staffer and then having her murdered. Trump brought the bullshit up again suggesting there should be an investigation. Talk about fake news.
QANON also accused Hillary and Bill Clinton of having a male staffer murdered on a D.C. street (he was killed in an apparent robbery attempt) for he had discovered that they were running a child sex ring for pedophiles out of a pizza joint patronized by male staffers at the DNC. One moron from North Carolina, determined to save the children showed up at the pizza joint with a shot gun demanding their release.
Dyed Blond Don is also doing is best to supress the vote by calling mail in ballots ripe for fraud despite numerous investigations by his own administration finding no evidence to support the claim. He’s hoping, with the virus, you won’t wait in line if you can’t vote by mail. His own Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, A Tampa girl, defended the President’s view not withstanding that she herself has voted by mail for a decade here in Florida.
Good jobs are tough to find.
Besides you don’t really think Trump is going to leave office peacefully if he losses do you? We are in for a tough election and the survival of democracy as we have known it.
Twitter flagged the relevant tweet as misleading so Trump picked a fight with Twitter complaining of “political bias towards conservatives. Fox news is one of Twitter’s biggest client’s. Go figure. All this while we passed the 100,000 mark in COVID deaths.
Meanwhile cops and former cops continue killing black men and women bringing massive protests, arson and looting to Minneapolis. This week George Floyd was murdered while being arrested for forgery (not exactly a violent crime). Four officers were there to handle the unarmed man who was placed in handcuffs, before he was taken to the ground. At that point a Minneapolis cop put a knee on his neck and kept it there for 7 minutes while Mr. Lloyd said over and over “I can’t breathe!”
Mind you, he was unarmed, already in hand cuffs and 4 officers were present. If it sounds like an incident in New York awhile back, you are right. George Floyd became unresponsive and had no pulse when an ambulance arrived.
Meanwhile the 3 other cops stood around and did nothing.
This after the killing of a black jogger several weeks ago by two ex-cops who “suspected he was a burglar.” They have been arrested and charged with murder.
Several weeks ago armed police failed to identify themselves when serving a no knock search warrant for drugs and simply broke into an apartment. Two residents, not knowing who was breaking in during the middle of the night opened fire under the Castle Doctrine of defending your home. The police still not identifying themselves, fired into the dark killing a black women in her bed. She was a nurse and on the front lines. She was shot eight times. No drugs were found.
And we have already seen Amy Cooper, the “Karen” in Central Park try to weaponize institutional racism in her confrontation with a black bird watcher.
In Minneapolis the 4 cops were fired. The officer who had his knee on Mr. Floyd’s throat was arrested today and charged with third degree murder. No charges of any kind against the other three as yet.
Demonstrations broke out across the country, with fire and looting in Minneapolis. The National Guard was called in by the Governor after police had to abandon a station house set ablaze. Donald Trump immediately called the demonstrators “Thugs” and threatened to send in the military. Very helpful.
Is America becoming a failed state? Certainly all of our warts are now showing for all the world to see. Failed states aren’t able to govern anymore. Democracy has been shredded, the rule of law has broken down and elites are able to get away with anything. Failed states can’t provide the basics for people anymore and life becomes a brutal battle for self preservation. Norms change to ones of brutality, cruelty and violence. Sound like America yet?
“When it takes everything you’ve got just to put food on the table, then what room do you really have to care about anyone else? Why should you? That’s how societies die in the deepest way: their values and norms are shredded. What’s left at the end is precisely what we see in America: people can’t even imagine the notion of collective action anymore, because they’ve been beaten down so long.”
We all know that, unfortunately, we are each on our own. There is no FDR with a New Deal. Uber capitalism really doesn’t give a rat’s ass how many die so long as there is plenty of low cost human capital still around to exploit. And if old people die, well they are only “useless eaters.”
I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004.
We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world.
I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday.
I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics.