Monday, June 01, 2020
At a moment when America has devolved into a kind of chaos most of us have never seen or even contemplated, it's almost impossible to imagine a president less equipped or less inclined to handle this crisis than the one we have. In a conference call with the nation's governors Monday, President Trump offered them little other than the insult that they were being "weak," telling them that "if you don't dominate, you're wasting your time." He is apparently of the opinion that what we need right now is more police violence. We have now seen Trump tested twice in rapid succession, called upon to provide leadership that goes beyond the practical management of the federal government or the selection of policies that turn out to be wise. That leadership is spiritual and emotional, the kind that gives Americans hope that we can solve our problems and emerge from our current nightmare. And his failure worsens by the day.
And does anyone think it's some kind of coincidence that after Trump's relentless attacks on the news media, police across the country, their handcuffs thus removed, are intentionally targeting journalists covering the protests for arrests, harassment and violence?
In what will surely be remembered as one of the most extraordinary symbolic moments of this presidency, while smoke rose and police clashed with protesters right outside and the president retreated to his underground bunker, the White House turned off its exterior lights, leaving Trump's residence in darkness. It's as though he was saying, "I have nothing to offer you, so pretend I'm not here."
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