Donald trump – self-styled, but selective populist – likes surrounding himself with “my generals,” except when faced with conscription; then he claimed incapacitating “bone spurs.” Recently the generals have been deserting him in droves, criticizing his actions and disassociating themselves from his policies. The list of flag officers publicly denouncing him and his policies includes the current Joint Chiefs Chair, prior Cabinet Secretaries of Defense & Homeland Security, the National Security Advisor, plus scores of other Admirals and Generals.
Undaunted, The Donald often likens himself to Andrew Jackson, Army general and populist strongman president. The “very stable genius” moved Jackson’s official portrait into the Oval Office and stopped the effort to remove Jackson from the redesigned $20 bill. You can imagine why the current racist president would worship a prior racist president. Andrew Jackson was a lawyer, Southern Congressman, Senator, and state Supreme Court Justice. He was the only president to serve in both the Revolutionary War and War of 1812.
But he also was responsible for shameful actions and atrocities during the 1816 First Seminole War involving Native Americans and slaves. Jackson was a slaveholding plantation owner and – as president – opposed the Abolitionist movement with all his might. He signed the 1830 Indian Removal Act that forcibly removed many Native Americans to Indian Territory, a process known as the “Trail of Tears.” His presidency marked the beginning of the party “spoils system” that remains highly evident in the current White House. Incidentally, Jackson survived the first presidential assassination attempt.
Jackson was an experienced national politician, who won a plurality of the 1824 presidential popular and Electoral College votes, but lost the runoff contest in the House of Representatives. In contrast The Donald lost the popular vote, but was resurrected by a quirk of the Electoral College. Now running for reelection, trump has chosen Jacksonville FL (coincidentally named after Andrew Jackson, who was also the first Florida territorial governor) as the site of his acceptance speech for the GOP nomination. More hero worship, maybe?
Distinct from whatever leadership attributes Jackson may have had, The Donald prefers to remain in his bunker populated with sycophants and tweet from the sidelines. Remember his 2017 soothing comments, “very good people,” about white supremacists and neo-Nazis after the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville?
Consider last month’s, “these are very good people,” after gun-toting protesters threatened the Michigan Capitol, or “Liberate (your state)” to the organized mobs demanding risky early openings of states during the pandemic.
The timid lead-from-behind strategy is criminally evident in his approach to the Coronavirus pandemic. With truly presidential early leadership and preparedness, we could have prevented hundreds of thousands of American cases and tens of thousands of American deaths. Instead, the self-described “very stable genius” dithered, pointed fingers at others, and wished, “like a miracle, it will disappear.”
In an ugly way, his plan is working. The bungled response to the pandemic currently is infecting and killing proportionately more people of color, liberal city-dwellers, and residents of dense Blue states. This time, a “Tale of Tears.” Most Covid victims distrust him, dislike him, and will vote against him.
Still trying to play catch-up, the Bible-clutching parade marshal plans a “Hail Mary” Covid vaccine that he prays will come in time to claim as a masterstroke for the November election. Donald is a disgraced and pathetic PINO, President In Name Only.
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