The refusal by those with power to fully stand up to Trump’s combination of bullying, stupidity, incompetence, and insanity is one of the most striking aspect of his reign. It will puzzle historians for centuries (assuming humans survive). Yes, there was impeachment, some court cases, a few indictments, and there have been millions of appalled words written.
But the obvious conclusions — that every minute he is in office, Trump is a danger to the entire world and must leave immediately — is rarely voiced by anyone with influence. Weirdly, the failure to openly call for his stepping down continues despite widespread whispered consensus among the powerful and influential that the situation is very dangerous.
This is the very definition of moral cowardice.
“Sorry I’m late,” she said. “What are we doing?”
I started laughing.
“What?” asked my kid.
“This is just like every meeting I’ve been on for work.”
Fortunately, we were on mute.
Every choice has been terrible since the start of the pandemic, when we were told we had to choose life or an economy, a false dichotomy from the start—mass death and sickness are also bad for the economy—but the awful choices we face as parents at the start of school feel especially difficult because we’re all burnt out. The idea of facing all of this for one more day, let alone the seemingly endless months ahead, feels basically impossible. The pandemic balancing act for parents—choose two: your kids, your job, or your health—has always been difficult, but six months in it’s in full collapse.
The blame is not with the teachers. They’re trying their best to make the unworkable work. It doesn’t land on the administrators and school boards, despite the half-measures they passed that led here. The blame lies with the president—the incompetents, grifters, and yes-men he surrounds himself with—and his enablers in Congress, who are watching and doing nothing (in fact, they’ve gone on vacation) as Americans suffer in countless ways.
The lesson we refuse to learn with COVID-19 is that decisions we make today have no bearing on right now, but have a huge effect in a few months. That’s why locking down in March reduced the number of deaths in May. Why opening bars in May brought deaths right back up in July. Why parties on Memorial Day left us with COVID numbers nearly twice as high on Labor Day, and why reopening in-person school in September will likely do exactly what you’d expect come November. The delay between action and reaction means we keep half-assing our way through a pandemic that kicks our asses in return.
I am reading this article as I race back and forth between the 7yo and 10yo’s home workspaces, helping them navigate a whole string of Google Meets and trying to keep track of their schedules.
This year’s not-so-dirty secret: The campaign press desperately wants to tell an exciting election season story. Journalists like to create storylines, tension, compelling characters, and relay wild plot twists. More excitement means a larger audience —the press wants a horse race because it’s way more entertaining. And for most campaigns over the last 25 years, the media have been blessed with lots of nail-biting and historic battles. Not so much in 2020, where the contest has remained locked in a stubborn holding pattern, and shows no signs of budging soon.