Sunday, March 22, 2020

Donald Trump and the Coronavirus

I am a big fan of truth.

I guess that is an occupational inclination. The law firm I first worked in, articled for, and became a partner of, had a rule that turned out to be very rare for law firms generally.

No matter the path you intended to take, you had to litigate for your first five years with the firm. When I factor in the time I spent doing what we students called the "court run" (getting subpoenas issued, filing law suits and motions, examining court records) and my articling period, I racked up close to ten years hanging around the courts.

In that time I faced off with a fair number of lying witnesses. I learned very effective strategies to deal with perjury.

I guess that's how I developed my very low regard for liars.

I'm not talking about kids lying. Often that makes you chuckle and becomes a fond memory.

No. I'm talking about adults who lie to advance their interests at the expense of others.

Donald Trump is the most egregious example of that I have come across in my life, and that's why I hold him in such low regard.

So far his lying ways have proven very successful for him, and difficult for people of integrity to deal with effectively.

Then came the Coronavirus.

It's shaping up to be a massive challenge for governments around the world. The slightest misstep, the merest delay, any momentary uncertainty in selecting a response, allows the exponential beast to blossom and sicken more victims.

It's not a democrat or republican challenge, a capitalist or communist challenge, a white black or brown challenge, an Asian European African or Latin American challenge.

It's a brutal unforgiving scientific challenge. It's immune to lies. You can downplay it, insult it, it just doesn't care.

In many ways it is poetic in delivering to the Trump presidency a custom-made crisis that preys on all of the signature moves of Trump's administration: undermining institutions, denigrating the press, stripping down the organs of government most needed in this kind of crisis. Famously just a few days ago, questioned about his administration's move to dismantle the pandemic preparedness function of the national security council, Trump said "I don't accept any responsibility" and claimed he knew nothing about it.

It's laughable and pathetic. Words fail.

And that led me to the clown tone of this episode.

The music for this episode of Life on two wheels is Twirly Tops by the Green Orbs, and Minor blues for Booker by E's Jammy Jams, both those tracks and the sound effects are made available courtesy of the YouTube Audio Library.

I wish you the best of luck avoiding the virus.

Please remember to keep your distance (two meters, or six feet) from your brothers and sisters.


SonjaM said...

Trump does what he did from the beginning, putting profit over people. He is not alone in this. Chinese officials are re-writing the truth about the virus, Corona is not a Russian problem as per Putin and Trump's little brother from another mother Johnson in UK has just given in. Whatever happens on the political front has become irrelevant though, because politicians are not immune either. Mrs. Merkel and several other German members of parliament are in quarantine. Spanish and Italian leaders as well. I am not religious but I hope and pray that a vaccine will be found soon and people don't have to die anymore.

Meanwhile we have been notified that friends of ours were together with Corona infected folks. We are now waiting too for symptoms to show up any day... Corona sucks!

David Masse said...

Sonja I am glad you guys are OK so far and while I am not religious, I found myself silently praying that Susan and I, our loved ones and friends manage to weather this crisis.

I find it interesting that the single most important feature of the world we live in is that we are definitely truly living in a global village. Borders are just pencil lines on maps, and no leader anywhere commands microorganisms any more than they can command the sun to rise or set. On the plus side, the internet gives each of us the means to share as a close knit community in spite of the distances that separate us.

All my best to you and Roland. Be safe.

ToadMama said...

I also have very little patience for lies, liars, and lying. It’s a very deep-seated dislike for very personal reasons.

Truth is so important. It can be a tool as well as a weapon, depending on how it’s used. Honesty is definitely an attribute I’m proud of, but even I wrestle with when to dial it back. Not everyone can handle the truth. Is it our job to censor the things we say based on what we perceive as our audience’s ability to understand (or not) the message we are trying to convey? Or is it the audience’s job to do whatever is necessary to process whatever info we choose to share?

Maybe the answer is in your definition, which I really like...

“...adults who lie to advance their interests at the expense of others.”

I don’t know the real answer, but people who do things to further their own agenda at the expense of others are people I will ALWAYS choose to avoid.

I’m glad you and your family are well. All well here, too.

David Masse said...

@ToadMama, Thanks for the thoughtful comment Kathy. I have gotten some flack, and some backs turned on me, because of my rare (3) posts commenting on Donald Trump.

As a Canadian I am neither Democrat, nor Republican. Here I am generally a centrist and a fan of effective and efficient government. In these critical times truth, integrity, and courage are the paramount attributes we need in our leaders. It is in short supply in the current US administration.

To answer your question, I personally speak out when I see things that are simply wrong, and potentially dangerous. I don't want to regret some moment when I could have said something, and failed to because I was concerned about repercussions.

On the way back to the office after lunch some years back I passed an alley. There was a guy threatening a girl about 20 to 30 feet into the alley. The pedestrians marched on past without stopping. I stopped. I took out my phone and punched in 911 but didn't press send. I held up my phone and yelled at the guy, telling him to stop. I told the girl to leave the alley and told the guy to stay put or I'd call the cops. The girl ran away, and the guy cursed. I went on my way making sure I watched my back. I was aware of the risk. But you have to do the right thing.

I hope you and Mike, and your family succeed in doing the Covid-19 bullet.

Canajun said...

I don't disagree with a single thing you said about Trump, but the folks I hold in even less regard are those who enable him, whether it be the GOP or the voters. Politicians lie. And they do so in their own interests. Always have, always will. And while he has taken it to another level, no, another universe, that's not his most egregious character flaw. He's a mysoginist, a serial adulterer, a cheat, a self-admitted sexual predator. He's a fraud, a barely literate man-child. And he lies. And yet some 60 MILLION Americans, many of them claiming to be good Christians, selected him as the person to represent their country. The mind boggles.
Take care and be safe.

David Masse said...

@Canajun, David I don't disagree with a single thing you said either.

If I had one wish, it would be that all Canadians and all Americans survive this crisis.

As we know, we are already well past that possibility. It's easy to have 20:20 hindsight. Ontario destroyed its stockpile of Person Protective Equipment once the best before date had been reached. That was dumb. In the US, a plan to build a stockpile of less expensive respirators evaporated when a large corporation with a stake in expensive respirators bought the smaller company and shelved the plan. That was dumb too.

The challenge is to forget the past missteps, and for everyone to come together in a vigorous steadfast mission to mitigate as much of this crisis as possible.

I remain optimistic, I have to say.

I hope to be pleasantly surprised.

The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.