Reader Opinion: I confess


I confess that I have silently stood aside as Donald Trump proclaimed the pandemic to be a Democratic “hoax” aimed at his re-election, that its threat will go “from 15 to 0” and soon, that he has the virus under control, inherited an unprepared federal response compromised by the omissions of his predecessor, but curiously, also that no one could have foreseen “this,” thus both blaming others, but absolving himself, and his presidency has done an “incredible,” 10 out of 10 job responding to the pandemic, despite reversing course, recognizing the pandemic’s deadliness, declaring war against it and himself as leader in that “military” action. Even as he accepted no responsibility for numerous deadly failures in our defense, repeatedly disparaged state leadership stepping into his chaotic void, the media for its candid questions and reporting on those deadly failures, and independent oversight actions by his own appointee specifically criticizing the federal response he purports to lead.

This president piously used his invocation of “One America” to his personal advantage, buying my disturbed silence in the face of his ongoing ineptitude to stand as one in the assault on America’s individual and public health. But the “one” in “stand as one” and “One America” was not America: It was Trump. While I knew that then, I wrongfully chose to remain silent. I confess, and now I will speak: You no longer can use my fear to cover your failures.

Truth, not silence, matters. There is a duty to speak out, to oppose a charlatan, not a Churchill, to call out not virtuous, but deceptive, incompetent “leadership” deadly to America. Standing as one America does not mean standing as one behind Trump: Although he requires personal loyalty, the pledge of allegiance to America does not include the word “Trump.”

John Erickson


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