An Infection Worse Than the Coronavirus

The numbers for the Coronavirus are surging again. Many predict there will be another outbreak. Americans and the world should take notice and do what is necessary to stay safe.

But, after reading editorials in two major newspapers in Minneapolis, I realize there is a worse infection spreading. George Will, a long-time conservative Republican journalist provides a damning editorial about the damage being done to the world by Russian aggression and expansion of dictators around the world. He warns of actions that are weakening NATO and expanding the influence of Russia and China. He ends by saying American voters should ask: ”Which candidate can be trusted to cope with foreign dangers calmly, assisted by a well-functioning national security apparatus? Is it the candidate who has had two secretaries of defense and state, and four national security advisors, who considers Xi Jinping his “friend,” who sided with Putin against the US intelligence agencies concerning Russian interference in the 2016 election, and who tweeted “there is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea because he spent a few hours with Kim Jong Un, with whom he had an epistolary romance (we fell in love). Or, is it the other candidate?

And another editorial describes the outright national efforts by the Republican party to suppress votes throughout the country by mentioning the problems in California, where the Republican Party has set up ballot boxes posing as official government drop-offs and refusing to comply with state “cease and desist orders.” It also mentions the problems in Texas where the Republican governor barred counties from having more than one ballot drop-box and not allowing curb-side and drive-up service to accommodate those with health concerns. The editors noted places like Harris county, which contains 2,000 square miles and is one of the largest counties in the country, and where more than half the 2.4 million voters are Black or Hispanic. And they follow with questions about Georgia, where voters are constrained by limited polling places and having to wait up to 10 hours in line to vote.

These two editorials remind me of the tragic decline of belief in democracy and the ineffective, unprofessional operation of the current government to conduct international negotiations. Of course, this is in addition to the failed implementation of safe and scientifically based responses to the virus that has killed more than 220,000 Americans.

They suggest, as George Will has noted in other editorials, that the Republican Party is now simply the party of Trump and needs to be eliminated in order to restore the dignity and foundations of the real Republican Party. Hundreds and thousands of loyal Republicans have formed groups, such as The Lincoln Project, or signed letters to vote against Mr. Trump and other Republicans who are happy to be represented by members of the Ku Klux Klan or groups such as QAnon. Lots of military leaders have come out against the current administration, as have many members of the intelligence and foreign relations departments. There is wholesale concern that the Trump administration is a danger to almost every American unit, from the education department to the justice department.

So, when no former president has chosen to endorse the current president, when respected leaders like Colin Powell and John Kasich have endorsed Mr. Biden, and when Gen. James Mattis, who published a scathing denunciation of Trump, said: “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try.” All would agree that President Trump has acted just like Senator Lindsey Graham in 2016 said he would (calling him “crazy and a kook who is unfit to be president).

American voters need to know that Donald Trump has infected every level of US government and US society. The division, the deceit, the delusion, and the dictatorial governance style has and is destroying the United States. Hopefully, you will do what many Republicans have asked you to do….remove him from office and undermine the current Republican system so that it can be rebuilt on the honorable and thoughtful foundations, upon which it used to reside. Elect Democratic candidates all up and down the ticket to send a strong message….we want our country back. We want a multi-party system where we can all discuss our points of agreement and disagreement in an honorable and decent manner.

Or, you can re-elect him. Vladimir Putin and the Taliban would be very pleased.

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