Nothing to say

The White House, May 31, 2020.

About Donald Trump I have nothing to say. The photograph above is no doubt worth its thousand words, but many others have written thousands of words far more eloquent about the past few months, and especially the past few days, than I could ever aspire to. The photograph might be comic if it weren’t so pathetic: When competent leadership is needed most, it is completely lacking in the place where one would most hope to find it. When the protests appeared outside his house, its chief occupant locked the door, turned off the lights, and ran into the basement, perhaps hoping against hope that those protestors would conclude that nobody’s at home. And perhaps they’re right. For me the photograph is a most eloquent expression of Donald Trump’s cowardice, his lack of empathy, his refusal to take responsibility for what he and his supporters have turned this country into in a few short years: a disease-ridden nation now consumed by violence, fuelled by a racism, a reactionary and bigoted cultural and social conservatism, and profound structural and economic inequality they have blithely dismissed. But an empty White House would probably not have resulted in the disaster we’re currently experiencing; Trump’s rhetoric, his gross refusal to take responsibility for his office, his astonishing stupidity, and the resentments of his supporters were the fuel on the fire; silence and absence would possibly have been more constructive. That this too shall pass I am confident; that it will not happen again, and worse, in a second Trump term is impossible to believe given the evidence of our senses now. Since February 16, 2017, the historian Anne Applebaum has pinned a tweet to the top of her Twitter feed: “After this is all over,” she wrote, “I never, ever want to hear again about how businessmen would run the government better than politicians.”

I only post these few words of mine here because a Facebook or Twitter post seems like even more of a waste of time than a blog entry, a preaching (and a poor sermon it is) to the converted. But one must say something with words; even a photo, as eloquent as it can be, may not be enough.

3 thoughts on “Nothing to say”

  1. I don’t think she has anything against businessmen in general. Just when they get involved with politics.

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