We have dilemma within a crisis surrounded by a catastrophe. More than 100,000 Americans have died in a pandemic for which we were ill prepared, even though it was foreseeable. Almost two million confirmed infected for which we were ill prepared, it was foreseeable. About 40 million unemployed for which we were ill prepared, it was foreseeable because it has happened before.
There had been a strategy in place, probably not perfect, but in the words of one of our most respected generals, George S. Patton. “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” Instead of a plan executed violently we got two months of denial, plus months of dithering and finger-pointing. Methods shown to be effective in other nations large and small showed us what worked and what didn’t, but our reaction was fragmented.
The only strategy we have is quarantine, hope and wait. This strategy is inadequate, unpopular, and beginning to fall apart. People are beginning to give up and decide to exercise their freedom no matter what. Add to the mix a secondary crisis reignited by the killing of another unarmed man in Minneapolis. By the police. There are riots, and also peaceful demonstrations but we have a President who can’t tell the difference and illegally used riot techniques to clear a peaceful demonstration for his narcissistic photo op.
There is much blame to go around but when a ship hits a rock, the Captain’s accountable.
McConnell will protect the him until Jan 20. History shows he may refuse to recognize the outcome of the election.
The November election will be a turning point not just for the U.S., but the world; we are facing the most important election in modern times, perhaps all times. Do we preserve the egalitarian culture we have been building for many years or revert to an oligarchy loyal to one man who, no matter how much his followers love him is not immortal?
Do we go back to normal as we know it: The post-war Marshall Plan world of international cooperation, peace and prosperity, with its limits. Do we return to the old normal our grandparent knew? The pre-war world of autocracy, colonialism, constant war, Jim Crow, pestilence and famine?
If America re-elects an aspiring dictator the signal will be sent to every despot in the universe that the people, well enough of the people, will embrace him as long as they get their bread and circuses. Oligarchs will also get a message that they are not accountable to anyone. Well not anyone except their autocrat or another aspiring tyrant who might have a bigger army.
Do we re-establish government for the people, by the people or revert to government of the people for the benefit of selected members, an oligarchy, the connected few? Do we strive for equal protection under the law? How about equal opportunity. Do we praise violence, or peacefully petition the government?
Of the 10 largest countries, China, India, United States, Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Russia and Mexico none are considered full democracy. At least six have the rule of law threatened by a populist autocratic head of state. The world is starting to look like 1939 when Hitler invaded Poland, wait Putin already invaded Ukraine.
This president runs his administration like his old TV show about a company that never produced anything. They call that reality? Adulation for the chief executive and someone fired every week. On the show, he was a self-proclaimed dictator, but that was just TV. Right? Now he portrays a megalomaniac dictator pretending to be an elected leader. Successful companies have never been run like his TV show. They hire and promote effective people and delegate responsibility. When they don’t, they pay for their mistakes with real money. Upper management listens to middle management, and even to the rank and file. They also listen to their customers. They obey the law. Success is not measured in likes, or ratings, it’s measured in dollars, opportunity and jobs. One rating matters, an overwhelming election majority.
Ken Obenski is a forensic engineer, now safety and freedom advocate in South Kona. He writes a biweekly column for West Hawaii Today. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.