Choosing Senility Over Substance

At the height of the COVID-19 scare --- say, around March and April 2020 --- when the virus and its accompanying hysteria were at their apex, Democrats scored their most effective and damaging hits upon public confidence in President Trump’s pandemic leadership, the effects of which persisted clear through to the November election.

Their cynical, hurtful strategy was simple enough: Heap as much ridicule as necessary upon his determined efforts to produce safe and effective vaccines, while reserving special scorn for his attempts to identify as many viable therapeutic treatments as possible to serve as stopgaps until the vaccines were ready and beyond.

Admittedly, Mr. Trump sometimes aided those ignoble efforts at political derision by his undisciplined, stream-of-consciousness ruminations over how certain substances might work in the human body, or his inexplicable willingness to be sucked into pointless rows with the biased, partisan press corps. Also clearly counterproductive was his undisguised disdain for mask-wearing, despite the legitimate, if overblown fears of ordinary people.

But Trump is Trump and he’ll always do it his way --- come what may. And those instances where Trump stepped on his own message or created a verbal shroud over his considerable managerial skill nevertheless can’t erase how much better off we all were with #45 calling the signals in comparison to today’s sclerotic leadership.

And lo and behold, despite the predictable Dem misdirection, the vaccines arrived just as Trump predicted, and the wisdom of concurrently pursuing effective treatments became crystal clear to anyone, subsequently vaccinated or not, who later contracted COVID.

So it’s only now, when Trump’s careful thought processes and sound judgments have been replaced by Joe Biden’s blinkered cart-horse rigidity and petulant obstinacy, that some --- but not all --- can begin to appreciate the flexibility and foresight that sometimes laid hidden behind Trump’s overly combative, off-putting style.

Sadly, it appears that here in the U.S. we’ve finally reached a critical mass of people who can only learn their lessons the hard way --- and best believe, it won’t get much harder than enduring the remainder of Joe Biden’s already disastrous term.

Observing Biden’s single-track, my-way-or-the-highway insistence upon vaccinating anyone and everyone no matter their personal history or medical circumstances, one can’t help but long for Trump’s far more nuanced and sophisticated approach. Over the lengthening course of this China-born plague, the person the Democrats tried to paint as a would-be Mussolini was in fact scrupulously respectful of both individual liberties and the constitutionally- prescribed prerogatives of the several States. The emerging autocrat Biden’s pandemic fighting inclinations in stark contrast seem more aligned with those of Xi-Xin Ping than any American leader in memory. 

In the midst of an election year, no official ever staked more reputation or political capital than did Donald Trump, squarely on the efficacy of the then-nascent COVID vaccines. Any serious setback or time-consuming obstacle affecting their development would have been blared to the heavens by the skeptical, failure-seeking Dems and their media lackeys, and probably would have meant a sure landslide defeat for Trump.

Yet Trump’s confidence in their timely arrival never wavered; even going so far as to assume the still greater risk of guaranteeing payment for millions of doses of the as yet widely untried drugs (another action the second-guessing Dems would have blasted had it backfired.)

Of course the drug companies, thus beneficiaries of guaranteed billions in revenue, rewarded Trump’s confidence by delaying the announcement of the impending readiness of the vaccines until after the election, helping Biden immeasurably. Now there’s gratitude for you!

Under such circumstances, given the risks he’d run without apparent appreciation, in his last few months in office Trump might have been forgiven for taking the coercive approach to vaccination that Biden has mindlessly embraced.  But he didn’t --- sticking to the more reasonable two-track strategy of providing enough vaccines for those who want it, while still seeking effective treatments for the sick among the arsenal of tried-and-true (but alas, less profitable) medicines. Unlike Biden, Trump knew that a successful track record worked more effectively to persuade the vaccine-hesitant than the bludgeoning hand of government.

Despite Joe’s typically grandiose, gruel-for-dummies pronouncements about “shutting down the virus,” Trump’s overall framework for combating COVID has remained in place among those actually on the frontlines. However, now that they’re fully in power, the Democrats still insist upon continuing to denigrate traditional, off-patent medicines. Ivermectin has now joined Hydroxychloroquine on the wanted poster of cheap medicinal outlaws unfit for enlightened society.

Diminished capacity and questionable judgment have not though dulled the Biden feel for exploiting the nexus between government procurement and regulation, and the needs of deep-pocketed businesses. Whereas Trump, while guaranteeing federal payment for the coming vaccines, nevertheless earned Big Pharma’s ire by insisting that all Americans be first in line when they were finally ready for delivery, Biden now curries favor by attempting to sidestep his own FDA. His premature announcement of boosters for all before justifying data is fully compiled was meant to hurry the federal purchase of hundreds of millions more doses, for Americans and millions abroad.

He may forget the Aussie Prime Minister’s name, but Joe needs no index card to recall how political bread is buttered. Somewhere down the road, you can count on drug companies once again rewarding Biden, this time for accelerating their sales and boosting near-term profits.

I suppose sucking up to giant industries (see also: credit cards) is much akin to riding that proverbial bicycle --- once you learn …….

Whether the issue is the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, the hemorrhaging border, or the stubbornly persistent COVID pandemic, uninformed inflexibility is the hallmark of the Biden style of leadership.  Creating a crisis by short-sighted, incompetent actions, and then pretending that the resulting damage is merely a consequence of bad luck or extraneous circumstances, is another infuriating feature of the Biden style

But I predict what we’ll ultimately miss most about the Trump years will be his compulsive, almost obscene transparency. He made sure you knew what he thought about everyone and everything --- even facts you devoutly wished not to know. So many revelations coming at you, it almost made you feel like a public affairs voyeur.

Biden, by necessity, can’t help but be the polar opposite. His severe limitations dictate that he must attempt to govern mainly through secrecy and obfuscation, often relying upon outright lies to cover his tracks. So he employs underlings practiced --- if not entirely skilled --- at those deceptive arts. Big liars don’t necessarily make good ones, and that unsettling lack of candor explains why confidence in his leadership has plummeted so precipitously as his errors mount.

What we’re left with is a burned-out front man for the extreme left-wing who traded what little soul he possessed for the honor of finally being called “Mr. President.”

Thus is an “adult” back in charge.

Image: Elvert Barnes, via Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

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