David Pisarra

What a Fourth of July this was! We had the President holding a COVID party at Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota, and we had record increases in COVID cases. The winning is just not stopping with this man in the White House.

I almost felt bad for him and his marketing team as they were completely upstaged this year by Lin Manuel Miranda’s Broadway Musical HAMILTON, which started streaming on Friday. The uber-hit play is an amazing rendition of American history as seen through the lens of Aaron Burr, the disgraced vice-president who shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel.

For the three people who haven’t seen the musical, or heard the addictively catchy soundtrack this version of Hamilton’s life lifts up his anti-slavery position while being the “right hand man” to George Washington. It’s a marvelous piece of dramatic writing and musicality that interweaves the story of the nation’s birth. It’s a messy history we have. Fighting oppression on the one hand from the English King George and oppressing others by using Blacks as slave labor.

The cognitive dissonance of freedom for some, while others are enslaved, has not really left our shores, the manner of freedom and enslavement has just changed. We still have the haves and the have-nots. Frankly that’s a side effect of capitalism that we have to either learn to live with, or agree to change our entire foundational way of being.

Since we’re not going to change how we are, we need to make peace with the imbalance and should work to do our best to bring equality to as many as possible. Can we do more and better? Of course.

Can we do it with this President? Not a freaking chance.

In the play Aaron Burr’s catch-phrase is, “Talk Less. Smile more. Don’t let them know what your against or what you’re for” with our modern day Burr, the catch-phrase seems to be “tell ‘em whatever will distract them.” This President is only concerned with his poll numbers and ginning up his base. He holds to no principle beyond “what’s in it for me?” He is not demonstrating leadership on a global pandemic, or on a global recession, and has not been a calming effect on a country that is seething in pain and anger.

As the President makes patently false claims, his administration gets mired in fumbled responses trying to dodge and weave their way past their ‘obvious to everyone’ falsity. This is reminiscent of the way in which Burr is portrayed as a man who no one really knows, he’ll say what he needs to say to avoid a position. Whereas the current President will take 3 positions in the same speech.

History was not kind to Aaron Burr, he is known primarily for killing a long time frenemy. The long list of accomplishments by Hamilton are contrasted with the mediocre, middle path walked by Burr that leaves no real lasting impression. This will likely the same fate that Mr. Trump faces. He has no great flag in the sand piece of legislation. He has not stood for much beyond closing borders (which in a bit of historic irony due to his failures on the COVID front, have led to the world’s borders being closed to Americans). He will be remembered for his daily lies, his petulant anger, his abusive behavior towards those who he perceives as weaker and his adoration for dictators.

This weekend, as Mr. Trump was pictured against the backdrop of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln, I’m sure he thought it was an appropriate comparison. In his mind, he may have founded a county(movement), been the architect of a new republic, preserved the country and saved the country. Instead what I saw was a leering, jeering, posturing figment of a statesman, fanning the flames of hate, intolerance and ignorance.

As our nation is roiling from race relations, as the fever of COVID is striking across the country, as people’s lives are being upended by a financial freefall, on this weekend we set aside to remember the fight and celebrate the victory of freedom over oppression, we did not see a President work to pull us together ala Franklin Roosevelt, or George Bush (43) post attacks on our country. We didn’t have a Reaganesque speech after the Challenger explosion.

No, we have a President who wants to ignore his own administration’s directions on a pandemic. He wants to find a way to blame those who advocate for a better life for all, and fracture the country as much as possible in the hopes of getting another shot at the Presidency.

History has its eyes on him, and he better remember that it’s a harsh critic.

David Pisarra is a Los Angeles Divorce and Child Custody Lawyer specializing in Father’s and Men’s Rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached at dpisarra@pisarra.com or 310/664-9969. You can follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra