On September 7, 1940, 300 German bombers raided London, in the first of 57 consecutive nights of bombing that reduced much of the city to rubble. This “Blitzkrieg” would continue until May 1941. Following nights of horrific bombing, the then Prime Minister Winston Churchill often inspected the rubble and promised Brits they would get through this together.
Our then President, Franklin Roosevelt, desperately wanted to help England but his hands were tied, primarily by the “America First” movement. (Which still exists today as part of Donald Trump’s base.) But everything changed on December 7, 1941.
At approximately 8 a.m., the Japanese unleashed a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor devastating the American Naval and Air forces. The battle left 2,400 Americans dead, the largest single day war time loss until 9/11.
The following day, FDR delivered a powerful speech to a joint session of Congress, and to a country in mourning. He proclaimed, “December 7, 1941, is a date which will live in infamy.”
FDR had polio that left him reliant on a wheelchair and often needed to be carried from one room to another. And Churchill was essentially an extremely high-functioning alcoholic.
But each leader possessed such intelligence, courage, and love of country, that they rose to the occasion and helped saved democracy. Until now. And that bring us to our “now” war time president, Donald Trump.
First Trump referred to the virus as a “hoax” and “no worse than the flu.” Then, contradicting his own CDC scientists, he predicted it “would soon be down to zero cases.” And sounding like a 5 year old (or Penn and Teller) he suggested the virus “would magically disappear.” But then, flip flop #1, he said he, alone, knew it was a pandemic all along.
On the day that the photo above of Trump was taken (it’s on the website) over 1,000 Americans died. And Covid infections in the U.S. were nearing 4,000,000 while deaths were over 140,000. But our war time president was busy with more important things.
He was giving two thumbs up and grinning like the clown his sister Maryanne, the former federal judge, often called him, (Of course she had to resign or face an inquiry into alleged tax fraud schemes.) You see Trump was promoting Goya Company food products meticulously displayed on the Resolute Desk. (A gift to President Hayes in 1880 from Queen Victoria, built from English oak timbers of the Arctic exploration ship HMS Resolute.)
Another Resolute fact, FDR requested a door with the presidential seal to conceal his leg braces. He feared the sight of his disability might weaken America’s belief in his ability to lead us to victory in WWII.
So why was Trump “pimping” for Goya? The billionaire Spanish owner of Goya had endorsed him and Trump likely figured his tacky display would help with his sagging Latino polling numbers. (Among all the other sagging poll numbers, not to mention his chins.)
Six weeks before, on May 31, frightened by protesters, Trump turned off the White House lights and cowered in the White House basement. To repair his spineless image, days later, he ordered peaceful protesters at Lafayette Square be violently attacked so he could “march” to St. John’s Church and pose for a pathetic photo op.
Trump awkwardly held a bible in the air but it was upside down! (When Kayleigh McEnany compared Trump’s “courage” to Churchill’s, I had to change the channel.)
We fought WWII to defeat fascism. Trump’s sending unidentified “secret police” to arrest citizens as done in Portland and leave no court record would have brought smiles to Hitler and Mussolini. (Assuming they ever smiled.) Sadly, friends, our morally bankrupt Charlatan in Chief has brought us down to the level of Iran, N. Korea, Russia, China and Nazi-Germany!
As for the pandemic, on Tuesday Trump gave his first briefing since April but Dr. Fauci wasn’t invited and Dr. Birx was told to wait outside. Trump admitted, albeit six months too late, “The virus is going to get worse before it gets better.” And then he flip flopped again! Trailing so miserably in polls, Trump is finally encouraging the use of masks, saying. “No one is more patriotic than I am.”
And then came the briefing’s coup de grâce. As though signaling a possible pardon to Ghislaine Maxwell, the indicted pal of pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, Trump said, “I wish her well.”
Personally I prefer presidents who don’t extend well-wishes to child sex traffickers; or see good people on both sides at KKK rallies; or are silent about enemy dictators paying bounties for dead American soldiers; or don’t revere statues of Confederate Generals who were traitors to the United States.
Hopefully Trump won’t get a statue in America but he’s certainly earned one in Moscow.
For a real war time president, go to YouTube and type “FDR: A date which will live in infamy.” For a fake war time president Google “Trump can identify an elephant,” although as Trevor Noah joked “They should have asked Trump to identify his second daughter.“ Jack is at: firstname.lastname@example.org