It’s an indisputable fact that President Donald Trump has never lost control of his Republican party, but the GOP has lost it over Trump – almost right from the start.
Owing to this one-sided affair, this party is faced with a historical responsibility to pull the country away from a “national disaster.” How can the party succeed in something it is least prepared to do?
In a way, it’s the Republican party which made Trump president in 2016, while he could say otherwise. The president has also miraculously survived his impeachment trial, mainly owing to the unconditional support of the Republicans who hold a majority in the Senate.
While doing its best to protect Trump, the Republican party has repeatedly shown a high level of unprincipled tolerance and compromise in the past three years. It has fully backed his immigration and border policies. Trump has made many attempts to undermine Obamacare and no one ever told him “Stop it.”
The Republicans were also behind him in his tax cut measures despite the consequential huge budget deficit.
Nobody in the Republican party has expressed any dismay over his very weird foreign relations policies, including his “outstanding patience” with North Korea and his aimless and laughable trade war with China.
But the president could be more foolish, and thus more dangerous, now. Due to the belated and inadequate coronavirus response, almost 90,000 Americans have been killed by this pandemic in the past two and a half months. Trump, who had remained ignorant of the COVID-19 threat until early March, still stubbornly alleges that the death toll as reported was “highly inflated” and that he has saved “millions of American lives.” He has repeatedly said “No” when asked if he felt any responsibility for these deaths. That’s why he has never shown any sorrow for the dead or empathy for tens of millions of fearful seniors.
Instead he kept promoting the “miracle cure” of hydroxychloroquine, and even spent about $20 million for this unproven drug. Then he suggested that injection of disinfectants like Lysol could also help those with COVID-19.
It is no secret that the only thing in Trump’s mind is his re-election bid. He understands that the COVID-19 and its consequential economic and social lock-down will dump all his campaign efforts. Therefore, everything he does or says is aimed at putting the blame of coronavirus on anyone but him — China, Barack Obama, the CDC, aging people with pre-existing conditions — and playing down the severity of COVID-19 (“It will disappear after the election.”) to enforce the reopening of the country at any cost, “with or without a vaccine.”
It is said that the coronavirus can pose some real mental problems for older people. The president will be 74 in a couple of weeks. He is depressed, angry, desperate and even lonely. That’s why he invented the Obamagate scandal, threatened to cut all ties with China and, along with his son, began resorting to dark tactics to blemish Joe Biden. He seems ready to speak of anything but any remedy to the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, there’s a fear that COVID-19 may swell in a second and much more deadly wave later this year when the country preoccupied with the Trump-incited reopening will be least prepared for this.
Trump does not seem to understand that the election will be five months and a half ahead, a time long enough for the uncontrolled coronavirus to become uncontrollable.
So the question is: Who’s to blame?The culprit would say, as usual: Not me!
Nguyen Hoang is a contributor to Vietnamese language magazines published in Orange County, San Jose, Phoenix and Salt Lake City. He was a ranking official of the Saigon government before 1975, for this he paid a price of two years in a “re-education camp.” He had worked at the University of Utah Library before retiring.