When I studied and worked in Washington D.C. from 2002 until 2004, I noted what a deep scarf the terrorist attacks of 9/11 have left on the country. Politics, the political discourse, policy and the psyche of the nation were deeply affected by it and the impact shall have lasted for many years. While I don’t want to downplay the tragedy of 9/11, I think it’s worthwhile to put the number of deaths from the terrorist attacks, 2’977, in perspective with the number of deaths from the coronavirus so far, 172’000. It’s just no comparison.
It seems to me that Donald Trump still doesn’t get the full extent of the corona crisis. He thought that he would head into reelection with the wind of a booming economy in the back. He still seems overwhelmed by the current events. His message four years ago was to make America great again. Arguably, America today is weaker in many ways than it has been since World War II. Some of it is not his mistake, some of it is. After all, we’re all dealing with the same virus.
During the very first primary debate in 2015, I think it was Rand Paul who said that he hasn’t heard any political idea or vision coming from Donald Trump other than promoting himself. Today, that’s more true than ever: What actually is Donald Trump’s message for his own reelection?
This has also become obvious in the reaction of the Trump campaign to the selection of Kamala Harris as Joe Biden’s vice-presidential candidate. Harris was the most likely choice and they had months to prepare, yet there doesn’t seem to be a coherent narrative. She can’t be a radical leftist who wants to defund the police and too tough on crime as a California prosecuter at the same time. In view of the current situation, I also doubt that the country is in the mood for the usual attacks. Donald Trump has brought reality television to politics, but as Paul Begala writes in his new book, the time of politics as a spectacle seems over.
My last blog post about Joe Biden’s running mate selection was picked up by TALKERS Magazine, the Bible of U.S. Talk Radio.