Hope for the best and prepare for the worst: a good mantra for the start of WWII—and now again in the Trump presidency.

In both cases the future is like a centipede living in the apartment above you. There is always a bigger shoe to drop, when and where you never know. I, along with many others, awake each day wondering what blunder will be perpetrated next, what national embarrassment, what adolescent raging tweet or what impulsive decision will put us in danger; health or otherwise?

Unfortunately, we have two dynamics at work that may not be all that rare in the general population. But combined in a national leader they are a disaster. We have elected a narcissist and he suffers from the “Dunning-Kruger syndrome or effect, which is characterized by the inability to be aware of their incompetence or ineptitude.” Experts say that is a cogitative distortion by which a person, who actually has little ability to perform an activity, thinks he has a lot. Even more than some experts.

Nearly every public appearance by Trump seems to support the above; be it on Fox News; thousands of tweets a month; attacking the media, any and all who dissent, courts, governors, Congress, public education, science and various public and private agencies, as well as public servants—many who were hired by his administration.

These two facets of his personal being make it impossible for him to negotiate, compromise or even listen. And there is no real reason to read (even daily briefing reports) for he is his own expert.

We see this in how Trump celebrates fear, divisiveness, impulsiveness, pomposity, exaggeration and lying, self-indulgence, wealth, political theater and recognition. He lives in his false reality—permitted and promoted by a Senate—many who ran against him. Yet, he is as far from Republican principles as I am from a hole-in-one.

The most recent shoe to drop from above, a steel-toed, knee-high combat-boot, is the most harmful yet: Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Losing valuable time, he denied its existence for weeks. Now, six months in and there is still no national plan to defeat the pandemic—while we approach 80,000 to 100,000 ( as of July 27) new cases per day. This, while other countries have instituted national plans with maximum testing and contact tracing before it got out of hand.

More than one study shows thousands of Americans have died of COVID-19 because of Trump’s unwillingness to listen to the medical field. And there will be no change as it is simply not in his DNA. He is uneducable!

The Grinch stole Christmas. Trump stole our peace of mind and our national moral authority. Unfortunately, there are many boots yet to drop before November! Mask up and stay safe.

Jack Neely
St. Anthony Park

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