Who to blame

It's a simple list: the president, his administration, Republicans and you, if you voted for him.

Every day I sit on my back deck and watch the elderly in their walkers and scooters go down Habersham Street to get groceries at Kroger, where some of them will contract coronavirus, get sick and possibly die. We’ve put up flyers offering to get their groceries for them but no one has called yet. An older woman told me yesterday that “the good thing about this virus is that it’s about to get hot and the heat will kill it.” Two men in their late 60s insisted that only people over 80 should not be going out in public.

“Not us,” they said.

This is what happens when there is not just a vacuum of leadership — as displayed so efficiently in recent weeks by the president and his administration — but a purposeful downplaying of the crisis in an attempt to spin the news to bolster Trump’s chance at re-election.

People will die because of this.

We should have seen this coming because what we are witnessing is the natural result of a government that has been dismantled and remade to do one thing above all else: protect Donald Trump’s ego.

The lack of preparedness for even becoming president; the belief that the whole of government was a waste of time, money and resources; the idea that only Donald Trump could fix all of our nation’s ills; the breaking down of the bureaucracy, replacing dedicated civil servants with inexperienced political sycophants — all of it is, in large part, why we’re where we are today. It is why the three babbling heads of Fox & Friends who, like most of the network, the president and his party, lied to you for weeks about the threat of this virus, must sit six feet apart from each other. It’s why many of you are sitting at home right now. It’s why some of our parents and grandparents will die. It’s why we will likely now enter into a recession.

If you voted for Donald Trump, you voted for this. You chose him because you believed, like he told you, that only he could fix it. You should have known better. All the evidence from a lifetime of his cons and failures was available to you, but you ignored it. You ignored it because you were scared, or you’re a racist, or you don’t have much fulfillment in your life so you saw him as someone who was sticking up for you, or you have a terrible job and you thought this successful man could help make you more successful. You were wrong about all of those things, and now we’re all paying the consequences.

This pandemic would have been bad under any president but the unflinching lights of time will show that it was worse than it needed to be because of the man that 63 million of you chose to put in the White House. 

Some of you will say that this isn’t helpful, me saying this. That this is a time when we should be coming together for the common good. But, no, you don’t get to say that. Because the common good is what Trump has worked against for the last three years. If you voted for him, you voted against the common good. 

Three weeks ago the president, the Republican Party and their allies in the media were telling you that this virus was a “hoax,” or that the media was simply “weaponizing” it to take down Trump. Now, you are sitting at home on the advice of scientists, experts and career government officials who — despite the best efforts of the trio above — still go to work every day to keep you safe. 

Three weeks ago we had the “greatest economy in the world,” the president incessantly reminded us. On day three of the quarantine, the Treasury Secretary is warning of 20 percent unemployment, and three years of stock market gains have been wiped out. 

Four years ago, Trump told us all that he was the only one who could fix it. Now, we know that the only thing he was ever capable of was breaking it.

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For those of you who have been following my posts on Instagram and Facebook about Unsolved Georgia, my project documenting the murders of hundreds of women here, thank you for your patience. As with most things in this country and world right now, I’m pushing back the launch of the project until the worst is behind us. Until then, be safe and healthy.