Politicizing Global Tragedy
United States has been the worst affected country in the world in this global pandemic caused by COVID-19 for some time now. The US has been the world’s largest economy since the late 19th century. The country which constitutes for almost a quarter of the world economy has been in some sort of lockdown for over a month now.
As the world fights against the same enemy, the leadership of this “super” country is fighting amongst themselves. This fight has had a ripple effect on the minds of citizens and now some of them have taken to streets in protests.
The protests to shut down the shutdown have started taking place in states like Michigan (more than 31000 cases), Pennsylvania (more than 32000 cases), Ohio (more than 11000 cases), Texas (more than 18900 cases), Maryland (more than 13000 cases). The protests have attracted crowds as large as 2000 throwing the recommendations on social distancing, flattening the curve out the window.
In Michigan, the protesters chanted slogans comparing Gov. Whitmer to Adolf Hitler. The protesters across the country flaunted signs of TRUMP 2020 and MAGA (Make America Great Again).
(Image: Paul Sancya/ AP)
Many of the people waived signs like “right to freedom”, “we deem our governor, non-essential”, “my constitutional right is essential” and some said, “we need a haircut”. I want to assume that the last one was to humor people, or else we have an unsolvable problem of insanity.
(Image: Seth Herald / Reuters)
The authorities in Texas, initially put the restrictions on abortion procedures, labeling them as non-essentials. The authorities issued a strict warning to abortion operators.
National Rifle Association posted a video with a leading country musician Charlie Daniels. The video message claimed that shutting down gun stores is an opposition agenda to take away the guns from the general population, thus infringing on their second amendment rights.
With Ramadan around the corner, lots of questions have been raised about the rights of Muslims in the US to go to mosques. The Christian community was restricted from visiting churches across the country just a week before during Easter weekend. Trump has said, “They go after Christian churches, but they don’t tend to go after mosques”
The question is, “who is they?”
From the start, Trump has worked towards distracting the country from the real threats of the coronavirus to propelling his campaign agenda. The protest in the country is a mere sign of his success. The agenda encouraging narratives that abortion is a taboo, anti-Christianity is blown out of proportion, Muslims are subject to generalized hate, gun ownership is projected as essential to the survival of the human race and there is, of course, the shaming of every person that even thinks the word Democrat, should not be surprising to us.
Trump announced yesterday that he is stopping all immigration to the US. This has been a go-to solution for him in every crisis. The promise of closing the border, building a wall on the border is being made since his early campaigning days of 2016 elections.
Trump went on his usual rant of tweets when he tweeted, LIBERATE MICHIGAN, LIBERATE MINNESOTA, LIBERATE VIRGINIA, all in uppercase, in succession. He even claimed that the second amendment is under siege and should be saved.
(Image: Paul Sancya/ AP)
His Republican party has done nothing to undermine his ludicrous claims. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell even shut down the mayor of Louisville, KY when he waned against large church gatherings, giving the warning label of anti-Christianity. To be fair, Trump is the Republican party’s only hope for reelection this fall. His actions are the only way to get votes.
Trump has regularly clashed with Anthony Fauci, director of NIH in daily press briefings. The briefings are clear evidence of Trump’s propaganda versus reality.
These crises have been called unprecedented. The lack of know-how has been given by leadership all over the world as a reason behind the failure of the containment of this virus.
But looking at Trump’s press briefings, his tweets, his overall reactions, I think the current US leadership knew exactly how to react to these global crises. They knew best how to plan their actions and do what they do best, distract the citizens from the real problem to retain power at the center.
I cannot resist but admire the PR team around Trump who has worked hard to keep his image as “the savior of America” afloat, amidst many crises they have faced. I fail to understand why the greatest super-power in the world needs saving.
Again, we as a society show illiteracy, blind faith, and our herd mentality. These qualities of ours are ready to be exploited by the powerful.
Note: these are my thoughts, my opinion, and my conclusion. You are free and hopefully capable to draw your own. Best wishes!