This morning I woke up with a radio announcer talking about the words from Neil Steinberg, a newspaper columnist in Chicago. After reading the entire piece in the Chicago Sun-Times, it is, without doubt, today’s must-read column from the nation’s newspapers. As we observe Pearl Harbor Day we are also in the midst of a deadly national public health crisis. One that we did not need to have savaged our country. Below is a segment of the column.
Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, is a day that will not live in infamy. But maybe it should. Because 2,400 Americans, or more, will die today. About the same number died yesterday and will die tomorrow. And the day after that. And the day after that.
Also dead in an attack, by COVID-19.
Was treachery involved? Not by the virus. A virus is a dumb thing, a microscopic beastie.
Yet there was treachery. The betrayal of the American people by its own government, which not only refused to act when COVID arrived last winter but continued to refuse, finding it easier to declare the whole thing a lie, a hoax. To pretend it wasn’t real. Some elements are doing so right now, head in the sand, in full this-isn’t-happening mode.
Attack? What attack? The ships are still there, untouched. Imagine FDR telling Congress that. Imagine Americans believing him. Now look around.
Talk about infamy.
In punting COVID, Donald Trump betrayed every American ideal. Our supposed strength. Our belief in ourselves — Trump said he didn’t acknowledge how severe the pandemic is because he didn’t want Americans to “panic.” Americans didn’t panic after Pearl Harbor. We sent Jimmy Doolittle and his B-25 raiders to bomb Tokyo.
Given the facts and a shred of leadership, Americans don’t panic. Though Trump certainly did. And does. He’s panicking now, desperately trying to reverse the election he lost in a way that should nauseate any patriotic American but doesn’t. It’s ironic that the same sort who cherish Pearl Harbor’s fading infamy, and gripe to see it overlooked, turn around and shrug off today’s shame.
The year 2020 will live in infamy, as the year 300,000 Americans died because of the treachery, self-interest and cowardice of our president, and the subservient capitulation of those in his party who knew better but fawned when they should have loudly objected.