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Act like you give a damn

BLAKE FLEETWOOD
Guest Columnist
opinion@lbknews.com

To say that we on Longboat Key are doing all that we can, is a stretch.

We are not all wearing masks when we go to Publix or CVS or the gas station or out in public.

Many of us are, but many are not.

When we get home, we are not cleaning off our groceries in the way we should.

Perhaps this is due to the failure of political leadership on the national level, state level, county level, and town level and, even for the most part, on the world level.

Governors in some states refused to order citizens to stay home to prevent the spread of the virus even when health officials were screaming for action

In Florida  Gov. Ron DeSantis “has been late and lackadaisical, in ways that will undoubtedly cost many Floridians their health — their lives. Despite surging numbers of fatalities in New York and Washington and a rising tide of Florida editorial boards demanding action, DeSantis did not issue a statewide stay-at-home order until April 1. That made Florida the last state with more than 5,000 coronavirus cases to implement a statewide shutdown,” according to Errol Louis, in a CNN editorial.

”Unlike some other governors, DeSantis ignored the obvious for too long, and Floridians likely are sicker for it,” the Miami Herald argued in a scathing editorial. “His statewide essential-services-only order, though welcome, is indeed, too late.”

On March 22, the same editorial board published the biting headline: “Coronavirus is killing us in Florida, Gov. DeSantis. Act like you give a damn.”

This is happening all over the country.  China defeated the virus with a strong leader, a totalitarian state, and mandatory rules. Walk outside, Wear a mask…… or go to jail!

Shoppers should not be allowed in grocery stores without masks.

This is a war with hundreds of lives at stake. And our leader publicly disagrees with all his top Health advisors

Trump boasts of not wearing a mask.

It wouldn’t look good to do that in front of foreign leaders, he said.

Typically Trump is more concerned with his image…his hair… which  helps on television, but in real life other skills are equally if not more, important.

What kind of leadership is that?

Once Trump had a cadre of competent, conservative generals — John Kelly, James Mattis, and H.R McMaster.They knew how to fight wars; they knew how to get the best people for the right jobs.

Eventually, Trump soured on all of them and they soured on him, a tragic, repeated cycle

And he had some CEOs, good executives, and replaced them with incompetant loyalists and family members.

I met Trump a couple of times, and despite the fact that I thought I wouldn’t like him, he charmed the hell out of me. “Blake, you are the best,” he kept telling me.

Not so long ago Trump was pro-choice. He was for a national single-payer health plan (a much better option than Obamacare).

Trump even proposed a substantial “net worth” tax on the assets of the wealthy, which he admitted would cost him personally hundreds of millions of dollars.

He was opposed to the war in Iraq

“Look at the war in Iraq and the mess that we’re in,” he presciently told Esquire Magazine. “I would never have handled it that way. Does anybody really believe that Iraq is going to be a wonderful democracy. C’mon. Two minutes after we leave, there is going to be a revolution, and the meanest, toughest, smartest, most vicious guy will take over.”

Certainly, Trump, as a candidate,  identified the problems of our era. He won because he vowed to dismantle the political and economic establishment, clean up the swamp, whose policies have been betraying the middle class for the last 20 years.

Trump governs by the seat of his pants… this may work in real estate, but it doesn’t work in a serious war.

At one of his White House briefings this week Trump called himself  a “cheerleader for the country”. We need more than a cheerleader. Today Trump is confronting a crisis he can’t hype his way out of. He is out of his depth and we’re all paying the price.

What we need in these threatening times  is a benevolent, wise leader. Without one, life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short,” wrote British philosopher Thomas Hobbes wrote 369 years ago.

That dire picture seemed especially apt these weeks: The US government is confronting its biggest challenge in nearly a century.

But the pandemic is winning,  Federal and state officials are overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster, potentially killing hundreds of thousands and infecting millions more,

This may be a failure of our democratic system. What we need in the presidency now is a quarterback — someone who calmly calls strategic plays under intense pressure. and who knows how to  put his trust in wise people.   And who knows to leave them alone to do their job.

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5 Responses for “Act like you give a damn”

  1. Lee says:

    Grow up man. Just Stop! Your agenda driven dribble is nauseating.

  2. Joe Russell says:

    The virus is most communicable in the days before symptoms present. Not wearing a mask in public is threatening the health of all those you come in contact with. I share your feelings about individual responsibility and our about our president.

  3. Robert kenny says:

    Wow. Didn’t know you were so aware of how all the person on longboat deal with there cleaning habits. Very presumptuous on your part to say we don’t give a dam. You probably met us once or twice also. There will always be people who care to much and those that care to little. How did you go from longboat residents that don’t give a dam to a personal history of our current president. I believe that most people are trying to be safe and still give a dam about the needs of the 10,000,000 people who are trying to file for unemployment and feed there families oh and how about keeping a roof over there head. Mabey if more of us had met the president we might have more insight to this horror that has been unleashed upon us. I’ve met many residents that are caring, kind generous and plain good people. Met some of those bitter angry ones also and this is true everywhere you go. We are not special because we live on a island what makes us special is that we do give dam

  4. Steve Keller says:

    Just what we needed Blake – more unenlightened biased media blather. Do us a favor and shut it down.

  5. Brian says:

    If Obama was president or even George freaking Washington the results would be the same or worse.

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