A Trump victory promises four more years of American carnage
The Republican National Convention (RNC) was an extravaganza like no other. It was beautifully produced against a backdrop of majestic patriotic symbols. The speeches were emotional, passionate and well-delivered.
It was also a massive violation of the Hatch Act, according to many, featuring speeches that were full of bald-faced lies, concluding with President Trump’s acceptance of the Republican nomination, in which he spoke for 70 minutes and lied or deliberately mis-contextualized a topic more than 20 times.
But the thing that most stood out most to me was the irony and the gall of the message Trump and many of the other speakers were attempting to deliver. Most of the speeches were trying to lay down a narrative of what a Joe Biden/Kamala Harris administration would do to the country.
They all described a dark, ominous, dangerous society where criminals would run rampant, violence would rule the streets, American businesses would fail and Americans would live in danger of losing their homes and lives. In short, as Trump did in his inauguration speech almost four years ago, they all described American carnage if the country elected Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
But American carnage is exactly what we have gotten under four years of Trump.
Let’s start with the obvious: Trump’s ongoing mishandling of the coronavirus has led to the deaths of more than 186,000 Americans.
In the first two days of the RNC, more Americans died than in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. And still, Trump has not marshaled the full resources of the U.S. government or the political capital it would take to stop the virus once and for all.
Thousands of American businesses are dying forever in the wake of the economic recession forced upon a country whose leaders were woefully unprepared to deal with a global pandemic. The carnage is devastating families and communities across the country.
The unemployment rate is still painfully high as so many Americans have lost their jobs and cannot pay their bills, their mortgages or their rent. But Trump and other Republican convention speakers treated the virus and its economic devastation as if it had already passed us by and we were on the path to a bountiful recovery.
A few days ago marked the anniversary of the El Paso shooting, in which 22 Americans of Latino descent lost their lives at the hands of a white nationalist who drove six hours to stop the “Hispanic invasion” he had heard Trump warn about.
And what about the protests, violence and social unrest happening on America’s streets right now? Trump and other Republican speakers last week tried their best to tie the violence to Biden and the Democrats.
But it shouldn’t be lost that this violence is happening under Trump’s watch, and he did nothing during his speech to assuage the pain and anger many African Americans feel as so many of their sons and daughters have died after encounters with heavy-handed police officers.
Many minority communities feel marginalized, scared and unwelcome. The tragic deaths from COVID-19 have disproportionately affected communities of color, which makes Trump’s mishandling of the pandemic even more egregious to the nation’s minority communities.
Trump promised he would put an end to American carnage. But what we have gotten in the past four years is more of it. It has left desperation and despair in its wake. The country cannot afford another four years of it.
Maria Cardona is a longtime Democratic strategist and was co-chair of the Democratic National Committee’s rules and bylaws committee for the party’s 2020 convention. She is a principal at Dewey Square Group, a Washington-based political consulting agency, and a CNN/CNN Español political commentator. Follow her on Twitter @MariaTCardona.
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