A special Providence protects fools, drunkards, small children and the United States of America” — attributed to Otto von Bismarck.
Has America’s providential luck run out? Throughout our history, at moments of supreme danger, our country has managed to find leaders of extraordinary character and ability to steer us through the storm.
Now, if you tune into the White House’s daily pandemic “briefing,” you’d think Captain Queeg was at the helm.
Great presidents are forged in the crucible of great crises. America’s struggle for independence, the Civil War, the Great Depression and World War II gave rise to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt, respectively.
Donald J. Trump won’t be joining them in the presidential pantheon. He has failed abysmally to rise to what history will record as the defining test of his presidency. Some responsibility for that failure falls on Senate Republicans, who abdicated their constitutional duty during impeachment to remove a clearly unfit president from office.
Trump’s inept handling of the pandemic has helped to make America number one at something: Coronavirus infections (430,000 people at this writing.) And with nearly 15,000 deaths, we are closing in on the fatality frontrunners, Spain (15,238) and Italy (17,669).
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