04:14:00 pm on
Tuesday 21 May 2024

The Trump Depression
AJ Robinson

Years ago, more than I care to admit, I saw the stage musical Annie. At one point, she comes to a homeless community called a Hooverville and its citizens sing the song, “We’d Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover.” The song and the name of the town come from a general feeling, at the time, that President Hoover was to blame for the Great Depression.

Hoover did not cause the 1929 Stock Market Crash, nor did he do much to help afterward.

We can debate the issue and can rightly conclude Hoover did not cause the Stock Market Crash or the ensuing depression. He did not, however, do much of anything to mitigate the effect of either. He did not, as we might say, today, do anything to flatten the curve.

That’s where we are now. Trump didn’t cause this pandemic. It’s not his fault infected people got into our country.

Trump most definitely did not encourage Wall Street to panic and start selling so fast and furious that the stock market lost what it gained in the last three years. That’s essentially the entire Trump presidency. Let’s be clear on one thing, as Hoover, Trump has done nothing to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing panic.

I have conservative friends that say it’s not fair to blame Trump for the falling stock market. My response is to say, “No, actually, it is quite fair.” One, he has taken all the credit for every jump in the market over the last three years. Two and this is the biggie, he has done nothing to boost investor confidence. In fact, his words have hurt the market because he keeps lying. Do we need to review even a portion of his 16,000-plus lies?

For that matter, let’s consider his actions. Obama dealt with several disease outbreaks. I don’t recall the stock market tanking during any of them. No states or even cities went on lockdown, when Obama was president.

What of Trump? Well, to start, he disbanded the pandemic agencies set up by Obama. In fact, bragged about it. Now, denies even knowing of the shut down of that agency, but the video is available.

When COVID-19 appeared, Trump took no action. He downplayed it, called it a Democrat Hoax, joking that it would soon vanish. Once more, he bragged of how great the stock market was doing.

As the cases of COVID-19 grew, his thoughts were of the market, corporations and assigning blame. Money goes to the wealthy and strong, not even a word of compassion for the sick and dying. He spoke of free tests, none were forthcoming.

Trump promised a vaccine and medications; none will be available anytime soon. More recently, he suggested the states under lockdown should re-open, as a lockdown is damaging the economy. Physicians and other experts are saying we should implement the lockdown nationwide and Trump wants the opposite?

Why should we be surprised? For Trump, all things are seen through a dual prism. How does this affect his profits and how does it affect his poll numbers? Note the word, his.

I’m reminded of the scene in the movie Alien, where Ripley learns the real reason they were diverted to the planet and why they can’t seem to beat the alien. The company sent them there to collect a specimen for study. The task is considered a high priority, all other priorities are rescinded and, most important, the crew is expendable.

That’s how the working women and men of America are treated by the Great Orange. We’re expendable. Let that sink in for a minute.

Investors are nervous.

Investors, by nature and nurture, are nervous. They don’t like uncertainty. They grow increasingly anxious when leaders are deceptive; they panic when they see someone with the old deer-caught-in-the-headlights look.

Trump tries to project confidence, but when he lies, day in and day out, hour by hour and even minute by minute, investors see through that in a New York Minute; they react accordingly. When a press briefing to give the latest updates on the government’s efforts to fight the disease quickly degenerates into insults, accusations and racist attacks, investors panic. When the Vice-President and other sycophants spend more time kissing the Great Orange ass, metaphorically speaking, than they do giving clear and concise information, people roll their eyes and change the channel to TVLand or MeTV. If they must listen to utter fantasy, they prefer something familiar, comforting and more realistic, such as Bewitched or Star Trek.

Another thing I hear from my conservative friends and family is that we need to stop attacking POTUS. This is a time for people to come together and help each other. We need everybody to help us, each and everyone of us, through this.

I agree completely, but has anyone advised Trump of this simple fact? As I said, his daily briefings always, and I stress always, include attacks on Democrats, the media, the Chinese and anyone that dares cross him. Hate crimes against Asian-Americans have spiked since he started calling the disease the Chinese Flu.

Mind you, he and his minions are the only ones calling it Chinese flu. About the only person, so far, to avoid the wrath of Trump is Dr Anthony Fauci, currently head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. We must wonder how long that’ll last.

Dr Fauci has been conspicuously absent from recent briefings, although he seems to have returned today. After Trump goes on one of his tirades against his enemies, once he’s done exalting himself and when he’s finished spewing utter nonsense on the state of the disease, Dr Fauci that stepped forward to give the truth.

When Fauci speaks, people listened. Those that hear him, rather than Trump, speak, are concerned. They get the facts from Fauci.

This morning came a report of an elderly couple that took chloroquine phosphate because the president said it was safe. The husband died. The wife is in the hospital.

When the President of the United States says something, anything, people listen and act on his word. POTUS has a duty and a responsibility to do what is in the best interest of the people, not serve his personal and financial interests.

So, years from now, when the history books are written, I feel confident this time, in the life of America, will be called “The Trump Depression,” and, to his credit, it’ll be the biggest ever. As the Great Orange himself would say, “Nobody does a depression bigger than me.”

Everything was the biggest for Saddam Hussein, as it is for Donald J Trump.

My economic depressions are always the biggest, the best,” Trump will say. “At least that’s what I’m hearing.” Unlike Hoover, Trump, his actions or lack of actions haven’t merely made the economic crash worse, he’s also caused the deaths of many innocent people. That is the greatest crime of all, which history will crucify him for it.

Combining the gimlet-eye of Philip Roth with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Working, again, as an engineeer, after years out of the field due to 2009 recession and slow recovery, Robinson finds time to write. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true. His teen vampire adventure novel, "Vampire Vendetta," will publish in 2020. Robinson continues to write books, screenplays and teleplays and keeps hoping for that big break.

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