October 2, 2020

Special Edition: Wish President Trump a Speedy Recovery

by Hal Gershowitz

Comments Below

The sooner, the better.

Whether one supports President Trump or opposes him, the sooner he can return to the campaign trail, the better. Donald Trump is the President of the United States, and he should either remain in office or leave office because the people have expressed their will. Should COVID-19 decide the outcome of this election rather than the case President Trump and former Vice President Biden make to the American People, the country’s opportunity to heal will be seriously compromised. And America does need healing.

Tens of millions of Americans are glad Donald Trump is their President, and tens of millions of our fellow citizens are heartsick that he is. Proper reconciliation within the American body politic is essential if we are to be a reasonably cohesive nation. President Trump should remain in office or vacate the office because the people either wish him to stay or leave, but not because he cannot campaign in the waning weeks of this election cycle. Such a defeat for President Trump or victory for Joe Biden would leave the country unnerved and our political temperament scarred and ugly.

Those who may delight in schadenfreude (revel in another’s misery or misfortune) should sidestep that emotional response and consider what it says about them. It does not reflect well on anyone. Psychologists and others who have studied the phenomenon will affirm that the less self-esteem an individual has, the more frequently or more intensely they will experience schadenfreude or joy from someone else’s misfortune.

More importantly, there are vital issues that need to be resolved in this election. America needs to decide at the ballot box, whether we are to be an outward-looking nation seeking comity within the world community, or a more insular country that sees its relationships abroad as a more transactional, zero-sum game i.e., America wins, or someone else wins.  My point is not to debate this question, but simply to relegate it to the people, and the way we can best do that is through a robust and intelligent election process.

The people will overwhelmingly welcome intelligent give and take, and, I believe, recoil from more name-calling and ridicule. A failed election process may produce a President, but it will not produce a reasonably satisfied electorate. Any election, especially this election, that relegates serious debate and discussion to the theater of the absurd, or just as bad, to an abbreviated process because of illness or other incapacitation will not have served its purpose, and it certainly will not have served the nation well.

The 2020 election will take place in just one month on November 3rd. President Trump’s stewardship of the nation is a matter of history. Many Americans applaud his leadership, and many recoil from it. There is a prevailing view of the Trump Administration, but no one is precisely certain what that prevailing view is. We’ll know, following the election next month. Nothing should determine America’s prevailing view other than the historical record and the two men who are vying to be our President for the next four years—certainly not Russian or Chinese internet trolls, and certainly not a pathogenic particle measuring 70 to 90 nanometers (nm= one billionth of a meter).

We need to get back to the campaign. The people need to decide which candidate’s view of America is the most consistent with their view of America. Readers of this online column know that I am not a fan of President Trump, but I want the President and Joe Biden to make their case as each man sees fit. America needs to decide, and not a tiny crown-shaped particle of RNA.

This week’s regular column will be published as usual Sunday at 7:00 am Pacific time.

All comments regarding these essays, whether they express agreement, disagreement, or an alternate view, are appreciated and welcome. Comments that do not pertain to the subject of the essay or which are ad hominem references to other commenters are not acceptable and will be deleted.

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4 responses to “Special Edition: Wish President Trump a Speedy Recovery”

  1. Steve Prover says:

    Excellent editorial.. Just reading the commentaries from week to week that invariably accompany this weekly blog would cause almost anyone to conclude that minds are already well made up. To be sure there’s a small cohort of people who are undecided. I wonder if there are enough of these undecideds to sway the election one way or the other. So while I am concerned about the recovery and health of the president I am far less concerned that COVID-19 will determine the outcome of this election. I am far more troubled that Mr. Trump will fail to accept any loss, landslide or narrow, as he will certainly accept any victory no matter the size. I fear, in the growing likelihood that he will not succeed in his reelection campaign, he has the ability to throw this country into a chaotic even more tragically divided state.

  2. Karen Krohn says:

    Another excellent post and so true. Hal, in my opinion, you always hit the heart of the issue.

  3. Marc J. Belgrad says:

    In principle, I agree with you Hal. I think, though, you might overstate whether or not his inability to resume campaigning would determine the country’s ability to cohere afterwards. For purposes of discussion, theoretically Mr. Biden or Mr. Pence could effect a lot of mending and/or coming together by setting it high on his agenda. Unquestionably more than Mr. Trump would if returned to office for a second term.

  4. Trudy Schwartz says:

    Brilliant analysis Hal.
    As always, you state so clearly a very logical way to look at the current political situation.
    Thank you

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