There had been one blunder after another during his disruptive tenure, and yet the economy had held up.
Then came the virus.
The President failed to take measures to protect us against it. Over 106,000 deaths later, the best he can do is to point the finger at China and say that it was their fault. It has to rankle him that China, with a population over 3 times larger than us, has had only a little over 4,600 deaths.
But the President is doing what he’s best at, deflecting blame.
To this day, he remains unable to admit that he was late in responding, unable to admit that he was distracted with the impeachment and that the challenge to his authority was what concerned him the most. Never mind that, with a clear majority in the Senate, there was no doubt he would be acquitted of the charges.
Then came George Floyd.
And the President lost it.
To this day, he has been unable to address the nation. A nation riven by protests and looting. A wounded nation in search of clear guidance and support. A nation bleeding from a deep wound to its soul.
And there the President stands, watching over us as we bleed.
The moment a person becomes elected to the highest office in the land, they become the person to turn to for answers to our deepest troubles. It may be too much to expect for one person to have all the answers, but we look to that person because even if they don’t have the answers, they will have access to our best and brightest, to our wisest and most serene.
But our President appears unable to take such responsibility.
And so he fails us.
It is a profound failure.
A blatant shirking of his duty.
When protesters circled the White House, he was hurried to his bunker. Please. No. Don’t you hide from your fellow Americans.
With every day that passes and you don’t address us as a nation, the greater the sense that we are truly leaderless. Someone is in the White House, sleeping and eating… we hear him rant, tweet, insult, call for the Army to take over our cities and silence the protests.
But we don’t hear a man take us into his heart and say to us, ‘I am deeply pained… that during my tenure, in this great land, a police officer had the audacity to pin down and slowly kill a man while others who were watching, begged him to stop. But it happened, happened here in this great land, on Memorial Day, in the great city of Minneapolis. To the extent that I have not endeavored to heal this nation, I, too, am guilty of what happened to George Floyd. And so I am deeply sorry that I have failed you. In this day of sorrow for our nation, I ask that we forgive each other… and forgive me… forgive so we can come together and work as the great family that we are… and join in the effort to not let this happen again.’
Our President, however, cannot say that.
To do so he would have to shed a tear for George Floyd.
And yet… still we look to the White House… only to realize that it is empty… and as we shed a tear for George Floyd… we shed a tear for ourselves.
Oscar Valdes is the author of ‘Psychiatrist for A Nation’. Available on Amazon.