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Op-ed

Commentary: Trump is in danger of turning coronavirus into his Iraq

History repeating

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Bush once inspired me that it was possible for America to be not just a beacon for liberty but a vector. That we could transmit freedom to an Islamic World that had been mostly devoid of it for a millennia.

But after watching him languish under the constant Democrat media onslaught defining Iraq as a "quagmire," one of two things had become obvious. He either was ill-equipped to counter that narrative and defend our military and its mission, or he no longer believed his own mission statement. Regardless of which one it was, the result ultimately sunk his presidency.

He had plummeted from the president that heroically rallied America post-9/11, to leaving the White House with the lowest final approval rating in the history of the Gallup Poll.

On April 16, President Trump also inspired me with the unveiling of his three-phase plan to reopen America in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. I said so on every public platform at my disposal, and also let people I know privately within the administration know how I impressed I was, too. He and his team cast a vision, and had the answers we needed to the questions we had.

Which is why what I'm about to say next is incredibly ironic. And I'm saying it now, because I don't want to see history repeat itself. I'd prefer to see Trump appoint Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement, and not whomever turns out to be the Democrats' nominee. I'd like to see President Trump continue to defend my religious freedom from the Democrats as well. I don't want to the turn the country over to a political party that now acts as if Barack Hussein Obama was some kind of throwback blue dog Democrat, and Thomas Jefferson is no longer woke enough. Thus, I hope this is taken in the spirit it's intended.

Trump and coronavirus is starting to look/sound eerily similar to Bush and Iraq.

While their personas couldn't be much different, the milquetoast pabulum tastes the same. The same tepidness, qualifiers, and mixed messages. Are we winning in Iraq or not? Are we reopening or not? Does the president think the Iraqis want freedom? Does the president think America is ready to reopen? When Bush speaks is that the president, or is the president merely a mouthpiece for State Department bureaucrats? When Trump speaks is that the president, or is the president merely a mouthpiece for Fauci-Birx?

Just like back then with Bush and Iraq, I often find myself on the air each day defending what I think is Trump's conviction/position more than he is. I'm also not alone in this frustration. My inbox is overrun with the types of voters Trump must have all of to win in November. Ours is not necessarily a MAGA show, but we do find ourselves frequently supporting him given the way he's often governed up until this moment. The vast majority of our audience are conservatives that would never show up at a rally, but would love to rally to him come November. They also own many of the small businesses going under, and work many of the jobs being lost.

But they are bewildered by the president still tweeting about ventilator capacity like it's mid-March and not early May, lashing out at Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's attempt to make the Peach State great again, and blasting Sweden for not risking cultural suicide over a virus that so far has killed just .03% of its population (and .02% of the U.S.).

At best, the president's behavior on reopening since April 16 has been erratic. At worst, he is actively in the way of his own voters getting their country back.

President Trump rose to political prominence in part by pestering the Bush dynasty, and its latest scion, Jeb, into political irrelevance. He rightly pointed to the disastrous outcome of the invasion of Iraq, and all its wasted resources — both human and capital. He made his candidacy a vessel for venting years of frustration at ineffective Republicans, several of them Bushes, who didn't have it what it takes to win against the hardball tactics of the Left. And it took him all the way to the presidency.

He has lost that mojo in recent weeks, determined to defend every morsel of public policy beyond what the American people demand. Plenty of folks made mistakes here, or at the very least were compelled to make snap judgments based on little data with potentially hundreds of thousands of lives at stake. No one that would even think of voting for Trump this fall would hold the lockdown decisions made in March against him.

However, given what we now know, the likelihood of dying from this virus if you're under 70 or not in a nursing home is remote. It is time, then, to focus on those at-risk populations and reopen the country before further imperiling our food supply, constitutional liberties, and economy — while causing needless death later by denying other medical care today.

On March 16, the president announced a 15-day effort to flatten the curve in order to avoid overwhelming our health care system due to the coronavirus. That effort was successful, maybe too much so. We're now closing rural medical care and doing mass health care industry layoffs due to a lack of demand.

It's time for Trump to rise above the understandable myopia of the tragedy that uniquely struck his native New York City, and move on to the larger task of American renewal. His task force kept its March 16 vow to thwart what happened to Italy's health care system from ever happening here, and the American people did their part to make it so. Now the people and his presidency must join together once more to restore our way of life.

That's the message Trump's voters/potential voters want to hear and see. All the polling that shows him losing to Biden, including his own internal polling, confirms it. But just like we learned from Bush, you can't want a politician to be successful more than they do.

One last thing…
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