Robert Jakubowicz: Trump's 'carnage' warnings more cynical than prescient
PITTSFIELD — The one positive result of the upcoming presidential election should be putting America back on the path of making it great because of President Donald Trump losing his reelection bid.
Bob Woodward's new book "Rage" — regarding Trump's early knowledge of the deadly effect of COVID-19 and his lame, inexcusable downplaying of it — should refresh the memory of many voters of the great deal of suffering and death this caused.
The timing of the book's publication could not have been better. It has put Trump on the defensive at this point about his dangerous handling of the pandemic. He is now likely to retreat to his other major, false campaign pledge of saving this country from his made-up danger of national "carnage."
America has had no nationwide "carnage." The president's chosen word is defined and generally understood as "the killing of a large number of people."
Yet the president has chosen to use the fear of it happening as a major campaign issue. Almost four years ago, the newly elected President Trump, in his inaugural speech, said that the "American carnage stops right here and now," despite the fact that there was no bloodbath going on in the country at that time.
Today, he is vowing to do the same thing again. He claims he is the only "law-and-order" national leader who can stop the "urban carnage" and its threat to move to the suburbs.
I presume he means the unfortunate and inexcusable police killings of African Americans and property damage by protesters that has occurred in a few cities such as Portland, Ore.; Kenosha, Wis.; and Rochester, N.Y. The president blames the Democrats and liberals for these events, despite the fact that they happened under his national leadership.
The president is trying to use these intermittent incidents of violence to "undo" what the late Stephen Jay Gould called "the ten thousand acts of kindness." According to Gould, "we easily forget the predominance of kindness over aggression by confusing effect with frequency."
Gould, a noted American educator and author, based this observation on what happens daily in our interpersonal relationships.
His point was that we do not greet others in homes, on streets and in public places with a punch to the nose. We act in civilized ways by chatting with others, not being suspicious or fearful of others, helping each other and the like. We do not hide behind closed doors at home afraid to go out. This is just fake fear that Trump is sowing with this campaign nonsense.
cynical scare tactics
Who are these alleged perpetrators of carnage to come if Trump loses his reelection bid?
Based on his actions, it appears he is trying to create such mobs out of the protestors on our streets to do something about the inordinate police killing of black Americans. The protestors are actually exercising their constitutional right to "peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
There are some violent protesters among them who should be arrested and prosecuted for any crimes — usually property damage and theft from businesses — that they commit. There is no evidence of a large, existing group standing ready to commit carnage on our streets if Trump is defeated. Additionally, Trump has singled out people who differ physically from white Americans as part of this mob ready to take part in his conspiracy of carnage. Physical differences such as skin color do not identify mass murderers ready to wreak carnage on America if Trump loses the election.
There is also television commentary about Trump possibly refusing to peacefully leave the Oval Office if he is defeated. That matter was a real issue in 1800, when John Adams lost his bid for reelection to Thomas Jefferson. That was the first time in American history when an incumbent president sought reelection and lost. Americans held their collective breaths to see if Adams would leave. He did, and the rest is history.
We have had peaceable transitions of presidential power since, and I frankly do not see how it will be otherwise after all the years that such transitions have taken place.
There is absolutely no evidence that Trump would change as a reelected president. In fact, it is likely that he will take his reelection as a political omen to continue his ugly, selfish, aggressive, mendacious style of leadership.
The only sure way of putting America back on its track of being a great country is to vote Trump out of office. And in my opinion, that is what will happen.
Robert "Frank" Jakubowicz
is a regular Eagle contributor.
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