At the dawn of World War II as Hitler rose to power and started militarizing Nazi Germany, UK Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, cut defense spending and engaged in a strategy of placating evil. Sure, historians debate the full extent of Chamberlain’s lack of vision, but his all but flat-out ignoring the threat of Hitler didn’t make the war go away. Today, Chamberlain is regarded as one of the worst PMs in UK history, and one of the leading factors no one checked Hitler’s rise to power earlier.
Enter COVID-19, and US President Donald Trump. We have a new invasion, and in the first year, it will likely kill over 200,000 Americans. World War II took the lives of just over 400,000 Americans, over a period of four years. In short, the war against COVID-19 is deadlier than World War II in its ability to kill Americans faster. And yet, here is the President of the United States, at first denying the risk, then when obvious wearing no mask, ordering testing to slow down, holding massive rallys-cum-super-spreader events, and asking people to ignore the obvious: we are at war. Neville Chamberlain couldn’t have done it better, I think Trump is using his playbook.
When Imperial Japan attacked the United States, a draft card was a sign of patriotism. Many courageous youth even lied about their age and health conditions to get into the fight. Healthy and able Americas were united in their desire to sacrifice whatever was required to protect those who couldn’t fight: E pluribus unum. Presidents and Prime Ministers of Allied forces asked for sacrifice, and a willing country united against a common enemy with patriotic ferver.
Back to COVID-19. Wearing a face mask is the draft card of this war. True patriots wear a face mask to protect Americans who can not protect themselves. Strong leaders care for those who are at risk, and many patriotic Americans wear masks in the great American tradition of doing whatever is required to protect those we love.
Sadly, despots and tyrants use propoganda at times of national crisis in an attempt to aggregate their power. The love of power, and the selfish exercise of power to harm the public good, is why our founding fathers created our democratic system. So that once every four years, we vote and make sure that our country is led by someone who puts others above themselves, in the best traditions of America.
Bring on America’s Winston Churchill. It’s time America unites to fight our common enemy instead of one another.