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Assault on America, Day 460: Liberal media’s take on COVID-19 pandemic is hard to watch

Corona Virus Fatalities
“I can’t watch.”

It's what people say when re-screening a fascinating movie and the plot approaches a particularly uncomfortable scene where something bad happens to a beloved character -- or if there’s an especially tragic depiction of a real life event that the producer and director combined to recreate a little too effectively. For example, my teenage son (during his unanticipated home hiatus from school) recently turned on United 93” (the story of the fourth hijacked plane on 9/11/01 that crashed in a farm field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania) and ended up crying hysterically at the conclusion (he even knew what was coming). Yes, the story’s that dramatic. And sad (but wholly worthwhile for providing perspective on the meaning of life and heroism).

A similar “I can’t watch” feeling has infected the American public of late, chiefly because of the establishment media’s biased and shrill coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, its ill treatment of President Donald Trump’s reaction to the crisis and its distorted portrayal of the disease’s catastrophic effects on the American workforce and greater economy. It’s not like anyone would expect anything more uplifting from the likes of CNN and the New York Times, but the emerging unemployment figures are indeed startling… and depressing.

Last Thursday, jobless claims rose to 6.6 million, which was, of course, a new record. That bad news followed earlier accounts of 3.2 million having filed for unemployment the week prior. “The previous record high for weekly jobless claims was 695,000 in September of 1982,” reported Jay Heflin at The Washington Examiner. The numbers are so large and unfathomable it’s hard to look at them without a visceral reaction -- and the figures only include those who’ve actually succeeded in filing with the government. More out-of-a job folks are almost certainly there somewhere, which makes for a very edgy feeling. Still, we must try and keep our composure -- and watch what’s going on with both eyes opened.

Like with an unnervingly fatalistic movie, we understood from the outset there would be things we don’t want to keep revisiting with coronavirus, namely the economic pain and uncertainty millions are experiencing all around us. President Trump and the federal government have stepped in to manage the “war” on COVID-19 and Congress has sent mountains of money into the economy to act as flame retardant on an uncontained conflagration. But it’s kind of like searching for a tiny object on a darkened room’s floor, not being able to tell where it all leads, and whether some of the “solutions” might be worse than the problems.

As would be expected, this year’s election is far from anyone’s mind, yet political watchers can’t help reflecting on how it will affect his supporters’ opinions on President Trump. Notably, one Democrat recently surmised all of this will lead to record turnout for the incumbent. Emma Colton reported at The Washington Examiner, “A former adviser to President Barack Obama believes President Trump will see a record turnout of supporters come November.

“David Plouffe, who was Obama's 2008 campaign manager and went on to become a senior adviser in the White House, spoke with Fox News … and said the coronavirus and struggling economy won’t keep Trump supporters away from the ballot boxes. ‘You look at the economic situation and say, 'How can an incumbent win in that?' But, you know, no one's blaming Trump for the damage,’ he explained. ‘I think if you can lay his crisis response at his feet and connect that to the economy, I do think that's some headwind he's got to run into.’

“Plouffe added that the president is ‘very dangerous’ to assumed presidential nominee Joe Biden because of his strong voter base.”

I’m not sure “dangerous” is the proper term, but Plouffe is correct. The worldwide China-instigated health panic has played right into Trump’s strongest suit as a political practitioner, allowing him to impress even some of the biggest skeptics of his leadership abilities. The president has never been a role player or a rank-and-file soldier; like General George Patton or legendary basketball coach John Wooden, he was born to be out front of the scrum and is extremely comfortable giving orders and expecting others to follow them to the letter.

Trump leads by example but he also never shies away from tossing out a candid opinion. And Lord knows, he’s not the least bit intimidated by reporters or the media talkers and what they say about him.

The old adage (allegedly traced to novelist James Lane Allen), “Adversity does not build character, it reveals it” is apropos in Trump’s case. Whereas Trump has engendered a ton of disparagement for his confrontational political style (too many nasty tweets, being petty, too quick to fire his own staff, etc.) -- some of it deserved -- there’s never been any questioning his comfortability with leadership positions. The president is such a strong presence that everyone homes in on him even when others man the podium during his coronavirus briefings.

A crisis? Who the heck would you rather have leading the charge, Trump or Joe Biden? I’m guessing even a good many Democrats would concede Trump’s a superior natural born commander. If the nation ever recovers from its current malaise and political correctness doesn’t take over the world, Trump could have his face on currency someday.  

Meanwhile, if Trump is losing his backers’ faith, it isn’t showing up to the naked eye. True, his impressive rallies have indefinitely been put on hold, but polls show most Americans are receptive to the social distancing recommendations he and Vice President Mike Pence have put in place to battle the spread of the pandemic. Judging by the liberal media’s intense negative response to his daily press conferences, the information sessions are succeeding in providing some level of reassurance to those worried about getting sick and what happens after all of this is over (again, assuming we get to that point).

As would be expected, “experts” on cable news shows predict millions of the jobs won’t ever come back and therefore the economy will remain sluggish through the end of the year and beyond. It doesn’t take a genius to figure businesses that were already on the margin before anyone had ever heard of COVID-19 probably won’t get through the shutdowns in good shape. But who knows… perhaps some of the money Congress dumped into the economy will help people weather the hard times. You never know. It could happen.

It doesn’t necessarily show up on any opinion survey either, but Americans likely appreciate Trump’s federalism-based approach to the crisis. Every day, it seems, Trump fields a media question about why he doesn’t just declare a national stay-at-home emergency and take the authority out of locals’ hands. His political enemies frequently chide Trump for being a dictator but then act shocked when he doesn’t live up to the accusation. And why? Don’t governors and mayors know more about what their constituents need than the central authority in Washington?

Even nature offers clues as to what will follow the resuscitation of the economy. After a volcanic eruption, for instance, the surrounding territory is blackened and lifeless, yet within weeks plants start emerging from cracks in the lava and wildlife returns to explore the devastation. Human beings have a similar sort of regenerative capacity, especially in places like the United States which encourages a can-do sense of resolve.

Many won’t ever accept the government “taking care of us”. We just want our rights protected and fairness in the marketplace. And the laws enforced. And national security. Those things too.

Despite Democrat stereotypical impressions of Trump’s supporters, they aren’t “deplorables” so bent on prejudices and hatred of fellow human beings that they can’t decipher the difference between effective government and pure partisan nonsense. As every good leader would, Trump is fostering a “we’re in this together” attitude, tweeting last week, “Every citizen, family, and business can make the difference in stopping the virus. This is our shared patriotic duty.” — [email protected]

Patriotism indeed. It even extends to industries within the country.

Last week oil prices continued falling largely due to overproduction from Russia and Saudi Arabia combined with a dramatic downturn in world demand because of coronavirus. Again, it was predictable to a “t,” since planes aren’t flying and citizens aren’t driving anywhere. In one of his press conferences Trump suggested gasoline prices might dip under a dollar per gallon, which is great news to cash strapped folks but awful for America’s vital energy sector.

One report even speculated oil prices might drop below zero because there’s so much supply out there and no place to store it. In times when not much makes sense, oil producers might have to pay entities to take their product off their hands and not receive a dime in return.

Needless to say, such an occurrence would have devastating effects on America’s energy companies. “Climate change” purveyors and most Democrats would welcome the cessation of production, but who would provide for all the people who work in the sector? Trump responded by urging the international offenders’ leaders to scale back production so the market could adjust and steer prices towards a more sustainable level for the economy.

People have to work and government aid won’t last forever. President Trump is doing his best to ensure energy producers -- and everyone else -- can get back on their feet and start living “normal” lives again. The strategy is a political winner as well.

Democrats made waves in another area by announcing that they’re moving back the start of their nominating convention because of coronavirus. Rafael Bernal, Amie Parnes and Joathan Easley reported at The Hill, “The Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee will be delayed for a month because of the coronavirus pandemic, the host committee announced on Thursday. The Democratic nominating convention will now take place over four days beginning on Aug. 17 after originally being scheduled to take place between July 13-16...

“A source close to Joe Biden’s campaign told The Hill that the former vice president pushed to have the convention moved, while keeping the same format.

“However, the Democratic National Convention Committee said it is still determining the ‘most appropriate structure for this historic event,’ possibly indicating that changes to limit the number of people in attendance might be in the works.”

For what it’s worth, the Republican convention is set to commence exactly a week later on August 24 (in Charlotte, North Carolina), which means the two parties’ big pow-wows will begin and end within ten days of each other (same as 2016?). Talk about politics overload -- people might hanker for another round of home confinement after that.

One can only picture what an attendance-limited political convention would look like, with speakers droning on to mostly-empty arenas, the usual sounds of cheers and boos being replaced by echoing public address systems that can’t be turned down low enough to provide an appropriate level of noise. The boring nature of such events will be magnified. The Democrats will be even less watchable than they’d otherwise be.

Couldn’t the parties pay for individual COVID-19 testing for all attendees (which should be widely available by then)? That’s over four months from now. If Americans are still in shelter-in-place mode at that time, the last thing anyone would care about is a political convention. They’ll be going nuts. Would Joe Biden benefit from the time lapse or will he simply disintegrate after being away for so long?

There’s little doubt some things are hard to watch these days, including the daily rising coronavirus death tolls and the drastic increase in unemployed Americans. Tough times call for exceptional leaders, and fortunately for us, President Trump is up to the task. If only the media would do its job, we’d all see the light of day.

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