A Moment of Recognition

In 1997, back when we lived in unspoiled Bahia Santa Maria–Google Montage Los Cabos; this was long before all that greed killed the cove–a whale and her calf entered our waters. And our waters were deep right up to the beach. In Bahia Cabo San Lucas itself the seabed is at 900 feet even before reaching the famous arch.

One time I swam way too far out of Santa Maria–into the Sea of Cortez properly, was terrified, and only too glad to return. Truly, machismo is idiocy. I will tell you: deep water and heights scare the Christ out of me. Bring me a ghost. Or a snake. A zombie. A Republican. Anything. Just no depths beneath me over which I have no control.

Anyhow. Memory tells me that one morning I was beckoned down to the water by some commotion or other. Practically on shore were two enormous humpbacks frolicking. I could have mounted them from the beach as you would a horse–a mother and her calf, scouring themselves against the sand beneath the breakers. A group of us gawped in absolute awe as the two snorted and had a good scratch. They peeked back, I swear, with no concern whatsoever. Still, it seemed like a moment of recognition between us.

Another moment of recognition, albeit far less full of elation, is when you realize that Donald Trump, as President of the United States, remains willing to sacrifice–kill–untold thousands of his fellow citizens merely to further his political pursuits. His re-election.

As he admitted to Bob Woodward so early as February 7, Trump knew that COVID-19 is both airborne and more deadly than the flu. He knew that the youth are not immune. Over the course of several interviews, Trump even confessed to downplaying the pandemic. He denigrates mask wearing and continues to hold large, indoor rallies.

The United States contains something like four percent of the world’s population and 20% of the world’s COVID-19 deaths. We certainly have more cases than any other country on the globe. What would you call it when, by sins of omission and commission both, a self-proclaimed “wartime president” has killed countless thousands of homefront Americans?

Negligent mass homicide? Mass murder? Treason?

…Right! Another moment of recognition. Trump likely reckons the 197,000 and counting dead are “losers.” That you are a “sucker” if you wear a mask. His oft corroborated remarks about our troops, our service dead and captured, are nauseating. Quite a moment when you realize the so-called Commander-in-Chief is not only unfit to command but, quite possibly, may not even be in command of his own faculties.

Person, woman, man, camera, TV.

Millions, somehow, still trust this president and would have heeded him had he just suggested wearing a mask. Instead, when the virus refused to “magically” disappear with the warm weather, he urged the quaffing of Clorox. I wonder how many people inappropriately took hydroxychloroquine on his say-so. But he does continue to insist that testing is causative of infection. And that actually is crazy.

We would be through much of this by now if, way back in February, the president had simply issued a mask-wearing directive. Not only has Trump done for many Americans, he has killed a good bit of our economy as well. The number of small businesses this man has assassinated, coupled with the eventual cost of a floated $trillion in stimulus money–the effect of it all is, at present, incalculable. All to make rosier his re-election prospects.

2020 began with a failed impeachment when the Senate abdicated its responsibility to so much as honor the process. Since then we have marched through Murder Hornets, a pandemic with an upward spiraling death count, a dire economic catastrophe impacting tenants, landlords and small business of every stripe, the loss of many of our norms and, now, horrific fires that have cast a kind of nuclear winter over the entire western landscape. All of that without even discussing the chaos in our streets, continuing police brutality toward–nay, the yet ongoing murder of–Black people, and the ever widening divide we endure. And all that, still, without even discussing the spectre of climate change. The only way this year could be worse is if Trump is re-elected.

I guess then we would really all be suckers.

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