I would have voted for President Trump. Really.
Just after the holidays last year, I remember packing up the ornaments from our Christmas tree and thinking to myself, “When we pull these out again, we may have elected a new president.”
I didn’t realize then that just a few months later, I’d make an almost unfathomable deal with myself. I told myself that despite A LOT of negative feelings about President Trump (for a variety of reasons, including this one and this one), that I would vote for him in November.
Consistency can do a lot to help navigate during a crisis and, as I got ready for work one morning in mid March, I thought, “If he can come up with a way through this, safely steering the country down the long road toward a vaccine, I’ll vote for him.”
It’s okay to chuckle at the deal I made with myself, I am. But I also don’t think it was that overly naive. God, remember March … when we knew very little about the virus and we stayed home and we scrubbed our groceries? We didn’t know a lot about the novel coronavirus and we definitely didn’t know that the president knew more because he didn’t tell us.
Considering the unprecedented nature of the virus, its easy transmission and the catastrophe it meant to human health, our financial stability and the overall economy in this country … maybe it wasn’t crazy to think that this president could take an unprecedented turn in his own approach to such earth-shattering problems. Some things have to be bigger than a personal tiff or a political fight, right?
Not right. We know now that he didn’t rise to the occasion. And he continues to endanger the lives of people across the country.
It cost him my vote and, most importantly, it cost the lives of 210,000 Americans and it cost the health of more than 7 million people who have contracted the virus. That number includes President Trump, his wife and a growing number of people in his administration and just folks who work in the White House.
At best, he withheld the truth about contracting the virus. At the worst, he lied to his friends on Fox News and those who believe Fox News. Even after being hospitalized and receiving some of the best medical treatment in the country, he tells us “not to be afraid of Covid.” Because of that, more people will get sick and some of those individuals will die and it will be Trump’s fault.
When we (finally) heard that Trump had tested positive late last week, the Democrats running against him, as well as former President Barack Obama, offered well wishes. The Biden-Harris campaign even stopped their negative campaign ads.
Me? I withheld my “thoughts and prayers.” Just like the president who had time and again withheld his concern for the public over the course of this pandemic. Just like gutless members of the Republican Party as cases continue to mount and deaths climb across the country.
I don’t feel the need to go high when they have gone so low for so long. They had so many opportunities to tell us the truth, to be honest about the science that could have helped them AND so many others, but they didn’t do a thing.
They made their choice and I’m making mine. I’m going to vote for someone else.
Amy Bailey was a member of the Michigan Capitol Press Corps from 2000-2006. She lives and works in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with her husband, son and an easily excitable Australian Shepherd named Max. Amy's guest column, Something to Say, publishes periodically. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.