Shortly after Donald Trump was reported to have COVID-19, people around the world began to learn a little more about both the character of the U.S. president as well as the mentality of many of the progressive elitists who are his severest critics.
After taking the early morning hours to consider a public reaction to the president’s bad news, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden erred on the side of his better angels and wrote in a tweet: “Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery. We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the President and his family.”
One can only applaud Biden’s sympathetic response to the president’s bad news. It’s certainly a tribute to his Marquess of Queensberry spirit that he could behave so graciously toward a man that only days before he was calling an incompetent “clown” and a dangerous “racist.”
But a lot of Biden supporters in media, entertainment, and anti-U.S. foreign administrations weren’t quite as gracious. The reaction of many American progressives was nothing short of ghoulish. Even Twitter felt obliged to warn that it might suspend users who were publicly hoping for Trump’s death. Major American news networks, along with their ideological allies in Beijing’s state-controlled media, were virtually falling over each another to imply that the president had it coming.
Trump’s critics maintain that he had played down the danger of the virus during the early stages of the outbreak. Others will recall that the Chinese Communist Party, the World Health Organization, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had displayed a similar reaction to the looming pandemic. In late February, Pelosi had encouraged everyone to celebrate in San Francisco’s Chinatown. That’s the same Pelosi who would later join her Democratic colleagues in blaming Trump’s early “denial” for the spread of the CCP virus and deaths of more than 200,000 Americans.
More recently, the left’s animus toward Trump has focused primarily on the president’s efforts to reboot the nation’s economy and seek alternatives to a national strategy that would send Americans home for the winter to freeze to death in the dark.
The president’s acceptance of some measure of risk, balanced against another disastrous economic lockdown, appears to fly in the face of the strategy recommended by Biden and the Democratic Party. To Democratic activists, the president’s illness was welcome proof that his leadership was reckless, and few were shy to say so, even while Trump was being admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for treatment.
The Democratic Party’s natural political base includes a top category of wealthy investors, government employees, highly paid professionals, teachers, academics, and other securely positioned technocrats, along with a bottom cohort of welfare recipients who altogether feel reasonably secure that they can ride out a prolonged period of shutdown without a serious interruption of their income stream. Many of them are in a position to work from home or just ride out the pandemic on family assets or government assistance.
Republican supporters, on the other hand, tend to fall into that cohort of middle-class business owners and employees for whom the lockdown has proven to be a life-altering financial and spiritual disaster. Many who have retained employment are modestly paid, private sector, essential workers who man the front lines in grocery stores, farms, food processing plants, factories, mines, energy-producing operations, transportation companies, hospitals, and other services that require daily contact with co-workers or the public.
These are the people who Trump cares for most, and they love him for it.
Biden’s simplistic notion that America should stand down and wait for a vaccine while ordinary people lose their livelihoods is tantamount to Marie Antoinette’s “Let them eat cake!” disposition toward the plight of the “sans-culotte” in Bourbon France. This fundamentally elite socialist model of political leadership imagines a political class ruling in splendid isolation from the deplorable masses, but doesn’t sit very well among liberty-loving American patriots.
Over the troubled summer of 2020, the figure of Biden running his campaign for president from the security of his home while roundly criticizing his opponent for daring to do his job and getting out among the American people was never a winning profile for the Democratic Party.
Biden’s tactics in the fight against the pandemic conjure up the image of a self-serving Bolshevik mindset that was displayed at the Battle of Stalingrad when Communist Party officers, operating from the rear of the battle, shot frontline Russian soldiers as they sought to retreat from the ferocious assault of German tanks.
Whether we like him or not, Trump is just not the kind of leader who’s willing to stand pat in the face of a crisis of any kind. Speaking about his inclination to remain active and engaged throughout the pandemic, he said in a video on Oct. 3: “I had no choice. … I can’t be locked up in a room upstairs and totally safe. … As a leader, you have to confront problems.”
Michelle Obama used to be fond of suggesting that Republicans tend to “go low” while Democrats preferred to “go high,” but the gruesome rooting for the president’s demise over the past few days begs the question of just how low some people can go.
When the chips are really down, it appears to be Trump who has been more inclined to “go high.” In an Oct. 3 video message from the hospital, he expressed no complaints about those on the other end of the political spectrum who have said he deserves to die. Instead, he offered heartfelt thanks to all of the people across America and around the world who were wishing him well.
Next month, Americans will either choose a president who leads from the front or one who professes to rely on the advice of “experts” and leads from behind the safety of his loudest advisers.
The decision that Americans make will affect all of us in the free world.
William Brooks is a Montreal writer and educator. He currently serves as editor of “The Civil Conversation” for Canada’s Civitas Society and is an Epoch Times contributor.
The views expressed herein are solely those of the author. As a nonpartisan public charity, The Epoch Times does not endorse these statements and takes no position on political candidates.