United States President Donald Trump was yesterday diagnosed with COVID19, along with his wife First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump. Several key White House staff including an aide of Mr Trump, Hope Hicks have also tested positive for it.
There are people around the world and in the United States who will be happy that Mr Trump has been diagnosed with COVID19. They are happy for a number of reasons, not least they hope that it will teach Mr Trump to have some compassion for those who have had COVID, to develop some humility in the face of an unforgiving illness that has rocked America in ways its physical enemies could only dream about. They are happy because they hope that it will derail his Presidential re-election campaign and give Democrat nominee Joe Biden a better chance.
There are people who are happy here in New Zealand as well as in the United States, who wish worse on Mr Trump. Some say it is karma and that Mr Trump deserves everything that COVID19 might try to do to him. Some even go so far as to say outright that he should die.
I disagree. Vehemently.
Mr Trump having COVID19 will do no one anywhere in the world any favours. It will not bring back the 208,000 people who have died in the United States or cure the many hundreds of thousands of active cases that it has kicked up. It will not undo the eternal grief of nurses and doctors who have had to make devastating decisions about who can be saved and who should be let go; the morgues and crematorium who have to handle the remains of the deceased. Nor, despite Mr Trumps actions being largely responsible for the unholy mess that the United States now finds itself in, will wishing death on the President do anything to immediately stop the socio-economic schism now trying to form in what we referred to as the land of the free.
There are stridently anti-Trump voters here in New Zealand who will be breathing a sigh of relief. Their nemesis, their nightmare has some how been floored by COVID19.
I am not sure why they will be happy. We have a much more immediate issue here: the 2020 General Election. We have our own problems to be focussing on. With housing, social welfare, poverty, the environment, rebuilding the economy, keeping non-N.Z. political influences at bay and of course the rabble that is Advance New Zealand/N.Z. Public Party.
But also, how many of Mr Trumps many many detractors have looked at the credentials of Mr Michael Richard Pence, Vice President and the man who will succeed Mr Trump if he is incapacitated and no longer able to fulfil his role? How many people have looked who is next in line after Mr Pence, should he be incapacitated? Nancy Patricia Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives. And in the oft chance that she is incapacitated? Benjamin Solomon Carson Snr., currently Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Mr Pence is an ardent Christian evangelist. His son is in the United States Marine Corps. He is anti-abortion, anti-LGBT, pro-gun and denies climate change. In many respects his views on Iran are harsher than those of Mr Trump.
As bad as Mr Trump is, there are worse people who could succeed him. Are you sure you want that?