Monday, April 20, 2020 … 9:10 P.M.

As I age, it is increasingly the case that this fact – this rule – damns America: what we call “politics” is driving our nation further and further apart … no matter that its process exists to keep us together.

In my four-and-a-half decades of work in and around government, I learned what “politics” is.

I cannot remember not knowing: it is the democratic process by which we govern ourselves … our net-honorable way to go about being the world’s greatest nation.

Politics is the lifeblood of the America I have always loved.

Today, however, national politics is more toxic than at any time in my life. It is morphing into a kind of infection … a disease threatening us more dangerously with each passing day.

Our nation’s lifeblood is now more akin to a mindless blood sport.

What COVID-19 is exposing right before our very eyes frightens me as nothing has before.

It is the behavior of notable political actors – some elected officials, their handlers, and many in our news media – which threatens us more than I ever dreamed could be.

I believe the core issue and problem is increasingly inarguable: the lust for power, fueled over time by the reckless spending of public money we do not have – a soon-to-be 30 trillion dollar deficit – is rapidly tearing the nation apart and down.

As inconceivable as it is, top elected officials and news media talking heads who power them on are openly demonstrating their willingness to use the pandemic to endanger individual lives and our government.

What America is now living is beyond our national experience, and that fact alone might well have brought us together, in fear if not in love of country.

The opposite is the case. As most of our nearly 330,000,000 people heed our government’s order(s) to “shelter in place,” we have now done so long enough to begin wondering what curse we may have loosed … and if our “leaders” can be trusted to fight for us and America rather than fight one another.

Most of us believe, I am certain, that our nation now requires leaders who lead … not leaders who often forget that the virus and fiscal disaster – not one another – are the enemy.

This is likened to a war by many because it is one … a sort of civil war without death by bullets and artillery, or so we hope.

It is ours to acknowledge that those on this war’s frontline are no less important and honorable than heroes of any other American time.

This coronavirus is a plague loosed on us by a foreign enemy, one way or another … a disease we can see only under microscopes, and measure only by how many of us it kills.

Our political leaders, with too few exceptions, are warring with their political enemies, confusing “sheltered in place” with hunkered down in bunkers.

Sadly, the frontline fighters – physicians, nurses, other hospital employees, police and fire personnel, and many others – are watching political partisanship dishonor their sacrifice, if not their deaths.

No, COVID-19’s 47,000 dead certainly were not killed in a shooting war where their deaths have honor written all over them, but they are no less dead.

This war offers no superior force which defeats a lesser one.

When this crisis “ends” with a vaccine’s discovery, in what shape will America be?

No, what is happening to us now is not traceable to American politics. It is traceable to a knot of public officials and news media lackeys who do not personally honor what the rest of us believe America stands for.

‘Shame. Shame on them.

© 2020 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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