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For Trump, a Lifetime of Evading Responsibility Comes to an End


The fraud may finally get caught, but we're the ones who will pay the price.

He avoided Vietnam with a bone spur claim and got away with it.

He lied about how his career started and where his capital came from and got away with it.

He cheated on taxes his whole life and got away with it.

He groped, forcibly kissed, harassed, and allegedly raped women and got away with it.

He colluded with Russia to win the presidency and got away with it.

He bullied, threatened, and weakened an ally and got away with it.

He is denying, ignoring, obfuscating, and depreciating a virus and possible pandemic; does he get away with it?

When you've spent your whole life getting away with murder; when all of life's problems slip off of you like Teflon; when the blame does not fall to you but always to everyone else; when you skate on thin ice and never fall in; when you get through every crisis by the seat of your pants. When does all the rigid luck ultimately start to crumble?

Could now be the moment when Donald Trump finally doesn't get away with it, and the very moment when we desperately hope that he does?

If there's ever been a time when we need to trust and root for our president, now is that time. And typically, he's making it difficult for us to pull for him during this mounting pandemic. Why? Because he's avoiding, cheating, threatening, colluding, bullying, and denying his way through the COVID-19 outbreak. These lifetime behaviors and habits are indicative of someone who is not a leader but a conceited person who never took, shared, or claimed any of the blame when something went wrong. At some point, Trump's house of cards has to crash, and now may be that time for him, and unfortunately, that deck will likely cascade over all of us.

While he used, as his selfish shield for survival, the phony justification of protecting his base, to keep himself afloat and away from culpability, he has now left all of us vulnerable, including his double-crossed supporters. His ploy to keep power by hiring loyalists and firing specialists, skirting the law and undressing the truth may all come back to bite him in his gilded ass. We may all be made to suffer for Trump's conduct, but will he?

Rick Wilson's aptly and prophetically titled book Everything Trump Touches Dies may finally be coming to fruition in an alarmingly fatal way. During this virus outbreak, everything is literally, figuratively, and metaphorically starting to die. This enveloping crisis and uncertainty assaulting all of us. Some by way of the virus. Some with the effects of the crashing economy. And the rest of us having to pick up the pieces for the duration of our lives with the death of loved ones, ruined careers, and the devastating financial implications of a president who thought he could get away with it once again.

Am I being melodramatic? Possibly, but when it comes to the unknown, who knows, and when it comes to Trump, there is no definitive answer.

When you entrust someone with the power of the presidency, you are granting them influence over your health, plainly assigning them the responsibility over life and death. Trump is accountable, because as the president, he oversees the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health -- all of it. And while we were all caught up in his Twitter rants or his weekly taxpayer-funded trips to Mar-a-Lago or his 16,000-plus lies while he's been in office, we never stopped to consider that at some point, there might be something that would develop and adversely affect us, medically, mysteriously, methodically, murderously. And that we would need Trump to protect us.

If we would have seen the new coronavirus coming a few years ago, would we have chosen Trump to guard us? To lead the fight against danger? To level with us? The answer seems so simple, so obvious, and yet here we are befuddled with all of his bluster, double talk, and contradictions about the flu, oil wars, fake news, and the Democrats.

Most likely prominent Democrats will be touched by the virus, but it seems beyond ironic that an attendee to the recent Conservative Political Action Committee conference is among the first to be diagnosed with the virus. It has been the right wing that has belittled this public health threat, casting blame on Democrats, on the media and even our community.

The CPAC person came in contact with many of the other conference participants, as well as two of Trump's best -- well, worst -- defenders, Reps. Doug Collins and Matt Gaetz. And they of course glad-handed it with Trump, putting the president presumably at risk. I'm sure Trump is absolutely convinced that he won't get the virus, despite the fact that he's in the high-risk zone at age 73 and has come into contact with some who may have been infected.

That's why when Mike Pence was asked if Trump was tested, Pence said he didn't know. He knows. He is well aware that Trump most likely refused to be poked and swabbed. "I'm Donald Trump. Nothing sticks to me, including the coronavirus. I don't need a stupid test. Nothing bad ever happens to me." If you were the virus, would you want to stick to somebody like him?

Trump said, absurdly, a few weeks ago that a miracle would happen to make the virus disappear. At this point, I find myself hoping, for the first time in his presidency, that he's right. But whatever that miracle is would have to be the biggest phenomenon since Moses single-handedly parted the Red Sea. I doubt Moses ever exhibited that herculean feat, and I doubt Trump's wish of a miracle that would eradicate the coronavirus will come true, and that is dreadfully sad for all of us.

After 73 years of escaping, eluding, evading, and eschewing, Trump's luck may have finally run out. And the tragedy -- no the calamity -- is that we will be the ones who lose in the end.

JohnCasey is a PR professional and an adjunct professor at Wagner College in New York City, and a frequent columnist for The Advocate. Follow John on Twitter @johntcaseyjr.

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John Casey

John Casey is a senior editor of The Advocate, writing columns about political, societal, and topical issues with leading newsmakers of the day. John spent 30 years working as a PR professional on Capitol Hill, Hollywood, the United Nations and with four large U.S. retailers.
John Casey is a senior editor of The Advocate, writing columns about political, societal, and topical issues with leading newsmakers of the day. John spent 30 years working as a PR professional on Capitol Hill, Hollywood, the United Nations and with four large U.S. retailers.