Will COVID-19 Save Our Democracy?

By Donald A. Collins | 6 July 2020
Church and State

(Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay)

As the year wears on and we celebrate the 4th of July holiday here in the USA with muted presentations and replay on tv of earlier 4th celebrations along with experiencing a far less public coming together than usual.

I can’t help thinking that for many of us the impact of Coronavirus did not really become apparent—certainly not to me and my family here in Washington DC—until sometime in March. Recently I found a restaurant receipt in my wallet dated March 6 which was the last time my wife and I had eaten at one of our favorite bistros. Egad! We felt so warmly toward many of those people in our favorite restaurants that we know they must be suffering keenly.

What has transpired since then has been well covered and judged as disastrous for the world including all Americans. Now in my 89th year, the world’s humans number almost 8 billion, up from 2 billion at my birth with many more people impacted more acutely than us around our overcrowded planet.

Concern about such numbers has been articulated by many distinguished scientists for years. The environmental impact has grown to alarming levels, widely discussed with far too few effective actions taken by governments and other entities to rapidly slow and ultimately stabilize these unsustainable human increases.

That unsolved overpopulation issue remains to be addressed but for now I make an urgent near term plea which doubtless might be disputed by many.

It is that the significance of COVID-19 and the dreadful tv murder of George Floyd must be combined to offer all Americans the chance to save our weakened democracy from Trump’s re-election on November 3rd!

What would have prevented a powerfully buoyant economy with a continuing great upturn in the US stock market from rendering Trump a landslide 2nd term?

Obviously nothing including no shame at our unheeded racism!

And don’t be surprised Trump partisans still give this dangerous, racist, populist that next 4 years which would allow for example him to further pack the US Supreme Court.

Let me make one major point which I as a white male who has been accorded countless unearned advantages.

That George Floyd’s murder will hopefully rank as one of the major awakenings to whites here about the massive white failure to understand how people of color feel about the racism which whites—often unknowingly—practice daily!

Too much for one op ed? Yes! Too tough to understand? No! Wake up, America!

Those of us (all of us??) must have watched the collapse of Trump in dealing with a real crisis such as Coronavirus. His failure to manage a coordinated national solution was scary, even to some of his 40% base.

Who will defect and vote for a change, particularly, as his hatred and divide rhetoric keeps seeking support from his 40 percent base—many of whom are now badly impacted?

It can only be hoped that the best instincts of all Americans can take succor from our best traditions and vote for a new President in November.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC., has spent over 40 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013.

From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013

By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
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