COVID-19 defeated Trump, by A. Peter Bailey
11/12/2020, 6 p.m.
First, I must admit that my prediction of a Donald J. Trump victory in the 2020 presidential election was wrong.
I strongly believed that Democrat Joe Biden’s selection of U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris as his vice presidential running mate would be the major factor in a Trump victory. This was based on my position that there was no way
white women would support a woman of color achieving that historical first.
What I didn’t count on was the extent of President Trump’s mishandling of the COVID-19 public health crisis. I didn’t expect him to be so dense as to host a celebration of the appointment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, an event that led to numerous prominent attendees including President Trump, his wife and his young son to later test positive for COVID-19.
I am convinced, along with Bob Woodward’s revelation in his book, “Rage,” that as early as Feb. 9, 2020, President Trump was well aware of the public health danger of the coronavirus. That was the major factor in his defeat.
Despite these two concrete examples and the fact that some 7 million white people throughout the country had tested positive for the virus by Election Day, President Trump kept downplaying its seriousness. That, I strongly believe, is what finally convinced a majority of suburban white women and some white men that it was very crucial to have someone in the White House who was committed to doing whatever is necessary to combat COVID-19.
So, while probably holding their noses, they voted for Joe Biden and his woman of color running mate, who now becomes the first woman vice president-elect of the United States.
Before slapping too many high fives, shouting too many hallelujahs and dancing too long in the streets, it is extremely important for us as Black folks to note that despite President Trump’s massive character flaws; his tax evasion allegations; his being seen and heard on television saying that it’s cool to grope a woman; his ongoing connection with Russian President Vladimir Putin; his me, myself and I narcissism; his obvious misogynistic reaction when dealing with female journalists and politicians; his flagrant disdain for immigrants to this country who are not of European descent; his lack of candor about the COVID-19 threat; etc., more than 70 million people in this country voted for him. This convinces me that had it not been for the virus, he would have been re-elected.
While President Trump may have been voted out of office, Trumpism is very much alive and well. We had better be united and ready to promote and protect our economic, cultural and political interests.
I suggest that one thing serious Black people need to do is to study Chancellor Williams’ book, “The Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of a Race from 4500 B.C.to 2000 A.D.” and act on chapters 14, “Organizing a Race for Action,” and 15, “The Shape of Things to Come: A Master Plan.”
The writer is an author and journalist based in Washington.