This means you, too.
On Tuesday, October 6, Trump ended negotiations on another coronavirus stimulus bill. The same ones that had been going back and forth since the end of July when the CARES act exhausted, the same ones that spurred him to create the Lost Wages Assistance Program, the same ones that halted when Justice Ginsburg died and he swiftly nominated Amy Coney Barrett to replace her.
Of course, Trump is not the only part of our government. It is built so that he is not the singular actor, yet it remains that so many will fall in line with what he decrees for their own purposes that he is, effectively, the representative of the entire federal government.
Trump finally understood without a shadow of a doubt that when he tested positive for COVID-19 on October 1 that he did not actually have a guaranteed win in this election. That is the moment when it occurred to him that not everything is in his control and that he may actually lose — both the election and his life (though his ego equates the two).
He knew when he left Walter Reed on Monday, October 5 that he had two cards up his sleeve but could only play one of them: either stick with his constituents and maintain the us-versus-them standoffs that prevent so much from actually getting done or actually do something for all Americans and urge Congress to push through a lifeline like he had just been afforded due to his seat in office.
He chose the former. This means he has completely, unequivocally, without any misinterpretation, abandoned his citizens. Us. You.
If you are not one of them you are not part of his plan. He will, of course, count you in on the relief by holding your livelihood hostage if you re-elect him on November 3rd. Now that he knows that he may not actually have a job as of January 20, 2021, the sweat is trickling down his spine and he will cling to those who have kissed his rings (and other things) all of this time but he’s not sure it will be enough to save him.
You may think to yourself that you’re already planning to vote for him or that you never lost your job or never received your first stimulus check or qualified for the CARES Act benefits so you’re in the clear. You’re safe.
You’re not. He’s abandoned you, too. He’s not going to save you. This is not going to get better.
As of this writing, unemployment currently stands at 7.9% which is not great but may not seem so terrible in light of things. However, there is very little evidence that the number will decrease especially as coronavirus rages on unchecked. Because of the mismanagement of this crisis and forcing people back to work in unsafe conditions, many of the jobs that are lost are gone for good and those that remain are precarious at best. If you have remained mostly unaffected so far, it’s not likely to hold out for much longer. Dysfunction, like the virus, is blind.
None of this is news to you if you, like me, ran out of the CARES Act benefits and had your unemployment extended under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. Watching them dwindle along with the Lost Wages Assistance Program funds, if your state applied for it and if you qualified (I did not — my unemployment benefit is too low) leaves little hope as the seventh month of this disaster closes without an end in sight. You’ve known this already and now those responsible for it are not even pretending that it wasn’t the end game all along.
Sure, there are many in government who are working for their constituents that do care and understand the value of their job and what they owe us as public servants. And there are those in-between who do the job but not out of any desire to actually serve the people they are elected to represent.
If you still think help is coming: it’s not. Holding out on stimulus negotiation until after the election is a bait and switch, a classic Lucy-and-the-football move. Clinging to a second Trump term when he so dramatically fumbled the first one is like calling an old ex that ghosted you: if they cared they would have shown it from the outset and you would not have doubted it.
Enough of them all three branches right now are that ex: they don’t care about you. So long as there are Donald Trumps, Mitch McConnells, and enablers like Lindsey Graham in office, you cannot count on your government to actually work for you or those you care about. They have only ever cared for themselves, Donald J. Trump most of all.
If your life doesn’t depend on it, vote like someone else’s does. If you actually want this bipartisan unity without laying blame: vote as though everyone matters and not just you. Because Trump has made it clear that you don’t matter to him and you never will.