Like many people, I watch the odd thing on Netflix and I was drawn this week to look at an extraordinary documentary about a bizarre character called Joe Exotic. He is behind bars for supposedly planning the murder of a lady who had constantly criticised the way he keeps and treats animals, mainly tigers. This, of course, is in America – you might say only in America. Imagine then my astonishment when I am sitting down to catch one of Donald Trump’s daily News Conferences when a journalist, amidst all the grim questions about the pandemic, asked the President whether he is going to pardon Joe Exotic !! I had to shake my head in disbelief at such craziness but then you so need a laugh to counter the awful statistics coming out of New York.
Now that Bernie Sanders has stood down from the race to be the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden has a clear path to be their candidate. Here we have it, two old white men battling it out for the Presidency in the face of a crisis greater than the Great Depression and the Spanish Flu rolled into one. My optimistic nature hopes that what America needs is steady old Joe holding the tiller as a one-term President with an imaginative choice as Vice President to bring vigour to the team. Doesn’t sound ideal, does it ? This is the concern, because Trump will prove to be a formidable opponent and he will fight dirty. You can already see him cranking up. China is an easy target and he boasts frequently about the fact that he stopped inward flights from China early. People can relate to this and there is wide-spread anger that those wet markets in Wuhan were the source of the pandemic, and that the authorities tried to hush up the original outbreak.
His latest target is the WHO and he has threatened to cut off US funding for the organisation. Now the truth is there is much to question about the WHO’s behaviour, particularly towards China and, indeed, the timing of the declaration of the pandemic. However, now is not the time to cut funding. When the tide flows out after the global threat recedes then we will truly see who is naked and one of those is Donald Trump. As to the home ground, it will be those who did not step up to the plate.