Paddling in a Pandemic Chapter 5

By Cecil Hoge

November 15th, 2021

I am now back from our summer Montauk vacation and well-settled into a routine of paddling, rowing, working, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and living day to day with wife and family.

Yes, I do get other things to eat besides peanut butter and jelly…Italian take-out, Chinese take-out, Mexican take-out, and, believe it or not, some nice home cooked meals. Simple, yes, but good. Pastas with veggies, salads with chicken, chicken with veggies, chicken with chicken, occasional fish, even a juicy ribeye steak once in a while. But we have to stay close to the Hacienda, not wanting to expose ourselves to the raging and rising cases of the Coronavirus.

In between work and family and food, I get to paddle or row.

At this time of year, I prefer to row. The reason being as the season gets chillier, rowing is a warmer form of exercise, especially if there are high winds passing through. That is because rowing with my sliding rigger arm employs both arms and legs rather paddling a kayak, which uses just arms and torso. Rowing also provides more power because 2 oars are in the water at the same time and that is more powerful than one paddle blade at a time.

On this day, I need that all the added power I could get because the wind was passing through very vigorously, with steady winds of 15 to 20 mph and gusts up to 35 mph. Knowing that the forecast called for even higher winds in the afternoon, I took the opportunity to head out just as the tide was peaking.

That was around 11 am.

And truly on this day the tide was peaking. As I approached the path to my dock, the aluminum walkway going to the dock, was covered with water from the Seven Seas. That made it necessary for me to walk the upper rung of the aluminum railing of the walkway to get over the 8 foot section of walkway that was now underwater. That required some skillful footwork while handling an insulated carry bag I have for my bluetooth speaker and two seltzers.

You might ask why I bring chilled seltzers on cold November day. It was pretty nippy – the temperature being in the high 30s at the time – but I knew after rowing a while, I would welcome those seltzers. So, off I went, walking on the upper side rungs of my aluminum walkway down to my floating dock or in this case, up to my floating dock. That was because the high tide had angled my aluminum walkway up at a 30 degree angle because it was connected to my floating dock which was floating about two feet higher than normal.

Here is my present rowing setup – it is a prototype – note the mirror – that is to see where I am going.

No matter, I made the journey with my carry bag in hand. On the dock, I placed my carry bag on my rowing vessel – a prototype inflatable SUP I had made thinking I would make it into a sailboat. I gave up on the sailboat idea, but hating not to use a good prototype, I converted it into a rowing vessel using a sliding rigger arm rowing system from my good buddy, Urs Wunderli. He calls this rowing system “RowBoard”. Urs has a company called DiscoverRowing.com where he sells those. I will never cease chastising Urs for calling his wonderful rowing design such a prosaic name as RowBoard. For me, it will always be the Wunderli Rower. That catches the spirit of the thing much better.

I have used Urs’s rower for 5 years now, first with a special prototype version of my Sea Eagle RazorLite kayak, then with one of our Sea Eagle NeedleNose SUPs and most recently (for the last two years) with my leftover prototype. That prototype is 14’ long, 40” wide with more of surfboard shape than a kayak shape. So, it is wider and longer than most kayaks or SUPs. And because I row it all year around, I have two side air chambers attached to the SUP below by D-rings and oval connectors. I feel this arrangement is safer and more stable for rowing in the winter. One does not want to fall into 40 degree water. It ain’t healthy.

So off I went on that windy day. On this occasion, the wind was coming from the Southwest, but it had more South in her than West. Now, when there is a strong wind coming across my bay, I first head for the opposite shore and then hug the shoreline, taking advantage of the “lee of the land”. I have spoken about this in the past, but I will translate what it means again – if you are in the “lee of the land”, it means that the land is protecting you from the wind because there are trees and houses and other such things blocking the vigorous wind. But given the agitated state of the winds that day, I still had to pull hard on the oars to get across the bay and, because the wind was more Southerly than Westerly, I still had to row directly into the wind.

The good news was that on the other side of the bay, the wind was more muted because trees and houses were nearby. Now, because rowing entails some effort, especially when you are rowing against the wind, it is really not practical to stop and enjoy a seltzer. Not unless you want to see the wind undo all your hard efforts. In sailing, you want the wind at your back. In rowing, you want the wind on your chest. And as I headed out, I had no choice but to row against the wind with the wind at my back. But once I got to where I was heading – the Southwest side of Little Bay – I knew the return trip the wind would be far easier with the wind at my chest and life, as they say, would be a breeze. And so it was.

On the sheltered side of the bay, I set up my Bluetooth speaker, hooked into my phone and started streaming music from my favorite radio…WFUV…that is the Fordham University station in NYC. They feature an eclectic selection of rock and alternative music, mingling Dylan with Lizzo with Avett Brothers with Coldplay with Gorillaz…so some old, some new.

Out on the bay, the music streamed pleasantly as I rowed my way along and while the wind was brisk and chilly (upper 40s), the bright sun toasted my dark fleece lined jacket and black gloves. And as Mr. Dylan says, it was all good.

After about 20 minutes I made it out of Little Bay all the way to the back of Setauket Bay. This was not my normal route, but on this windy day, I kept to the leeward side of the bays and had a fine time. The day was not yet cloudy…heavy clouds and nasty rains were predicted for the afternoon, but that morning the sun was still appearing though the first incoming gray clouds.

The back of Setauket Bay is nicely nestled in a small narrow part of the bay that is truly in the “lee of the land”. I secured my position by rowing right into the reeds at the end of the bay. I took a pull on my seltzer and looked back over the turf I had rowed. There is something very satisfying when you know you have blasted through wind and waves and know that the return trip will be blessed with more favorable conditions in the opposite direction.

There is only one problem in being in that section of Setauket Bay. It is only a few hundred yards from SE-Port Deli. And with the wind blowing from the Southwest, it meant that the smell of bacon, sausage and eggs wafting from the deli was particularly strong. Fortunately, the endorphins I had just gained from my row, were pulsing through my system, flooding me with good will and well being and suppressing my somewhat irresistible urge to paddle a little farther, get out and run over to the deli to pick up a sausage, cheese and double egg sandwich. Fortunately the urge to do that was suppressed by my endorphins.

I took the time to cherish the moment. I sipped my seltzer and listened to Lana Del Rey singing about her and her girlfriend dancing in summertime and pondered the good and bad in life. Yes, rowing could be hard against the wind, but then, when you have gone that distance, rowing could be “a breeze” in the opposite direction. I felt the bite of the bubbles in my mouth and the coolness of that simple beverage. I took time to savor the moment, looking back at the water I had just come over and seeing clouds passing by overhead with moments of sun and moments of gray. It was good to be alive.

The row back was downright fun. As soon as I pulled out of the reeds and got out into the bay, the wind picked up and started pushing me back home. I was still in the “lee of the land”, but as I continued to pull out into Setauket Bay, the brisk Southwest winds began to give my row strokes some extra ummph. Rowing became a “breeze” with my speed picking up and my effort becoming non-existent. I felt bad about that. It was getting too easy. My craft was sliding over wind and waves almost as if it had caught a big swell. I could justify that by the thought that the beginning the trip was a bit of a struggle, so this was my just reward.

The further and further I went out on bay, the higher the wind, the higher the waves and the more sensation that I was not rowing…the more the sensation that I was surfing. Considering the waves and whitecaps were only 9” to 12”, surfing might be something of an exaggeration, but certainly I was cruising along at a lot faster pace than I came. I have clocked my rowing speed with an app on my phone. On flat water I can row comfortably 3 to 4 miles an hour and if I hump it, I can get up to 5 or 5.25 mph. That’s it. Now, since I did not bring my phone, I had no precise calculation, but on that return, I felt sure I was blasting along at 6 or 7 mph with little or no effort. Yes, it was a good day to be alive.

When I finished the last blog story in this series – “Paddling in a Pandemic Chapter 4“ – it was in the middle of July a little before our Montauk vacation. At that time, Coronavirus cases had just peaked at 68,000 in a single day and the total number of cases in the U.S. was a little above 3,000,000. This last week, two days ago, cases peaked at 181,000 cases per day and the total number of cases in the United States was almost 11,000,000. I cite numbers, which are terrible in their truth, to show you what has happened in less than 4 months.

So you can safely say there has been an incredible increase in the breath and intensity of the Pandemic. That was too be expected…this summer, the country opened up a lot of the economy, outdoor restaurants welcomed diners and the weather became comfortable to eat outside. In the Fall, schools opened up while restaurants continued to try and service customers as the weather got cooler. And so we let down our guard and mingled and tried to resume normal life. And as we did, the Coronavirus came back in spades.

At the time I finished the last blog story in this series, I mentioned that our present President was very concerned about the upcoming election. Surely, the advent and increase of mail-in ballots meant that those Commie/Liberal/Pinko/Radical types (here I use some of Fox News and the President’s lingo) would stuff ballots and commit mammoth fraud. The President went on to say that mail-in ballots invited massive fraud by Democrats. And now, as I begin this new blog story, it seems that some part of The Donald’s concerns have come to pass. A great number of mail-in ballots were cast in the most recent election and, heavens to purgatroid, the numbers of certified mail-in votes showed Joe Biden and Kamala Harris had won.

The President was not happy with the election results – there was no way he could have lost! It was simply mathematically impossible!

Now the President is convinced (or says he is convinced) that millions of these ballots were fraudulent, just like in the last election, when the President was convinced that millions of ballots for him were discarded and he actually got more votes than Hillary Clinton. The new President said at the time there was no way Hillary could have gotten 3 million more votes than him.

That previous theory of the President was shot down by a commission that Donald Trump appointed. They investigated his claim and looked everywhere they could, but they were unable to find the missing three million votes. In fact, they were unable to find any missing votes.

Now the President is on new quest – to find altered ballots in the 2020 election. The President has said there is massive fraud in this election, but he and his minions have yet to be able to uncover any fraud. No matter, his lawyers are hard upon it, losing battle after battle, ever convinced the next battles will be winners and the fraudulent ballots will be presented to the world. But so far, nada!

So, now we have a standoff. The present President says he was wronged and the subject of massive fraud, the new elected President says, not to worry, January 20th is coming soon and The Donald will have to pack his bag and be gone.

I shall not worry about the true outcome of this story because I am betting by the time I am ready to post this story, the outcome will be known. I shall update this story at the end of this blog post.

In the meantime, I would like to point out two predictions that The Donald made a few days before he was dis-elected.

The present President said in the first days of November, just before the actual election, to several different crowds of tens of thousands of his followers:

“Covid, Covid, Covid, that is all the media reports. By the way, after November 3rd, you won’t hear about it. It will be gone.”

Well, it is November 15th, and, sad to say, we hear a lot about Covid.

The second prediction that the President made was that the stock market would collapse upon the election of Joe Biden.

Well, Dear Donald, it is several days after the election of Joe Biden and it seems the pundits, the experts, the quants and the scalawags who move markets and exhibit wisdom known only to them have not heard your prediction for the stock market. They have driven it to all-time highs.

I cannot say that the prediction of a collapsing stock market does not have some merit. It may someday become true. Not because I think Slo Joe (The Donald’s name for Joe Biden) is going to cause a crash, but because I think the economic factors that Joe Biden faces in the near future are likely to be very grim.

Here, I would like to introduce a little “Common Sense”. You know this quality, common sense, used to be an American virtue, but recently its reputation has been tarnished and it is no longer thought of highly. Instead of common sense, conspiracy theories have come into favor. Conspiracy theories are the new common sense.

I mean if a guy says we are going to build a great big, beautiful wall on our border and Mexico is going to pay for it, that is one thing, but when the same guy, Donald Trump, asks thousands of people:

“Who is going to pay for the wall?”

And the thousands of people shout out: “Mexico”

One has to wonder what happened to “common sense”? I mean, do you think Mexico would want to pay for our wall, especially, if that wall was designed to keep Mexicans out of this country? Do you even think Donald Trump thinks Mexico will pay for the wall?

Yet, tens of thousands of people swallowed that lie whole and when the President said Mexico would pay for the wall and then immediately asked them with his hand to his ear, “Who going pay for the wall?” and then they happily cry out, “Mexico”.

I can only think that is a case of millions people wanting Mexico to pay for a wall because they, quite sensibly, did not themselves want to pay for a wall.

I think, given that example, it is fair to say that the knack of “common sense“ has been lost by many people.

I would cite the stock market as a prime example of emotion, rather than common sense, ruling reality.

The stock has gone up a huge amount in the last four years, but was that because there was a real and true improvement in our economy? Yes, in the first three years, there were improvements in employment and the tax cut did increase salaries somewhat, but did that justify an 40% increase in the stock market? And now that the economy has been decimated by the Coronavirus and millions have lost their jobs, does that still mean that the stock market should still be up over 40%?

Let’s consider the recent case of a leading drug company (Pfizer) announcing that their “initial tests” of their new Coronavirus vaccine has over a 90% effective cure rate. Now, this is truly good news, but I would like to point out another American saying:

“Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Have Hatched”.

This is a wise edict, but one that is unheard of on Wall Street.

On Wall Street, they count chickens before they have hatched. In fact, they count chickens before the rooster has been introduced to the hen. In fact, they count the descendants of the chickens that have yet to be hatched.

I would point out that the “initial tests”, which were very good, have yet to be approved by the FDA. And it must be mentioned here that the efficacy tests are measured against a placebo. So, in this case, there were about 30,000 people tested – 15,000 with the new vaccine and 15,000 with a placebo (usually sugared water) – So half of the people get the actual vaccine and half get a harmless placebo. So, the results showed more people who got the placebo got the Coronavirus than those who took the actual vaccine. On that basis, the Pfizer vaccine was said to be 95% effective.

The stock market went up. And yes, that was very good news, but the fact is that Coronavirus is still raging at this moment and still killing thousands of people each day.

Now I should point out that there are few more hurdles for this vaccine to go through before it is truly effective. But never mind, in the eyes of Wall Street the Coronavirus is cured. So, it is time to buy hotels, airlines, cruise ship companies, brick and mortar retail companies. Happy days are here again.

But let’s get back to several hurdles that need to be overcome. For example, the new vaccine has to be approved by the FDA. That should not be problem if the “initial tests” are as exciting as promised, but it will take time. Specifically, about 3 weeks according to the CDC. Then there is the little matter of producing the vaccine in the quantities needed once it is approved. And then there is the logistical issues of shipping the vaccine where it is needed. Then, there is the issue of actually vaccinating people. And, oh yeah, then just maybe, it is going to take some time to see if it works. Maybe not everyone is going to Disneyland the day they get vaccinated.

My father has said to me, many times, not once, the following:

“Many is the slip between cup and lip.”

By that he meant that you might have a fantastic glass of vintage red wine in your hand, but something might happen before it actually gets into your mouth.

With that in mind, I might point out that things do not always go smoothly. There can be delays in producing the vaccine, delays in shipping the vaccine, delays in distributing the vaccine, delays in inoculating people. This is a vaccine that has to be refrigerated at minus 70 degrees Celsius. That is minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit. Kind of chilly. For that you need all sorts special freezers to store it in and to ship it in. Then the vaccine has to shipped to drug stores, hospitals, nursing homes and other locations.

The States have to get the vaccines to their citizens, so they have to have funding for that and so far Congress has not approved funding for States. And then there is the little matter that viruses have a tendency to mutate and by the time the vaccine does get into distribution the virus may have changed its DNA and the vaccine may no longer be effective. Ooops.

So I would say, use a little common sense and realize just because a vaccine appears to be effective in a test of 30,000 does not mean that it will immediately eliminate the Coronavirus in 7,400,000,000 people on this planet.

I would also like to extend the concept of “common sense” a little further. In this last election President Trump got over 70,000,000 votes – 3 million more than he got in 2016. In this election Republicans gained seats in both the House and in the Senate. If Mr. Trump is right that there was massive fraud, does that mean that Democrats changed the votes of the President, but not change the votes for Republicans in the House and Senate? It would seem to me if you are going to go to the trouble of committing widespread fraud, you would like to see both your President and your Party get elected. But that is not what happened. Republicans gained Senate and House seats, Democrats lost Senate and House seats. Only the Republican President did not get as many votes as his Democratic opponent Joe Biden.

That would indicate that only the little box for President was altered while all the other little boxes for all the other offices on the ballot were not altered.

Does that make “common sense”? I think not. I think if I was a “Commie, Pinko, Left-Wing Radical Democratic plot”, to use the beloved terms of the Fox News commentator, Lou Dobbs, it should apply apply to all Democrats. I think I would make sure both my President and my Commie, Pinko, Left-Wing Radical Dem Senators and Representatives were all re-elected. I mean, if you are in for a penny, why not be in for a dollar?

November 23, 2021 – Red in morning, Sailors take warning!

November 23rd, 2020 –

I went for an early morning row around 6:30am on the day after Thanksgiving. The wind was brisk, about 10 mph, the day was just dawning, somewhere between darkness and light, the sun was trying to peer through the cold gray clouds and in doing so it threw off a yellow red hue in the sky, giving the day a beautiful and somewhat threatening start.

New developments in politics have occurred – the GSA has given tacit approval to the Biden Administration acknowledging that Biden won and the transition from one Administration to another has begun. The present President has tweeted that he has now told the GSA to proceed with allowing the Biden Administration access to transition funds. That was strange, since the lady in charge of those transition funds had written in a letter that the White House had no influence on her decision to recognize the election of President Elect Joseph Biden.

No matter, the present President Trump continued to say he had won, even though every legal challenge his lawyers have presented so far has been thrown out courts around the country…all for one simple reason…no compelling evidence of fraud had been presented or proved!

I thought not about these matters. I knew the sun would soon come up, so whatever is to be, will be. I am guessing our great Republic will somehow endure.

Later in the day (the morning after Thanksgiving) the sky became blue and the water was almost dead calm

As the sun rose, weather conditions quickly changed. From a dark and cloudy and forbidding early morning sky, the scene above changed. The cloud bank moved on, mirulously swept from the sky. The air was still brisk, but now the sky was a clear, the water flat and glassy. In the picture above, you will get some idea of how calm and beautiful it soon became. The temperature was still in the low 40s and I had dressed accordingly thinking that it might be quite chilly once I got out on the bay. So I had my fleece lined pants, a nice warm Filson flannel shirt, a Duluth fleece lined wind jacket and a pair of waterproof work gloves. Topping off all this was a lightweight wool scarf.

How wrong I was. It turned out warmer on the water than I thought. The morning clouds swept away, the wind laid down. The now clear blue sky let the sun make its full play. Soon I was divested myself of my scarf and unzipped my jacket. And I, in motion, rowed steadily, and soon I easily, quietly worked up a sweat. The cup of coffee I brought along had a nice bite to it, but it added to the feeling that I was too warm. So I shed my jacket and rowed on, instantly feeling cooler.

After about 45 minutes of rowing some words bubbled up in my mind:

“Oh, what a beautiful day.”

And indeed, it was. Cold yes, but now clear and beautiful, with a cloudless blue sky above.

This is why I take such great pleasure in paddling or rowing. You can start out cold and depressed, full of worries about life and family and politics and just 20 or 30 minutes later all the sense of foreboding, all sense of something that might go wrong or all sense of some particular problem that was nagging you…it all evaporates and soon you feel nothing but well exercised and lucky to be alive.

Thanksgiving the day before had been particularly pleasant. It was a small gathering of people of people at our house who were in our “bubble”. My son, my wife and 5 family friends, 2 of which, had done the courtesy of getting tested for the Coronavirus, the other 3 happened to be trusted members of our “bubble”.

The dinner was a replay on smaller scale of Thanksgivings in the past. And we all felt like some normalcy had occurred and we all were grateful to have a sumptuous Thanksgiving feast in this sad period of diminished expectations. This was especially true considering the ever rising Coronavirus cases and deaths and declining economic situation of the many who were less fortunate.

Among our group we had all gotten to this point relatively unscathed. All of us, had various life issues, our son being autistic, my wife’s health not so good, the others still struggling with health and the financial vicissitudes of life. I have mentioned that my two businesses have been lucky in this period because people still wanted to go fishing and kayaking and felt they could do that safely outdoors. Among our guests was a teacher, a bus driver and 2 health care workers. All had been affected briefly by the Coronavirus crisis, having lost jobs and incomes briefly, but all were re-employed and all had avoided getting the Coronavirus. So we all had a lot to be thankful for – good health, reasonable economic stability and wonderfully tasteful Thanksgiving dinner.

We had a classic, succulent turkey, roasted skins, stuffing galore, cranberries, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes topped with roasted marshmallows, string beans, turnips, pumpkin pie…yes, it was all like it should be and we were truly grateful to God for our good food, good fortune and happy gathering.

So, the day after, when I was out of the water, after the red cloud-ridden sky had cleared, after the words, “Oh what a beautiful morning” came bubbling up to me, I can only say it was so.

December 12th, 2020

The Donald has lost another legal suit in his quest to overturn the election. This time the Supreme Court has denied to hear a case brought by the State of Texas to throw out the votes of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia. Specifically, the Supreme Court denied the request to be heard because it said that Texas had no legal standing to overturn the votes of other states. Later that day, the great State of Wisconsin, said in yet another Trump legal case, that his lawyers had shown no evidence of fraud and had not demonstrated any reason to invalidate the certified votes of that state.

Poor Donald. It is not easy to become a dictator.

The President is not happy with The Supreme Court or the State of Wisconsin

The present President tweeted his dismay with the highest court in the land:

“The Supreme Court let us down. “No Wisdom, No Courage!”

I would not agree that, but I am only one person who voted for Joe Biden and against Mr. Trump.

You know what I would say? I would say maybe it was good idea that Texas had their lawsuit thrown out. I am guessing Texas might not like it if New York sued Texas to get the legal certified votes of Texas thrown out. What say you Texas? Would you really like it if some other state tried to get your legal State Certified votes thrown out?

Donald Trump has now lost or withdrawn from over 50 lawsuits. The Supreme Court denial was the second time the Supreme Court denied and shot down the hopes of the present President in the last two weeks.

In addition to being denied twice by the Supreme Court, the 50 or so other cases were lost or withdrawn for one simple reason. The President’s lawyers were unable to present any significant evidence that showed widespread fraud. The lawyers claimed widespread fraud when being televised outside of the courts, but when they got inside the courts and were requested to present evidence they were unable to do so.

Like “Mexico will pay for the wall.”, like “15 cases today, in a few days 2 or 3, then the Coronavirus will be gone “, like just before the election, at multiple rallies, where the President said, “Covid, Covid, Covid, that is all you hear. On November 4th, you won’t hear about it…it will be gone.” There were no facts or reality to the claims.

Well, Covid is not gone, but maybe Donald Trump will be gone from the White House.

On the Coronavirus/Covid front, as I come to the close of this blog post, cases are now averaging 200,000 to 300,000 a day, deaths 2,000 to 3,000 a day. Hospitalizations of Coronavirus cases are also now are at an all time high…over 108,000 people are in hospitals sick from Covid. In many hospitals, they are running out of beds to accommodate the rising flood of Coronavirus cases.

I would like to end on a truly good and hopeful note. On this day, the Pfizer vaccine has now been officially approved by the FDA. That probably was helped a little by the nudging of the White House who told Stephen Hahn, the head of the FDA, if he did not approve the Pfizer vaccine that very day, he would have to resign that very day. So, when faced with put up or shut up, the FDA put up.

Let us hope all the hurdles, all the difficulties and all the potential problems that now face the country in deploying the vaccine and getting it safely into peoples arms are now quickly overcome. Let us hope soon the Coronavirus will be truly gone and soon we will hear no more about Covid.

PostScript – 1/14/21

I said at the beginning of this story that subsequent events might change some things.

That has proved true. Events have changed the ending, have changed the perception of these last weeks and have changed our Democracy. From the very beginning, from the moment Donald Trump was elected President, I expressed fear and doubt about his Presidency – see “I Go For A Row In the Dark and Ponder The Donald”.

It seems my premonition about a Trump Presidency had some basis in truth.

Three weeks before Donald Trump was to end his term in office, the President encouraged his followers to protest the results of the election. Several thousand of his followers gathered in Washington and, then after hearing a speech by the President at this demonstration, thousands of those followers marched on Congress and physically broke in while Congress was in the process of confirming the certified results of the Electoral College. Several people died and extensive physical damage was done.

This fellow, an avid fan of the Q-anon conspiracy theory, thought it would be a good idea to enter the Congress of the United States to protest election results along with several thousand other agitated folks. Apparently, he was unfamiliar with the term “sedition”. He has since been arrested and will soon be prosecuted.

These events disturbed Congress and within a week they impeached the President for the second time, making Donald Trump the one and only U.S. President to be impeached twice in the history of The United States.

Had President Trump simply acknowledged that he lost an election and not encouraged his followers to protest, he would have gone down in history as a President with many achievements. 

While it is easy to disagree with the reasons, for most of Donald Trump’s Administration, the U.S. economy prospered. Other achievements occurred. Peace agreements were reached in the Middle East between Saudi Arabia and other middle eastern countries, Isis was defeated and the country reduced its troop presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. Donald Trump’s idea of “America First” was popular with many people in this country. Donald Trump’s confrontation with China on the trade deficit and national security also had many adherents. Whether these policies were good in the long term will be debated in the future, but the fact is that they were enthusiastically supported by many Americans.

Finally, his program to build a wall on our Southern border and reduce incoming immigrants coming into this country was thought by many to be a good policy.

And while it is absolutely true that the Administration’s response to the Pandemic was uneven and a tragedy in itself, many people might forgive him that because he clearly did not cause the Pandemic. 

I personally disagree with almost all of what the Trump Administration did, thinking those policies to be unfair, unwise and not in the long term interest of the country. That said, many would argue they were true achievements and certainly if Donald Trump had learned to just admit that he lost, his legacy would be different. But like Icarus, he flew too close to the sun and the wax that held his feathered wings melted and he fell from the sky.

As we know from the last days of Donald Trump in office, he not only lost the election for himself, he lost the election for the Republican Party, specifically in Georgia, but nationally as well. In insisting falsely that he won, he incited some of his followers to storm Congress. Had he read American history, he would have discovered that inciting a riot to overturn the Government is not a legal act, but, according to reports, reading was not his thing.

No doubt, if Fox News or CNN or any left or right wing media had known in advance that the Congress was going to be stormed, they would have analyzed the legal ramifications of that and pointed out that it might result in the impeachment of the President. Perhaps, the President would have watched those news reports and acted differently. Of course, no media – left, right or in the middle – anticipated that the Congress of United States would be stormed and so Donald Trump had only his gut to go on and his gut said Go Ahead.

It was a sad story of hubris at its highest.

About Cecil Hoge

Paddler/Scribbler
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