Yesterday was not a good day for Trump, which means it is a good day for the rest of us.
Trump finally caved to reality and canceled the big event in Jacksonville, Florida where hoped to receive the Republican party’s nomination before a huge adoring crowd. He had first, in a fit of pique, moved it from Charlotte, North Carolina when that city’s governor refused to lift restrictions on crowd sizes and insisted on safety precautions. Florida, with its Trump fanboy governor Ron DeSantis seemed to promise the kind of looseness he wanted.
But soon after, coronavirus cases in Florida started spiking and officials there started getting nervous. Even the Republican National Committee placed restrictions on the crowd size that would make the event look like the Tulsa, Oklahoma debacle with all the empty seats. Trump’s poll numbers in Florida are also sinking, with Biden opening up a huge lead in that state. So Trump’s decision to cancel was no surprise, though it must stick in his craw to back down.
To add to his indignities, while the president is often asked to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on opening day of the baseball season, this time Anthony Fauci was asked to do so. Trump is already reportedly smarting from the fact that the public has far more faith in Fauci than it does in him and this public recognition of that must also rankle. Members of Trump’s administration have been sniping at Fauci while Trump has not done so but I think it is only a matter before Trump starts attacking him or even firing him, because Fauci has become even more visible in the media.
And then finally we had all the members of both baseball teams recognize the issue of police brutality by taking a knee before the game began and making other gestures of support on Black Lives Matter, a movement that Trump and the Republicans clearly detest.
The Nationals and Yankees knelt in unison before the first game of the baseball season as part of an opening day ceremony Thursday night that featured references to the Black Lives Matter movement, the coronavirus pandemic – including an off-the-mark first pitch by Dr Anthony Fauci – and the home team’s 2019 championship.
Players from both clubs wore T-shirts saying Black Lives Matter during batting practice at Nationals Park, and the letters ‘BLM’ were stenciled into the back of the mound at the center of the diamond.
In a poignant reference to the racial reckoning happening in the US, players and other members of both teams held a long black ribbon while standing spaced out along the two foul lines. After they placed the ribbon on the ground, everyone then got on their knees.
In a sop to Trump to enable him to save face, the players then stood for the national anthem. I would have preferred if they knelt then too but you can’t win them all.
It is clear that Trump is trying to overcome these setbacks by fomenting civil unrest by sending in his secret police to cities to attack demonstrators in cities and by heating up the conflict with China by closing its consulate in Houston, with the Chinese government retaliating by ordering the closing of the US consulate in Chengdu.
Trump must think that these two are winning issues for him but I am not so sure. At a time when people are worried and suffering over the effects of the pandemic, do they really need more sturm and drang?