Re-election fever

Opinion: Columns


Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

Fred Natkevi

One view

On April 14, 2020, news media revealed that farmers were destroying crops, and dairy farmers were dumping milk because they were unable to deliver their products to the markets. Grocery stores could not be resupplied. A pork processing plant in South Dakota was shut down because a large number of its workers tested positive for coronavirus. The prospect of a food shortage in America became a reality. Twenty-six million unemployed and their families overwhelmed food pantries.

President Trump expected the economic recovery to start by Easter. He signed a $2.3 trillion economic relief package to alleviate the plight of the furloughed millions. But the prematurely expected economic resurgence did not happen, and relief checks have been selectively denied to U.S. citizens with immigrant spouses.

There is much ado and self-serving grandstanding by the President about the urgency to reopen America. But it is not about the restart of the economy. Nor is it a revelation of Trump's newfound compassion for the dying. It is not empathy for the suffering jobless. 

It's re-election fever.

Opportunistically during this period of social-distancing, Trump uses the White House Daily Task Force briefings as substitutes for political rallies. In effect, he has left the Democrats in home confinement, virtually voiceless, while he angrily lashes out against the press and the governors of the opposition party who press him for support and supplies in the fight against the pandemic.

President Trump posted the inflammatory tweets, "Liberate Virginia," "Liberate Michigan," "Liberate Minnesota." He urged his supporters to engage in "civil disobedience" to show their support for a rush to reopen the country and the economy. A quick economic resurgence is a must for his re-election, but large gatherings and protest marches are against the President's own orders to stay sheltered.

In mid-April, several marches were staged by assault-rifle-brandishing demonstrators. They protested what they perceived to be an infringement of their constitutional rights by in-home sheltering. The emotional rallies were ill-timed and misguided. They sabotaged efforts to save lives.

The spring protest marches are forerunners of probable civil unrest later in the summer. The hungry, the desperate unemployed, and pandemic-ravaged minorities are likely to protest their plight. In fervent demonstrations, there is a likelihood of clashes between the liberal progressives and Trump-supporting right-wingers. 

The virus pandemic validates a necessity for an improved health-care system. Proponents of "Health Care for All" are justified to press their cause.

The agony of pandemic-inflicted mortality, the misery of economic woes, and political grudges are elements for a hot summer. Both parties are making the election a referendum about Trump. Both parties are hoping for a landslide victory. But the outcome may be uncomfortably close.

The "Blue Tsunami" did not materialize in the midterm election as hoped. The electorate is as divided as ever. Although unemployed and disgruntled, blue-collared Johnny Redneck will still vote for Trump. The Trump campaign will attempt to exploit the Electoral College, just as it did in 2016.

Fred Natkevi is a longtime resident of Oak Park.

Love the Journal?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Wednesday Journal and We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

2 Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Neal Buer from Oak Park  

Posted: May 29th, 2020 6:50 PM

I think all Presidential candidates should "exploit" the electoral college, since the popular vote doesn't matter. If you want the popular vote to elect the President, change the Constitution.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: May 28th, 2020 8:22 PM

That is about right. Not much has changed at all about Trump

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad