This is war… sort of.

In the first World War people bought war bonds and planted gardens. (Some of those bond drives — especially in Philadelphia — themselves proved fatal to civilians who got the H1N1 flu there.)

In World War II, people went without sugar and stockings and a great many other things and planted gardens.

There have been four wars since then (five if you count Afghanistan and Iraq as separate wars). We’ve have never been asked to sacrifice in any of them — except for the troops and their families, of course.

We’re in a war now, or at least Donald Trump thinks of himself as “war president.” We might as well be in a war; people are hurt, people are dying, people are facing the loss of jobs and businesses. Even people who are fortunate to have a safe income during this emergency are stranded at home, away from friends and family. Our hospitals — especially in New York — are being slammed.

Not all of us are acting like we’re in a war, of course. Of course, there are people hoarding. There is the medical equivalent of war-profiteering. Behind the scenes, the guy running the response thinks that because he has spent a few weeks studying the issue he is more of an expert than doctors and epidemiologists.

One big difference between WW II and now? We have no leadership. With a crisis of this magnitude…

We need Franklin Roosevelt.

We got Donald Trump.

We need Winston Churchill.

We got Donald Trump.

We need John F. Kennedy.

We got Donald Trump.

We could even use Ronald Reagan, and definitely Barack Obama.

We got Donald Trump.

We have a President who, rather than work with the states to mitigate the worst of this crisis and save countless lives, indulges his vanity. He reduces supplies to states such as New York and Michigan, whose governors are critical of him, while giving Florida, a state he favors because the governor is his lackey, all they ask for and more.

We have a President who “leads from behind,” telling states that the federal government is “back-up.”

We have a President who played down or dismissed the pandemic as a hoax even as the first cases were cropping in the US. Whose Administration sent PPEs and masks to China even as it was clear to scientists that we were facing a disaster in the making here at home.

We could use FDR, telling us during the Great Depression that all we have to fear is fear itself. We could use Winston Churchill, urging us to be strong in our fight against the enemy. We could use JFK, telling us to find an answer “not because it is easy, but because it is hard.”

Instead, we have Donald Trump.

May God have mercy on us all.

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