David Frum on Trump’s Handling of Pandemic: The Apocalypse Is Here

David Frum on Trump’s Handling of Pandemic: The Apocalypse Is Here


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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The novel coronavirus pandemic has brought with it the “apocalypse” which will bring down Donald Trump this year on Election Day, according to author and Bush administration speechwriter David Frum.

“The reckoning really is here. And for three years, people have wondered whether there is some master scheme, some brilliant plan. The apocalypse is here,” said Frum, author of Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic.  “When I wrote the book, I was thinking the apocalypse would probably take the form of recession because of the trade war, perhaps a shooting war with Iran. Instead we got this neglected pandemic and this administration is careening toward electoral disaster and it will take Republicans in the Senate, I anticipate, with it. Then the question we’re all going to face is, ‘What then?’

“Because what Donald Trump has shown, and what we’ve talked about so often here in the evenings, is there is an important minority in this country who has not reconciled to the basic rules of the democratic state,” he added in an on-air interview with MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell. “And you’re not going to change their minds. We’ve asked that again and again. What does it take to change their minds? You’re not going to change their minds. So how do you safely govern a great country around them and how do you change a country in such a way that their veto matters a lot less?”

“Well, what you have to understand, and this is the thing many people watching the show understand very well, that the American system of government is built to treat some people more as more important political actors than other people. If people in California had to live for three minutes the way — sorry, if people in Wyoming had to live for three minutes the way people in California do — they would think they are very ill-used,” Frum said. “So how do you even it out so a Californian has a few more rights than people in Wyoming can claim? And that means practical, feasible reforms– no fantasies like eliminating the Electoral College–to even things out.

“I give a couple examples in the book. One of them is, look, Democrats will do well at the state level in 2020 and there will be a census in 2020 and a redistricting afterwards. So I suggest that in states like North Carolina and Wisconsin where Democrats will probably have an advantage that are contestant states, Democrats produce two maps: a fair map and a map that is what the Republicans did in 2010, and then turn to Republicans in states like Georgia and Texas and say, ‘We can do it your way or a fair way. If you go fair, we’ll go fair. If you go hard, we’ll go hard.’

“And look, it’s crazy politicians that write these maps, that’s really wrong. But if they do, we have to have something more like a national system for holding them together,” he added. “And we need a new Voting Rights Act, as well, to correct the mistake the Supreme Court made in 2013 when it basically retired from the job of policing racial discrimination and voting.”

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