Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.


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There are some parallels between Trump and Hitler. In late 1942 the Russians surrounded the German Sixth Army in Stalingrad. This was an incipient disaster of epic proportions, however, all was not lost. The Sixth Army easily still had the supplies and ammunition to fight their way to safety. Hitler however, rather than authorizing this sensible action, listened to Herman Goering, a sycophantic toadie eager to get himself back into Hitler’s favor. He swore that his Luftwaffe could airlift enough supplies into Stalingrad to keep the Sixth Army afloat. This was pure, unadulterated BS, and several people desperately tried to get Hitler to look at the numbers, the Luftwaffe simply didn’t have the capacity to do this, period. Hitler refused to listen to anyone but Goering, ordered the Sixth Army to hold on, and the Luftwaffe would save the day. Reality won of course, the Luftwaffe was only able to deliver a tiny fraction of the needed supplies, and the Sixth Army quickly starved and ran out of ammunition. Surrender soon followed, a catastrophic loss the Germans would never recover from. I see parallels between Hitler’s refusal to listen to experts and Trump’s refusal to do the same over Covid-19. Magical thinking illustrated by both, both Hitler and Trump listen to people who tell them what they want to hear. Not a good trait in an emergency requiring a rational response.

As I’ve said before, Trump is no Hitler. I don’t see Trump hunkering down in the White House till the end. Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if he resigns soon. He has a long history of walking away from failures and letting other people clean up the mess. He wanted his legacy to be Space Camp and a supercharged stock market, not hundreds of thousands of dead Americans and a devastated economy. The sooner he resigns the easier it will be to spin it all as a plot by his enemies, and the easier it will be to convince himself he was brilliant, it was the country that failed him. We needed a Lincoln, we got a Jefferson Davis.

Wait, what? OK, history lesson here. When the South seceded and the US Civil War started, what did their respective leaders do? Lincoln took the bull by the horns, and seized national power to organize a national response to the crisis. For example, he put the entire North’s railroad grid under central control, thus making the massive coordinated movement of troops and supplies possible. The Confederacy, being wedded to the idea of “State’s Rights,” did nothing of the sort. Lincoln raised a huge Union Army, and deployed it as needed. Lee led, the Army of Northern Virginia, yes, the Confederate states each raised their own army! And in numerous other respects, Lincoln formed a united force to promulgate the war, while the Confederates cooperated but did not centralize and coordinate. It was a big part of the reason Lincoln won the war, the Confederacy had enormous advantages, but they squandered them by not having a centrally coordinated war effort. And we have the same today, Trump for all purposes practically stated that he thinks state governors should be responsible for the Covid-19 fight, not him. Jefferson Davis lost the war with the same thinking, Trump is losing to Covid-19 the exact same way. You are not only no Lincoln Mr Trump, you do not even appear to understand the concept of leadership, it’s doing what’s best for the nation, not yourself.

And just to reiterate, the senators and such who used their inside information to protect their wealth should be tried for treason. Using your government power to enrich yourself at the expense of American lives is treason. That’s what treason is, hurting the country to help yourself. Just to give a historical example, we all should be studying history now, Jane Fonda’s trip to North Vietnam during the Vietnam War was not treason. Yes, what she did hurt Americans, it was misguided, stupid, and a propaganda victory for North Vietnam. However, and it’s a huge however, she was trying to promote peace, not benefit herself. Not treason. Using your position in government to protect your wealth instead of protecting America, treason.

Historical meanderings aside, I ventured forth today. A new world. Empty shelves in the markets. Many businesses closed or with altered practices/hours due to Covid-19. People were friendly but wary of each other and mostly kept their distance. Gallows humor prevailed, my grocery checker sneezed, and I said “Sneezes are OK.” A lady in the next aisle laughed, she got it. In any event, I’m going to be posting more random thoughts and observations during the Covid-19 outbreak.

One last thought, boy, global pollution levels are plummeting as the world goes into a shutdown. This is a good thing. And a message from reality (or God,) that we need to clean up our act. If shutting down non-essential services makes such a difference, and we all win when pollution plummets, why were we polluting so much in the first place? Because a small number of people profit from burning oil and passing the pollution costs onto the public. We can live without that, nu?

And Trump is still thinking his hunches will save the day. Yeah, no, reality rarely works that way. Latest rumor is that Trump is going to declare martial law and shut the whole country down for two weeks to halt the spread of Covid-19. Well, that will be intense. A Hail Mary pass by Trump. Could he try that? Maybe. Will it work? I would have to review what pandemic experts say to even guess. Is it a good idea? No, it’s a shallow simplistic idea that could have all sorts of negative unintended (or even intended!) consequences. Stay tuned I guess.

Oh dear. It’s a hell of a time to be alive. It’s 1914. It’s 1939. It’s 1941. 1776. 1521. 1453. Stay safe everyone.

Copyright © 2020 Doug Stych.

(Image: Destroyed German He-111 during the Battle of Stalingrad. Credit: Unknown, a wikipedia image, public domain as far as is known.)


Written by unitedcats

March 21, 2020 at 7:58 pm

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