Friday, May 15, 2020


ABC News reports on the disconnect between the president and the public:
"We have prevailed," President Donald Trump declared this week, in a comment he said was about COVID-19 testing.

"I think you should absolutely open the schools," he said two days later, contradicting Dr. Anthony Fauci's warning that it may not be realistic to expect schools to be open this fall.

Both statements contradict ... how the public is experiencing this crisis.

New ABC News/Ipsos polling out Friday morning shows a country that remains hesitant to resume regular life, even as state and local restrictions begin to get lifted -- either by executive action or court order.

Seventy-three percent of Americans say there are not enough coronavirus tests available in the United States, notwithstanding Trump's claim. And 69% of parents with children living at home say they aren't ready to send them back to school, on top of the large majorities hesitant to return to restaurants, movie theaters, bowling alleys and the like.
Joe Biden could boil this down to a simple slogan, one that covers much more than the current crisis:

Trump's not listening.

Biden could say:
The American people are afraid of the coronavirus. They want more testing and tracing, more protective equipment for medical professionals. They want a national strategy that will make us safer so we can resume some sort of normal life.

Trump's not listening. He doesn't listen to the concerns of ordinary people. He only listens to the sound of his own voice.

He thinks there are plenty of tests and masks. He's not listening to the frontline doctors and nurses who say there aren't. He says we don't need a vaccine. He's not listening to the scientists who say we do. He says we should all be happy and go shopping. He's not listening to the millions of Americans who are literally scared for their lives.

Trump never listens. He's never listened when Americans have told him they want Obamacare preserved and strengthened -- he supports a lawsuit that could get rid of Obamacare altogether. He's never listened when the American people have said they want universal background checks for firearms. He's never listened when Americans have said they don't want parents separated from their children at the border, or children put in cages. He's never listened when Americans say they want a path to citizenship for the Dreamers. Affordable college? A higher minimum wage? An end to more and more tax cuts for the rich? Trump's not listening.

I'm Joe Biden, and I'm not running for president to feed my own ego. I've been listening to the American people since I got into politics. When I'm president, I'll listen to you.
Thirty-two years ago, a career politician who wasn't considered articulate or charismatic won the presidency after delivering a convention speech in which he acknowledged the way he was perceived:
I am a quiet man, but I hear the quiet people others don't. The ones who raise the family, pay the taxes, meet the mortgage. And I hear them and I am moved, and their concerns are mine.
Were these words from George H.W. Bush accurate? It doesn't matter. They were effective.

Biden isn't a great speaker. That's why he should tell the American people that he's a listener, that he hears them. Everyone who's not part of Trump's rabid base knows that Trump isn't listening to them.

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