Urgent need to fight virus deadlier than Covid-19

Urgent need to fight virus deadlier than Covid-19

Bhamy V. Shenoy

How many have heard of a virus deadlier than Covid-19 that has become virulent in recent years? If not destroyed or at least controlled, it will eat into the vitals of the US. It can inflict devastation worse than any calamity we have faced since the Civil War. 

During the Civil War era, Lincoln had warned that “a house divided against itself cannot stand”. Unfortunately the US has started on this path without our realization. We are being divided into two groups by this unrecognized virus and Trump has become the major carrier and spreader of this deadly virus. 

While the US is fighting Covid-19 along with other nations, this peculiar Divisive Hatred (DH) virus has shaken the democratic foundations of the US. When Trump was elected as President in the US., most people, including Trump himself were stunned. Unfortunately no one diagnosed the actual problem. 

A simplistic explanation was given for his victory. Many voters leaning towards the Democratic Party were very confident of Trump’s defeat and did not bother to vote. It was the fault of the Electoral College. If only more voters had taken the trouble to vote in the battle ground states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, Trump would have lost. 

If the psephologists had diagnosed the disease caused by the fast spreading DH virus, we would not be where we are today. The 2018 mid-term election further delayed diagnosing the disease, identifying the DH virus and developing the vaccine. Democrats were able to get back the House of Representatives. Voters clipping the wings of Trump by giving a majority to democrats in the House gave a false  sense of confidence. However, the Republicans increasing their majority in the senate should have been a red flag to go after the DH virus.

Recent polls also are not helpful in diagnosing the DH virus. All of them predict Biden’s victory in the election. Hundreds of thoughtful articles by eminent writers have failed to analyze the worsening violent crimes in the cities and shocking killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, and Jacob Blake in Kenosha. Wisconsin. 

While racism is certainly one of the obvious factors, there are many other underlying factors, which are never discussed by the mainstream media. One significant factor is the DH virus, which has never been mentioned, though the worsening crisis has often been attributed to the leadership style of Trump. Some have suggested the pandemic and Trump referring to it as ‘Chinese virus’ as one of the factors. 

A recent New York Times article by Thomas Friedman, “ Who can win America’s politics of humiliation?”, and a book, Rage by Bob Woodward give some ideas on diagnosing the DH virus. 

According to Friedman, many supporters of Trump are not attracted by his policies. They still support Trump because he skewers the elite and liberals who have humiliated them. He quotes Mandela to argue that no one is more dangerous than the one who is humiliated. Trump has fully exploited this to spread the DH virus. During Charlottesville riots, Trump saw “very fine people” on both the sides to proliferate DH virus. 

Most (but not his base) are shocked by Woodward’s revelation that Trump deliberately downplayed the pandemic not to create panic. He knew that the Covid-19 was deadly, airborne and extremely contagious. Because of the DH virus, his most damning conclusion that “ Trump is the worst man for the job” will not have any impact on his base. 

The useful takeaway from Rage is that many who work with him were complicit in spreading the DH virus directly or indirectly. Some thought that by continuing to work with him, they could prevent him from doing the worst. Did they succeed? Like Trump, they threw away their moral compass, a direct effect of the DH virus. 

To appreciate the deadly nature of the DH virus, it would be necessary to analyze the egregious concept of Trumpism.  The Atlantic magazine has recently published an article in which Trump has referred to dead soldiers as “losers” and “suckers”. He also commented that he does not understand why any one would join the army risking their life. It looks like for Trump, wealth is the only sensible goal and Kamala Harris becoming “the President is an insult to the US”. Only a DH virus infected person can make such a racist and sexist remark. 

With each passing day we hear the worst possible and damning statements from Trump and think it cannot get any worse. But it does. Such development should disturb the conscience of any rational human being. However the DH virus infected minds are simply unable to appreciate how Trump is dangerous to the US national security or responsible for the deaths of thousands by Covid-19 ( soon exceeding 200,000). 

Instead of attacking the base or those who continue to support, we need to recognize they are under the spell of the DH virus. As wisely suggested by Friedman, we should not humiliate those who support Trump any further. 

Not only should we shun any violent attack involving burning of the buildings or use of guns, we should also desist from verbal attack. It is most unfortunate that a Trump supporter was gunned down by an antifa member in Portland, Oregon. Such acts should be condemned by all. 

We need to appreciate the predicament of Trump supporters. Had they not been infected by DH, they would have acted differently.  Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King have showed how we can win over the enemies and achieve our goal by peaceful means by implementing the true spirit of “the sermon on the mount”. Instead of criticizing the ‘other group”, we should try to build bridges of understanding and try to kill the DH virus. 

Protestors instead of organizing protest marches, should take recourse to hold symbolic hunger strikes like Mahatma Gandhi did when British colonialists dealt violently with the peaceful freedom fighters.

Another effective way to kill the DH virus for all those who believe in simple human decency and social justice is to participate in the election in huge numbers and vote for the right candidates.  Otherwise the future generation of Americans will wonder how their forefathers elected some one like Trump whose policies majority did not like and most considered him to be unfit and even dangerous to be President.