“O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”
I am distracted by the spider eating his/her prey caught in an elaborate web of the spider’s making outside my window. We have another spider who built an even more grand web on the upper floor which I call the web penthouse with a view. I have observed this grand spider eating his/her prey while seemingly floating on a web that covers a large window.
It’s curious to me that spiders build mansions of webs in the fall. I’m certain an arachnologist can explain the ritual but for the moment I am fine just admiring the skill and cunning of these creatures. Sad though is the struggle of the prey who fly into the invisible web. It is that which brings me back to the task of the day: writing a column.
I cannot recall ever feeling this much anxiety about an election. I always thought our country was strong in its foundations and that we had a common goal of maintaining a government of, for and by the people. Sometimes one’s party was in and sometimes it was out, but no one was out to shred the “United” part of the United States.
Not so this time. Our constitution is being severely tested. We are being ruled, not governed, by people who are actively dismantling the institutions that protect all of us in favor of few. Powerful rulers in the white house and Senate say that the president’s decisions should supersede the law under the justice department and public health medical advice under the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
They attracted followers to a web of fear and anger and gained power through division. The president who rather builds his own grand web of lies than protect America and its people is the perfect spider for the web of that continues to feed fear and anger.
On the web: ‘The economy is good’
“What’s good for business is good for America” is not true anymore if it ever was, at least not any more than saying the economy is good when it is only good for some and a minority at that.
Ordinary people with IRAs and the like are understandably pleased with the growth of their retirement funds, especially during the pandemic.
“The Federal Reserve said (sic) that American households’ net worth jumped nearly 7 percent in the April-June quarter.” The Associated Press goes on to report that the top 10 percent of the nation’s wealthiest own more than two-thirds and the, top 1 percent own 31 percent of the nation’s wealth.
The rest of us own one-third of the nation’s wealth and my guess is it grew relatively less than 7 percent during the pandemic.
The motto should be retired and this dynamic needs to change. Our president’s policy of tax relief for businesses, deregulation and low wages and the coming elimination of Obamacare are more in service of business than American families.
Businesses need to be reminded that their employees are also customers: Only parasites kill their host as in encouraging people to expose themselves to the virus regardless of consequences.
On the web: COVID-19 won’t sicken or kill children
“Go back to school,” brayed the president, and some children did. “Children of all ages now make up 10 percent of all U.S. cases, up from 2 percent.” (Associated Press/Peninsula Daily News, Sept. 30, 2020)
“Open up the bars.”
Only the president, his now reformed pandemic task force fronted by a radiologist and a few Republican senators, believe the virus is going to simply disappear most likely as a result of herd immunity.
Anthony Fauci, the front for science and public health pandemic response tells us trying to reach herd immunity will cause the deaths of millions of medically compromised Americans. That would be the death of old people like me, so I can’t help but take it personally, along with the death of front-line health and other essential workers and the death of a greater percentage of people of color.
On the web: Not all Americans count as Americans
The president has made it clear that not all deaths of Americans from COVID-19 count. He claims deaths of those living in dense areas such as large metropolitan areas and certain states don’t count because they have Democratic mayors or governors.
In line with that peculiar logic, the president claims that mail-in ballots don’t count which, this year, will be a large number because people who don’t want to sacrifice their lives to herd immunity prefer to vote by mail.
His voice has gotten stronger about not counting the “ballots” since the plan to disrupt the peaceful transfer of mail failed.
On the web: ‘Suckers and losers’
The president did reveal his true feelings about the military when he expanded his definition of a military loser from someone captured and held as prisoner during the war to anyone who volunteered to join the military.
According to multiple news outlets he called them “suckers” and “losers,” particularly those that died.
It’s hard to pull any pretense of honor for those who sacrificed for our country from the president. When he says anything, he is usually reading words written by someone else although he commonly says, “no one loves the (military, women, black people, insert name your group here) more than I do.”
The week of this writing brings yet another set of “suckers” and “losers”: that would be anyone who pays income taxes. Before he was electorally elected president, he said he didn’t pay taxes because he was “smart.” He bragged about using OPM (other people’s money.).
One of his promises was to close tax loopholes. Instead, he lowered income taxes for corporations and the wealthy and added deductibles such as corporate jets.
Remember, his big plan to restore the economy was to grant holidays from payroll taxes that support social security, unemployment and Medicare and make business lunches tax-deductible again.
Webs eventually weaken and all the debris and carcasses are exposed and often blown to bits. Our president parallels the spider who simply leaves the wreckage of businesses and life to others to clean up and builds another web. That is until the spider becomes the prey of something bigger and wiser that he.
Meanwhile, the president can add another acronym, OPD — other people’s deaths — while he stands hundreds of feet apart from cheering unmasked people crowded together.
Note: Since this column was written, the president has been hospitalized with COVID-19. Most people, including me, hope for his recovery and one that brings understanding of how contagious and potentially devastating COVID-19 can be.
Bertha Cooper, featured columnist in the Sequim Gazette, spent her career years in health care administration, program development and consultation. Cooper and her husband have lived in Sequim for more than 20 years. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.