That Train Has Left the Station

While out walking with the dogs this weekend, we passed an Avion travel trailer, considered a “second cousin” to the Airstream in terms of its design. The owners had displayed a U.S. flag alongside an “All Aboard the Trump Train” flag. Of course, the Trump flag prompted conversation in our “circle of trust” about former president Donald Trump and the possibility that he might run for the nation’s highest office in 2024. We’ve read some reports that he has no intention of running again, but that he’s leveraging whatever influence he has for as long as he can (the midterm elections will be a determining factor, most pundits agree).

Anyone who follows this blog knows we’re no fans of Trump. And we’re fairly certain his ego won’t allow him to risk being a two-time loser, so we think the chances of his running again in 2024 are slim to none. So, in our opinion, the Trump train has left the station. And anyone who climbed aboard before its departure is headed to an unknown destination.

We blame the current wave of COVID transmissions on those Americans who say they will definitely not get vaccinated against the virus, 70 percent of whom are white and Republican–Trump’s base of support. The sight of hospitals filling to capacity, of patients gasping for breath on ventilators, of refrigerated trailers filled with bodies cannot dissuade the headstrong from casting doubt on the science. Instead, they continue to align themselves with a man who mocked the virus because it made him look bad, who politicized mask wearing and social distancing and even receiving the very vaccines that he could rightly claim as the greatest achievement of his presidency.

When the vaccines began to be rolled out, we should have all been on board the Trump train, with our sleeves rolled up and smiles on our faces. Instead, we had already been poisoned by partisanship. In the waning days of his first (and, hopefully, only) term, Trump was more concerned with trying to overturn a legitimate election than with convincing the American public to get vaccinated.

The simple truth is this: The spread of the Delta variant could have been avoided if all eligible Americans had chosen to be vaccinated. But they didn’t. Too many are still on board the Trump train–on a journey to nowhere but with stops along the way to pick up every wacky conspiracy theory and violent mob and Big Lie the Trump machine can produce.

It doesn’t have to be this way. People don’t have to die of ignorance and stubbornness. The Trump train may have left the station, but it’s still possible to get off at the next stop.