Panic in­sti­ga­tor

The Times-Tribune - - EDITORIAL -

Editor: Si­mon & Schus­ter pub­lished Bob Wood­ward’s book “Rage,” a week fol­low­ing the re­lease of taped con­ver­sa­tions be­tween the au­thor and the book’s sub­ject, Pres­i­dent Trump.

In March, a month af­ter call­ing COVID-19 “more deadly than even your stren­u­ous flus,” Trump told Wood­ward: “I wanted to al­ways play it down. I still like play­ing it down, be­cause I don’t want to cre­ate a panic.”

Oh, re­ally?

In July, Trump’s cam­paign aired a tele­vi­sion ad called “Abol­ished.” Against a back­drop of crime and may­hem, the text reads, “Joe Bi­den’s sup­port­ers are fight­ing to de­fund po­lice de­part­ments. Vi­o­lent crime has ex­ploded. You won’t be safe in Joe Bi­den’s Amer­ica.” A 911 caller is told, “Due to de­fund­ing, no one is here to take your call . . . Leave your name and num­ber and some­one will get back to you. Our es­ti­mated wait time is five days.”

Joe Bi­den does not sup­port de­fund­ing the po­lice. He sup­ports re­form — pri­mar­ily the in­tro­duc­tion and fund­ing of ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams and men­tal health and drug treat­ment projects — to help po­lice fo­cus on polic­ing.

Un­true to his word as usual, Trump wants to cre­ate panic. He has cre­ated panic from his “Amer­i­can car­nage” in­au­gu­ral speech on­ward, de­mo­niz­ing Mus­lims, Cen­tral Amer­i­cans and other groups.

Be­fore, and es­pe­cially since, Bi­den’s nom­i­na­tion, Trump re­al­ized it’s his only path to re­elec­tion. So he spreads panic about many things: the Sec­ond Amend­ment; so­cial­ism; Black Lives Mat­ter; mail-in vot­ing; the des­e­cra­tion of “sub­ur­ban housewives” by left-wing mobs; the econ­omy should Bi­den win, and Bi­den’s men­tal state.

Don’t let him fool you about not want­ing panic. If he fools you again, shame on you.

TOM CHERWIN SAUGER­TIES, NEW YORK

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