The mask Is off  

  • Greenfield polling place during the State Primary. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Published: 10/15/2020 2:13:48 PM

In the drowning cataract of messages being poured over us daily, a few stood out in the past few weeks.

First came news of the interview with Bob Woodward way back in February in which our president acknowledged that he not only knew that the COVID-19 virus was deadly but that it could be spread by air transmission. Only a profoundly insecure and malevolent person, unmoored from any values of right and wrong or responsibility, would withhold such information from the people he is sworn to protect and serve. Instead of moving swiftly to contain the threat with the vast powers at his command, he chose to deflect, dissemble, obfuscate and, yes, lie outright, to project his imagined strong-man image and “protect” people from reality that might dampen the stock market, which is the only economic indicator he notices.

And then there was the announcement that he himself was infected, but we learned that he went to meetings and rallies after finding out he was likely exposed and while he awaited test results. His unconscionable behavior, pretending all was well while exposing dozens, maybe hundreds of people, reveal the depths of his self-delusion or, worse, his willingness to sacrifice anyone and everything to get his way and retain power. He plans to continue campaigning while still coughing and refusing to provide clear evidence of a negative test.

In the meantime there is news of more court cases sponsored by his administration to strike a fatal blow against the nation’s health care coverage even as millions struggle with illness, lost jobs, unpaid bills and medical costs.

And there is news of the decision to allow drilling in the last national wilderness in the Arctic which would add to the already out-of-control heating of our planet, pollution of air and water, more fires and untold cases of lung disease and heart disease exacerbated by particulates and chemicals pouring into the air.

Now there is the snap decision to pull out of any further talks about additional support for businesses and citizens economically devastated by the pandemic (though true to form within a day there were confusing hints that maybe, just maybe, he might reconsider). In addition to rising virus cases and hospitalizations across the country, 30 million people have lost jobs, and millions are hungry, in danger of homelessness and unable to pay for basic utilities like lights or water. The cruelty of this decision, all in an effort to lay blame on political enemies, is unfathomable. The result will be more lives lost, with or without the virus.

The mask is off, friends. Take a good hard look at @realDonald. The truth of the man is revealed.

Mail-in ballots should have arrived in Massachusetts this past week. Mark and sign carefully, and mail as soon as possible. Early voting begins in Massachusetts next week from Oct. 17 to 30. Check your local times and locations. You can register through Oct. 24; go to sec.state.ma.us.

So many of us were taught from early days to think of others, be the good Samaritan, extend the helping hand. But for once, for once, do something completely and entirely selfish. Here’s the task: Vote as if your life depends on it.

Judy Wagner is a resident of Northfield.


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