Updated: May 24, 2022
Commentators have pointed out that the President’s tone in his most recent press conferences had changed considerably from his earlier pronouncements. He has dismissed their observation, but then his self-analysis has never been something one should count on. My point is that the President’s tone (any President's) could be quite relevant in moving from a climate of injustice to a climate of justice.
This is not the time for heroes or warriors. Trump’s war cries against his enemies doesn’t fit when the “enemy” is a virus. Thank goodness the talk about a “war against the coronavirus” has not dominated our conversation. We need shepherds and stewards, not fighters and winners. As the military becomes involved in this epidemic, their role is to protect civilians. Ending this epidemic will more than likely come from scientific labs, than from the show of military might. It will end when those who are vulnerable are protected.
Can you imagine what could happen if this tone were permanent? How would such a tone change the conversations and even policies about civilians on our streets, at our borders, even in Syria? The right tone cannot repair social relationships or violations of our humanity, but at least it reveals a national mood that could move us toward protecting each other and our habitat.