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Post-Trumpatic Stress Disorder: Is There A Cure?

Honest Donald denying he chopped down the cherry tree. He never tells the truth except by accident.

Is there a cure for post-trumpatic stress disorder? Technically the designation “post” is in error since we are still living through trumpatic stress disorder. So far there has been no treatment for it. No one has invoked the 25th Amendment. The Mueller Report turned into a dud. And the impeachment resulted in a decision of “Of course he attempted to extort Ukraine for his own benefit. So what? That’s the way the game is played. Ask the OJ lawyer.”

The 22nd Amendment seems to provide surefire treatment for curing post-trumpatic stress disorder, but who knows what might happen. After all, the king might simply crown his daughter the first female president and remain in the White House until he dies…that way he will forever be immune to the law, the true immunity that matters to him.

But what about preventive medicine? What about a vaccine? What about acting to prevent a recurrence of the disorder. After all, the very stable genius, the smartest person in a room as long as it is a morgue or a nursery school with no adults, already has informed us that unlike the flu, corvid-19 will not be annual illness: IT WILL NOT RETURN. THE LORD AND SAVIOR, THE CHOSEN ONE, BLESSED BE HIS NAME HAS SAID SO.

Below are some items for consideration that can vaccinate the American society from a recurrence of trumpatic stress disorder. I am sure there are others which can be included. I am sure that my vaccination attempts won’t all work. But we have to start somewhere.


Candidates would have to do the following.

1. Release tax returns – I am open as to how many years back should be required.

2. Have a real medical exam

3. Disclose all pending legal actions in which the candidate directly or the organization/company with which he is connected is involved either as a defendant or plaintiff – I am open as to how many years back should be required

4. Disclose a plan for complete divestiture of investments and assets in event the candidate is elected

5. Deliver two 30-minute speeches over two weeks in a non-political rally setting on domestic and foreign affairs. In a two-person race, each candidate would have the opportunity to be the first speaker on the topic and each would have the opportunity to include a rebuttal by being the second speaker.

The foreign speech would address such issues as the candidate’s vision of America’s place in the international arena, attitudes towards specific alliances and international organizations, trade issues, and specific issues relevant to the election period.

The domestic speech would address such issues as the candidate’s view of the powers of the President, the meaning of Article 2, the meaning of checks and balances, the attitude towards freedom of the press, the distinction between loyalty to the Constitution and loyalty to the individual President, and the commitment to the role of whistle blowers in the government.


The following apply to the office of the President. The individual who holds that position will be legally obligated to follow these rules.

1. For a newly elected President, candidates for appointed positions will be selected within six months of taking office. In positions where no one has been selected, the authority to select a person to an appointed position will pass to the Congress. The choice made by Congress will not be subject to presidential approval. If Congress cannot agree on a candidate within one month, then there will be a coin flip to determine the winning candidate from the two proposed by the two leading parties in the Congress.

2. When openings to appointed positions occur during a presidency, the President shall have one month to select person to fill the position. If no one is selected then the choice is transferred to Congress following the rules described above in #1.

3. There shall be a limit as the number of positions that can be filled on an “Acting” basis. I am open to suggestions as to what this number should be. To some extent the issue here may be moot given the adoption of #1 and #2.

4. There shall be a limit as the length of time an individual may hold an “Acting” position.    I am open to suggestions as to what this number should be. To some extent the issue here may be moot given the adoption of #1 and #2.

5. The President shall refer to American citizens individually and collectively in a manner appropriate to the office and shall not degenerate to the language of a seventh-grade-smart-aleck-dumb aleck.

6. Neither the President not any member of the government shall call an American citizen a traitor unless they are prepared to take legal action against that individual on that charge.

7. The following rules apply to Presidential addresses, Presidential press conferences, Presidential communications via social media, Presidential interviews in person or by phone, Presidential political rallies, and White House lawn gatherings with and without a helicopter in the background. These rules also will apply to someone speaking on behalf of the President such as a Press Secretary.

Members of the White House Press corps will have the authority to file a public notice of inquiry to the White House Communications Department on any Presidential communication made in these formats. These inquiries can be on statements of “alleged” fact(s)

1. When the President stated the following [provide the details] did the President know the alleged fact was incorrect?

2. When the President stated the following [provide the details] was the President relying on information that had been provided to the President and if so by whom?

3. When the President stated the following [provide the details] was the President simply making it up the way a child does when playing imaginary games?

The Communications Department shall have one week to publicly reply to the questions raised. If the number of incorrect statements for whatever reasons reaches a certain threshold to be determined, then live coverage of Presidential addresses, Presidential press conferences, Presidential political rallies, and White House lawn gathering shall not be permitted.

Admittedly, there are a lot of issues with these last requirements. What will the protocols be to determine who is an official White House correspondent or not? What are the checks and balances to prevent an abuse of power by the White House correspondents in filing these inquiries?

Obviously the current President who only tells the truth by accident will not accept these restrictions on his ability to make up facts, blame nameless others, and simply not tell the truth. Still, they offer a framework for discussion during the campaign and possible questions to be asked by the White House Correspondents or during Presidential debates in the event there should be any.

Trumpatic stress disorder is a serious condition which has wreaked havoc with America for far longer than has corvid-19. If left unchecked, trumpatic stress disorder has the potential to destroy the United States. It is urgent that efforts begin to design a cure for the current trumpatic stress disorder and to minimize the chance of it ever reoccurring. The points made in this blog are a contribution but hardly the last word to designing a remedy.

 Since some of you reading this are far more politically and legally knowledgeable than I am, what should the vaccination be to prevent the return of trumpatic stress disorder?

The China Hannitys versus the American Hannitys: The 2020 Olympics

The First Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh Expose a Hoax

The China Hannitys versus the American Hannitys: The battle is engaged. Right now the Hannitys of both countries are battling each other for world supremacy. Who is #1? The Middle Kingdom or the City on a Hill? To some extent, they are not in direct conflict with each other, since each appeals primarily to a domestic audience. In this regard the Chinese probably have the advantage. They are aware of the criticisms of China in the international arena and are responding to it. They also know that the United States is dependent on China for medical supplies and that the President continually praises the Chinese leader.

The United States

Turning to the American position, it doesn’t look so good at the moment. During World War II, the United States was an arsenal for democracy. It initiated the Lend Lease program including aiding China. It was the go to country for world leadership. The United Nations was headquartered in New York, the center of the universe. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States became the world’s only superpower. So how did America do during the era of baby boom Presidents?

When the history of the era of baby boom Presidents is written, it doesn’t seem likely that the United States or that generation will fare too well. It is unlikely that after the first Iraq war that anyone predicted that less than 30 years later the United States would have self-destructed its world leadership position from internally caused actions (second Iraq war, Afghanistan, 2016 elections). We are no longer an arsenal for democracy. We cannot provide material assistance to others. We abandon global organizations instead of creating and/or leading them. We only have transactional relationships where every other country is a foe in a zero-sum relationship with us. There is no more win-win. Our simple-minded immature child President lacks the mental necessities to even understand yet alone propose a global identity for the country.

The COVID-19 crisis has exposed America’s abandonment of being a City on a Hill. “Disease in a World without a Leader” was the headline of an article in Time (Yuval Noah Harari, 3/21/20).

“(W)e are now facing this crisis bereft of global leaders who can inspire, organize and finance a coordinated global response.”

 The Ebola crisis of 2014 and the financial crisis of 2008 were two recent examples where the United States took a leadership role.

 “But in recent years the U.S. has resigned its role as global leader…(T)he U.S. no longer has only real friends, only interests.. The void left by the U.S. has not been filled by anyone else.

Our former friends laugh at the ignorant and immature American President to his face at the U.N. and behind his back at international meetings.

The NYT headline, “In This Crisis, U.S. Sheds Its Role as Global Leader” (3/22/20) delivers the same message. The World War II era is over. There is no Franklin Delano Roosevelt to lead the world. Instead the American President seeks to liberate Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia and has withdrawn from the WHO. He cannot rise to the occasion. His followers are perfectly willing to cheer “We’re #2. We’re #2. We’re #2.” They have no interest in the United States being a City on a Hill that the eyes of the world are upon.

Still hope springs eternal. In an op-ed piece, Samantha Power, former American representative to the United Nations, put her heart on the line in the hope that one day the United States will be #1 again (NYT 4/9/20). Despite the actions of the American President to withdraw from the international arena and weaken America influence throughout the world, that world still looks to the United States for leadership. She decries the zero-sum approach the simple-minded President brought to the efforts to obtain necessary medical equipment. She dismisses the idea that China can create a global crisis coalition, a goal that China has not yet attained. She yeans for America to take a leadership role in the COVID-19 crisis, but that can’t happen until January, 2021, at the earliest.


So America and the COVID-19 crisis have handed the Middle Kingdom an opportunity on a silver platter. While the United States is still the financial capital of the world, China has replaced it as the manufacturing capital of the world. It makes what the world wants. It binds the countries through purchases of the natural resources needed do manufacture goods. China has become a leading trade partner practically everywhere. Its Belt and Road Initiative works to bind the countries of the world to it as vassals, not colonies. Hollywood would not dare defy it. There is no more Taiwan on American airlines. Who would criticize China’s handling of the CORVID-19 crisis?

Now we have the competing stories. The China Hannitys praise the great leadership of Xi Jinping. He acted swiftly, boldly, and decisively. First he rescued China with his lockdowns. Now he stands ready to aid the world. He will save the world from the scourge unleashed by American military personnel when they visited China. What America has wrought, China will repair. All we have to do is put our trust in China, its superior system, its superior leader, its rightful place as the Middle Kingdom in the cosmic center as the world leader.

The American Hannitys take issue with China’s position. China is the source of the scourge. China is the one who acted dishonestly. It did not reveal the truth of the extent of the virus and that it could be transferred from person to person even when there was no sign of the infection. It is China who owes the world for the damage and destruction it has inflicted on it. It is the American President who acted swiftly, boldly, and decisively as he learned the truth that China tried to hide.

The American Hannitys have a track record of success it can draw on to convict China of its guilt in the court of world opinion. Remember how they uncovered Seth Rich at the center of the Russian contacts. The American Hannitys exposed the Russian collusion as a hoax. The American Hannitys exposed the Ukranian extortion as a hoax. The American Hannitys exposed the CORVID-19 as a hoax. With all these successes behind it, exposing the China fraud should be easy.

And the Winner Is….

So here were are. America on its own has abandoned its position as world leader. China is rushing to fill the void but is falling short. Its restrictive currency and racist xenophobic society make it an unlikely choice for world leader. It can dominate vassals by economic force but there will never be a line of people seeking to emigrate there. When people vote with their feet, they still vote America.

While we are no longer #1, we could regain that position. We can do so partly because there still is no alternative to American leadership: either it is us [post WWII] or no one [now]. In my last blog on the topic of World War IV, I wrote of America’s ace in the hole, its soft power. The blog was written after the unexpected death of Kobe Bryant (Kobe and Coronavirus: Meaning for World War IV 2/4/20). It wasn’t that long ago and it was a global event when it occurred.

Now we are witnessing another example of American leadership: the free press. The China Hannitys operate as the propaganda arm of the government with no alternative voice. By contrast, the American Hannitys have to face domestic competition. Try as he might to turn his press conferences into political rallies, our Dear Leader still has to face the press. Now he can’t hide behind the noise of a helicopter. In fact, with social spacing, he faces fewer reporters. It has become harder to escape questions from people who know he is full of bull trump and just playing make believe with the facts.

The net result is neither the American nor Chinese Hannitys can prevail. While we may not know the truth of what happened in China for years to come, we already know the truth of what happened it America. If We the People decide we want an adult in the White House, we can regain our position of world leadership and with the thanks of countries who have been waiting for it.


We Are Not the UNITED States: Covid-19, Confederates, and the Union

The Third Civil War (New York Times Magazine)

We are not the UNITED States. We are the DISUNITED STATES. We were when we were constituted. We were when we fought the Civil War. We were when we celebrated the Civil War Sesquicentennial. And we are now as celebrate the American Revolution 250th. One can make the case that during World War II we were a united people but beyond that specific time period, the issue is more problematic.

Lincoln’s advice that a “house divided can not stand” is correct but inappropriate. We are not a house but two houses. The recent and ongoing developments with COVID-19 illustrate what was known beforehand but is now more obvious. The battle to re-open states versus social distancing in states is an expression of that divide.


The maps used on the news shows to show the spread of COVID-19 and the resulting deaths are deceptive. It is not that they are wrong [although the numbers infected and dead due to COVID-19 are likely to be higher]. They are deceptive because the virus does not occur at a state level. State maps are fine for state events – Electoral College vote, Senate and Governor elections, lockdowns and Medicaid expansion. They paint a deceptive picture for the virus.


To understand how the virus is playing out politically, we need to look at maps that better reflect the political reality. As best as I can tell simply by observing the maps and without any detailed analysis, I suspect there is a high correlation between high COVID-19 outbreak and the congressional districts that voted Democratic and low COVID-19 outbreak and the congressional districts that voted Trumpican in 2016. Similarly, this correlation would match the congressional districts that want to re-open the economy now and those that don’t.


Remember when Angela Merkel predicted a 70% infection in Germany? Remember when America was going to hit with a 75% infection rate? You don’t hear numbers like that anymore. Even a 1% rate of infection or approximately 3.3 million [less if children are excluded] is still significantly higher than the current infection rate although still attainable.

So what happened? How did the rate drop so precipitously? To a non-medical person like me the decline of such magnitude suggests the early models were incorrect. Rather than attribute the substantial decline to stay at home and social distancing, it may also be that the ease of infection was not what was originally forecast. Certainly if you are in close proximity to an infected person for an extended period of time – prison, nursing home, Spring Break, Mardi Gras, family event, conference – then the infection rate is high; less so than if you pass someone on a sidewalk or supermarket aisle for only a moment. Regardless of the reason, I think the American people are entitled to an explanation of why the original epidemic infection rates seem to have been so wrong.

There are unexpected consequences to the projected numbers being reduced so substantially. It undermines the credibility of the experts who originally predicted such catastrophic numbers. At the moment, the number dead due to CORVID-19 is roughly comparable to the annual dead due to the flu. That number will increase and doesn’t take into account the mitigation actions. Still it enables people of certain mindset to compare the death totals from human-based actions – suicide, murder, car accidents, drug overdoses/opioid-deaths – none of which required the closing down the country – to a contagion like CORVID-19. The result strengthens the views of the anti-vaccine/no climate change/anti-science/anti-expert/anti-elitist sector of the American population (see Darwin and COVID-19: Science in America).


The disease to which COVID-19 should be compared is not the annual flu or the Spanish flu of 1918 but AIDS (see The Coronavirus Is Not AIDS: Do Trumpicans Know That?). I mention this again not in a medical sense but a political one. Who are the people who are dying as a result of COVID-19? We now have a population sample of over 30,000 people from which to draw conclusions.

Real Americans in a Trumpian world are not dying in droves or even in significant numbers at this time As with AIDS, COVID-19 seems targeted in whom it strikes. But whereas AIDS required specific actions for the disease to be transmitted, COVID-19 can strike anyone anywhere. However in practice, it only seems to strike some people in some locations.

Prior conditions weakens the body and makes it more susceptible to infections. In and of itself, that observation is not new or surprising. People in a weakened condition are by definition more at risk. People with hypertension or diabetes are different from people who don’t have these conditions. People who have less adequate to medical care and who are in poorer health are more at risk. That means poor people concentrated in urban areas are more at risk…even more at risk than poor people in rural areas who live further apart. In general terms that means black people and immigrants say in Elmont, Queens, the neighborhood epicenter in the borough epicenter or the city epicenter of the state epicenter of COVID-19 in the DISUNITED STATES.

Politically, people who are not being infected in significant numbers after six weeks are being asked to care about people who are. They have lost their jobs, their savings, their businesses, their way of life even though so far they are no more at risk for being infected COVID-19 than they are by the annual flu. And they are being asked to care about people they did not care about even before the epidemic.

Think of the difference in the attitude towards New York. 9/11 was an attack on the whole country; COVID-19 isn’t. As mentioned above, World War II was a time of national unity; now the World War II generation is collateral damage – old people die. Why not play Russian roulette with the lives of people you don’t care about? After all, what happens in New York stays in New York.

Not quite.


The examples of the two Queens bros reflects this divide in the DISUNITED STATES. Andy Cuomo, Governor of New York State, has become the national face and voice of the people who have been infected by COVID-19. With his daughter having been self-quarantined and his brother now infected, Cuomo presents a personal side to the epidemic in addition to his responsibilities as the chief executive of the hardest hit state in the country. His ratings are high and it is quite reasonable to speculate that if the presidential election was next year, he would be the Democratic nominee.

How popular do you think Cuomo is with Trumpicans?

The other Queens bro abandoned Queens and New York for Florida where he now makes his legal residence. Ignorant as he is, he sensed that the United States was and is a divided country. He sensed that many Americans felt the same snub and putdown by elitists that he had when the Manhattan elite refused to recognize him as anything more than a narcissistic sleazeball real estate promoter who failed repeatedly.. He sensed that there was a political opportunity that he could exploit for his own advantage. He sensed that there was no benefit to trying to be the President of all America, of We the People America, of e pluribus unum America. Instead he picked a side and strove only to reach out to his people and not to those people.

It worked. As long as he is defending real Americans from those people, Trumpicans don’t care what else he might do…even if it is to make rich people richer and undermine America’s position in the world. All the shortcomings of his leadership in January to March in the COVID-19 epidemic (see New York Times Investigates the Brain of Donald Trump: President Has a Hissy Fit) are irrelevant as long as he sticks with his primary responsibility. He is their Lord and Savior, the Chosen One, Blessed Be his Name. But Trumpicans did not vote for him so they could lose their jobs, their businesses, their savings, and their way of life so he could help those people.

The issue of re-opening versus safety first is part of the culture wars, it is part of the Third Civil War. What may be a 9/11 or 12/7 in Democratic congressional districts is Fort Sumter in Trumpican congressional districts. We have seen Trumpican/Confederates marching in Michigan. We have heard Laura and Rush and Fox call for putting real Americans first now. We have heard sheriffs vowing civil disobedience rather than enforce restrictions on the right of American people to be free (see the Twilight Zone episode The Old Man in the Cave). As the weather improves and summer is upon us, the call to be able to move freely about the country and with each other will rise.

COVID-19 may do what collusion with Russia, attempted extortion in the Ukraine, and the sheer incompetence of the ignorant and immature President did not accomplish. It may turn Trumpicans against their Lord and Savior, the Chosen One, Blessed Be his Name. The bully has backed down to the governors and his feeble efforts at the bully pulpit are laughable. The more Trumpicans protest the restriction and the less their leader does to remove them despite the daily calls from Rush and Fox, the more Trumpicans may abandoned their savior who failed them in their moment of need. This is the first time in this administration when the desires of the Trumpicans and their savior may widely diverge. If he tells them to obey their governors, will they? If he doesn’t eliminate the restrictions and save their jobs, businesses, and way of life, will they still vote for him? If they start dying in droves because no area is safe and no state immune, will they see the light?

America’s Third Civil War (The Atlantic)

I have just learned that the wartime general has called for the liberation of Minnesota and Michigan. How far he will pursue this war remains to be determined. Fox will continually push him to assert his royal powers under Article 2. It is reasonable to predict that as the weather heats up so will the culture wars. COVID-19 will change the way America’s third Civil War will be fought.

When Esau and Jacob emerged from the womb there already was a struggle just as there was between the two houses of America at its birth. Whether the bros will follow the path of Isaac and Ishmael or Cain and Abel is now being determined. It will be the basis, often unstated, of the 2020 elections. Bonespur Boy will not be able to satisfy both the Trumpicans and the governors nor can the world’s worst negotiator mediate a settlement. What will he do? What will the American people do on Election Day (and by mail before then)?

Darwin and COVID-19: Science in America

Which One Is Fauci? (

Charles Darwin and COVID-19 are not normally linked. A search on these terms has more hits on the city in Australia than anything else. Yet as the battle between science and religion once again erupts in America, it is worth remembering that it has a long history in the United States.

We are now beginning the bicentennial of the “Diluvial Decade.” The 1820s earned this name because of the search for geological evidence of Noah’s Flood. The impetus was events in England where people began to notice fossils in sedimentary rocks. Their observations led them to conclude that the process of creating these layers was longer than allowed under the 4004 BC date calculated by Bishop Ussher in 1650 as date of the creation based on the biblical texts.  The decade was on the cusp of the emergence of geology as a full-blown science in its own right. Charles Lyell’s Principles of Geology; being an attempt to explain the former changes of the earth’s surface, by reference to causes now in operation would be published in 1830-1833. Eventually there would be a new “ology” in colleges as knowledge fractured into the silos that define the modern university with diverse specialties and expertise.

Back in the 1820s the lines were more blurred. Art, religion, and science overlapped. Thomas Cole, originator of the Hudson River school paid attention to the developments in the scientific area as he painted his landscapes; he also painted biblical scenes especially from the early chapters of Genesis involving the creation and the Flood. Ministers, too, not only were aware of the scientific knowledge but were active participants in the advancing of such knowledge. Geology was a tool to help understand the age of the earth and the impact of the Flood. College-educated ministers therefore studied both theology and geology as part of their training.

These issues were fought over in biblical studies. In the mid-19th century, Genesis commentaries contained detailed small-print introductory sections on geology since the Ussher chronology had been incorporated into the Authorized Version of the Bible (the King James Version). Extensive discussion ensued involving the validity and meaning of geological data for understanding the first stories of Genesis. When archaeology developed a few decades later starting in the 1840s but not picking up steam until later, the battlegrounds were enlarged with the presence of another new “ology,” Assyriology.

Niagara Falls was part of the debate. Explorers brought their sense of awe to first seeing the magnificence of this work of the Almighty. Artists later traveled to the upstate “Outer Mongolia” site to capture that awe in paint. With the completion of the Erie Canal, Niagara Falls became more accessible. It began to become a tourist site as it continues to be this very day.

But the accessibility of the Falls also brought scientists, people who approached the phenomenon from a slightly different perspective. The Falls are more than simply water falling over a cliff. They are part of a long chasm. How long did it take to create that chasm? How fast is the land eroding today? If it is eroding, that is, retreating, at a measurable rate, can that rate be extrapolated to determine how long the process of creating the modern Niagara Falls was? How did that amount of time correlate with Bishop Ussher’s interpretation of the origin of earth? What would you do when they didn’t correlate positively? How old was the earth anyway? OMG! That old!!

One venue for the discussion was an academic journal entitled The American Journal of Science and Arts, edited by Benjamin Stillman of Yale. As title suggests, at this point science and art were included in a single journal. Imagine today if the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History instead of being opposite each other across Central Park in Manhattan were combined as a single museum surrounded by a landscaped park. Obviously times have changed as knowledge proliferated.

The geological observations made in the 1820s were correct. There was a powerful and unknown force of water of great elevation at work that created the geological strata. The erratic rocks, those giant boulders seemingly in the middle of nowhere, had been pushed there by water. The terminal murrain of gravel and debris across the Long Island was left there by water. But the water was frozen and the concept of the Ice Age had yet to be discovered. Europeans had begun to develop the idea of an Ice Age. But Louis Agassiz’s presentation of the idea in 1837 did not fare well at first. It would be almost 40 years before the mechanism would be accepted and these geological formations could be explained without recourse to Noah.

There was an equal and opposite reaction to the world science was defining. The 1840s witnessed if not the birth than the beginning of the rise to prominence of premillennialism. When would be the end of days. Still 180 years later, people are turning to the Bible to determine when the return of Jesus will occur. One could make a study of all the prophecies that have been made predicting when it would happen. Two critical points should be noted. Those predictions have always been wrong…although they only need to be right once! They rely on the exact same verses from the Book of Revelation and the Gospels. It isn’t as if any new verses have been added to the canon in lo these 180 years. Yet there seems to be no awareness that people citing the same verses that are being cited today have always been wrong.

In these calculations, one verse is always ignored:

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” (Matthew 24:36)

So even before Darwin, the battle between religion and science had been engaged in America. It wasn’t Copernicus so much anymore as it was geology and evolution.

The penultimate showdown occurred in the Scopes Trial in Dayton, TN. To be fair, it was a put up job. The town fathers thought it would be a great way to generate some tourism and business for the community. It worked but it is fictional Hillsboro that is probably better remember because of the play and movie Inherit the Wind than Dayton. This McCarthy era fable centers of the battle between science and religion perhaps even more than the actual trial did. It also addresses what we now call the culture wars with COVID-19 being the most recent battleground.

In the movie, the arrival of Spencer Tracy as Clarence Darrow sets the scene for the culture wars. He is greeted by a group of clean-cut practically uniformed-in-white male students of the John Scopes figure, not a real scene. Before he meets them, he is semi-accosted by a more unkempt unruly disheveled adult male who presents the alternate view. The lines are drawn.

Later the fictional father of the fictional woman the Scopes figure loves delivers a fire and brimstone sermon in the dark of night. The darkness practically engulfs him.

During the trial, Tracy expands on the images of darkness and light. His fire and brimstone sermon is an oration to the jury reflecting the two different worlds in which the opposing sides operate. Eventually the fictional girlfriend Rachel chooses the man she loves over her father just as biblical Rachel chooses Jacob over her father Laban. Just as we the audience are to choose the forces of light over the forces of darkness. I will leave it to you figure out how the story could be retold for COVID-19 crisis we are experiencing today.

There is a longstanding aversion to science in the United States. It derives from the perception that science undermines the word of God. If you had to choose which country in the world would be most likely to have an anti-vaccine movement, the answer would be the United States. If you had to choose which country in the world would be the most likely to deny the existence of climate change, the answer would be the United States. If you had to choose which country in the world would be the most likely to reject COVID-19 as a hoax, under control, and won’t affect you, the answer would be the United States. Even if we had an adult in the White House, there would be resistance to the advice of the medical professionals among many people in this country. The battle is ongoing. At this point no one knows when Fauci will be asked to retire but it probably is sooner rather than later. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Our Lord and Savior, the Chosen One, Blessed Be his Name has said so.

Current Events and Local History

Historians Investigating the Coronavirus Pandemic

What is the purview of history museums? Some history organizations are event or person specific. Battlefields and homes are an example. Some organizations have the name of a municipality as part of the organization name. My position has been municipal societies have the responsibility to tell the story of where their area from the Ice Age to Global Warming. That covers all the people who have lived in the area now defined by the municipality, a roughly 12,000 year period or more. Generally historical societies ignore the first 11,600 or more years of that time period. That is the domain of science museums or natural history museums not history organizations. Technically based on the definition of history as beginning with writing, that omission is reasonable – the prehistoric times including people are for other organizations.

However, history organizations aren’t so good on the last 100 years either. There may be a lot about the colonial era, the American Revolution, the Civil War, industrialization, and even up to World War I. But after that things begin to peter out. If someone a century from now examined the records of your organization would they know that any one from your community had participated in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan? Sure the names of the people from your community who died in those wars might be listed on a monument or memorial somewhere in your community, but what information would you have about these people in your museum? What about the people who lived including on the home front? What records to you have?

How can something that happened during your lifetime be historical? It’s current events. Where were you when Kennedy was assassinated? “Kennedy was shot” is the answer in “Harry Met Sally” from the non-faked orgasm scene. Suppose you are in your 70s, a not unusual age for someone in a history society. That means you were born in the 1940s. That means you may have heard from grandparents and parents what happened in the Depression and World War II; you remember the 60s and Vietnam. Why should there be any information about them in your history society? That’s current events.

In general, history societies aren’t good at current events. By that I mean, even if you interview someone it might be about why that person or family emigrated to your community. Maybe you documented the responses and actions after 9/11 or Superstorm Sandy. Quite possibly not. That’s for the newspaper to do if you have one in your community. Collecting letters, diaries, and newspaper articles can be difficult when information is communicated by the internet and there is no local paper.

On April 2, 2020, in The New York Times (print), there was an article entitled “Using Their Inside Voice: Quarantine diaries, compiled using words and drawings, are a first draft of a mass confinement’s history.” The article states that future historians writing histories about life during the coronavirus pandemic will be interested in first-person accounts. Jane Kamensky, professor of American History at Harvard said, “They’re among the best evidence we have of people’s inner worlds. History isn’t usually told by the bigwigs of the era, even if they are some of its main characters. Instead it is often reconstructed from snapshots of ordinary lives.”

Here is an example from a history organization that is not a municipal one but person specific but is aware of documenting current events in local history. The Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation sent an email with the following:

We are living through a dramatic change in our lives; each day the numbers grow. Our children and grandchildren will one day ask us: “What was it like?” “What did you do each day?” “How did you feel?” These are the things we wonder about those who lived through the Pandemic of 1918-1919. Imagine finding a journal your grandparent left about that experience! Why not journal your experience and leave it for the generations to come?

The Gage center has the perfect way to do it: a new purse or pocket-size notepad that makes a great portable journal. It comes with a pen equipped with a stylus top that tucks into the elastic band that closes it. It measures 4″ x 3″ x 1/2″. Get one for yourself or the whole family and each night spend 10 minutes all journaling your day. Not only will it be a keepsake, it might also be a remedy for cabin fever!

Putting aside the retail aspect of this notice, it does highlight how such journals might not become family heirlooms but also historic artifacts in a museum along with diaries, letters, and journals from the 17-20th centuries.

In Europe, there curators and researchers who have as their responsibility documenting events and crises as they occur “Museums Strive to Bear Witness to the Pandemic,” NYT 4/7/20, print). That work is undertaken with knowing exactly the data they collect will be used. However they do so because just as people today draw on similar data from the past to understand those time periods, so the historians of the future will want to have information about our present and tourists will want to the artifacts of our present. How often can you take photographs of empty streets in daylight? How often can you see all the “closed” signs in a row of stores? The news networks constantly interview medical personnel about what is happening in their hospitals, testing facilities, supply chains right now. History societies and museums have members (and their email addresses). What’s going on with them? Help create the history record for the future.

Besides these personal expressions, what is going on in your community?

What has your mayor, your town supervisor, your county executive done?

What has you school superintendent done?

What did teachers do?

How about restaurant owners? Barbershops? Dry cleaners?

What can you do as an historical to reach out into your community to preserve the record of what is happening now?

With that in mind, below is a notice I received from the Association of Public Historians of New York State (APHNYS). Its words apply to history organizations as well.

As local government-appointed historians, it is our duty to document not just the past but the present. The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented event in all our lives; it is imperative that we record the impact on our communities and how our citizens respond. The Association of Public Historians of New York State suggests that you immediately begin documenting your community’s response and offer the following guidelines and suggestions:

Remember! Health and safety are your number one priority. Documenting your community’s response does not include risking your own health or that of your family and friends. Please follow all rules for social distancing and any quarantines that have been established.

Keep a diary. Beginning today, record your memories of local events and reactions to COVID-19 at least since the beginning of March. Continue to update that journal as we move forward: What are you doing, what are you hearing and seeing, and how is the response to COVID-19 affecting your normal habits? Encourage the public to do the same. This can be done by in a variety of ways. Individuals can keep handwritten or computerized diaries, write blogs, record video or audio diaries or use whatever creative venue appeals to them.

APHNYS has developed a form that historians can use to collect stories from throughout New York State. Once the crisis and the collecting period have ended, APHNYS will share the responses with historians throughout the state Please share the Google form widely within your community and via social media and encourage participation:

Be a witness to history! Share your COVID-19 experiences

We are living in a historic moment in time! The COVID-19 crisis is reshaping our daily lives and our communities. In the future, others will look back and learn from our experiences. This is why it is so important to begin recording the history of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on New York State’s people and communities. What is happening to us right now must not be forgotten! We need to document our experiences so that they can inform the response to future crises.

The Association of Public Historians of New York State and New York’s 1,600+ government-appointed historians want to record your witness-to-history experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please use this form to tell us what you are experiencing. How are you feeling? What are you hearing and seeing around you? What are you doing, and what effect is this having on you, your family, your neighbors, and your community? How is your life different now than it was before the pandemic? Please answer only those questions that are pertinent to you and that you wish to answer. Be creative in your responses. You may reply with written text answers or you may respond with poetry, artwork, video diaries or something else. We also want to see photographs of what is happening around you, in your home, and in your community. You will be able to upload images and artwork at the end of the survey.

With your permission, we will preserve these responses in our archive and in the archives of your local government historians and/or historical societies where they will be shared with researchers and the public now and in the future. Thank you for participating!