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“…the better angels of our nature.”


In the American Conservative (an unfamiliar periodical and likely to stay that way), senior editor Rod Dreher writes about the White House response to the current pandemic. Herein he quotes Jonah Goldberg with specific reference to Donald Trump’s recent press conference — forgive me if even yet I cannot bring myself to use the title of the office he now occupies:

Here’s why that made me strangely sad, more than angry [about Trump’s denial that the buck had made its way to his desk, and even if it had…]. I thought: This man is a symbol of America’s shadow side: bloated, vain, rich, incompetent, and impotent. In a word, decadent.

But that is not all that we are. Somewhere out there in this country, there are men and women who are not this. These are men and women who will show themselves as heroes in this hour, in cities and small towns and rural regions of this country. Some of them are no doubt in senior levels of government right now, working hard to keep things from falling apart despite the vacuum, moral and otherwise, in Oval Office leadership. They’re the ones we have to count on now. One day, we will know their names.

If Goldberg is right, we will eventually know their names; some we already do. Dr Anthony Fauci, for example. Or Governor Andrew Cuomo. Or former Baltimore health commission Dr Leana Wen. Why do I instinctively believe their assessment of our predicament and of its course?

With twenty-two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in seven counties, as reported on 16 March (including Carroll county, one county south of Fennimore), it’s closer than we might wish. I wonder what my friends and erstwhile neighbors in Agincourt and vicinity are up to. Are they listening to the clarion voices of our better angels?

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