Week Links: 03 Oct 2020
The President is now a pandemic statistic. An un-presidential debate. The death of academic rigor. Plus, as always, some #RequiredReading. Week Links is here!
The President, Like Many Others, Has COVID-19
This week, I wrote a Letter to Gus about the first presidential debate. The letter was prompted not only by the behavior of Donald Trump during the debate, but also Gus’s reaction to it:
“Donald Trump is annoying. He won’t let Joe Biden speak.”
In the last 48 hours, we have learned that many of the President’s advisors, as well as many of the staff that helped to make the debate happen, have tested positive for the coronavirus.
I have no way of knowing, of course, what this will mean for the country. My prayers are with the people taking care of the President, his family, his advisors, the three U.S. Senators diagnosed thus far, the former governor of New Jersey, the White House reporters, and the eleven staffers at the debate in Cleveland.
This is an important story in our time. But we must remember: these new, high-profile cases are just a few of the more than 7,000,000 stories about Americans with COVID-19. We wish them well, but we also must not forget the millions of people who’ve already had the disease, the hundreds of thousands who have died, and the thousands upon thousands of healthcare workers and researchers who have helped us to learn more and more about the disease in these past few months. The President himself is receiving an experimental treatment, and we hope that treatment works and provides a path for how to deal with the virus while we await a vaccine.
I hesitated to send this newsletter out because my letter to Gus was critical of the President’s behavior during the debate. The man is ill and hospitalized. I don’t wish to pile on.
At the same time, this was an important parenting moment. Gus and I had multiple conversations this week about listening to each other, about listening to our friends. We also had conversations about how to be a good leader, to take the advice of those who know best, to surround yourself with the smartest people so you can make the best decision.
My intention here is not to pile on.
My intention is to reflect on the consequences of our actions and to raise up those who have been battling the pandemic these many months, whether they’ve been battling as warriors or victims…or both…
May we all be safe. May we cling to those we hold most dear.
Here in southeast Texas, the sun is shining and the temperatures are in the 80s, a much needed break from the onslaught of the Houston summer. We move into October, into autumn, into the harvest season filled with hope as the seasons change.
If there’s one thing that’s certain, everything changes.
This too shall pass…
The Week Links
I wrote these…
I’m keeping a #RequiredReading Collection on Twitter. Added this week:
Michael Sandel’s interview in The Guardian says a lot about how we need to rethink the (false) meritocratic understanding of what it means to be American. Reshape your values, center them on human dignity, and things change. https://t.co/9O5KsmHp8e #RequiredReading— Stephen Hebert (@sbhebert) September 28, 2020
On multiple fronts, this piece in Commonweal is #RequiredReading: https://t.co/W7UAl3Gwoc — First, its style. Did you know humans can still write like this? It’s like a Victorian political rag! Second, its point: we don’t understand socialism. We don’t understand Christianity.— Stephen Hebert (@sbhebert) September 29, 2020