Times to Try Men’s Souls

Our Spring Newsletter incorrectly attributed this piece to Dick Sciaroni. It was instead written by Jackie Finley, which is reflected below. We apologize for the confusion.

by Jackie Finley

Early American political philosopher Thomas Paine wrote, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” With on-going COVID-19 fear and economic stress, this year is one of unprecedented national anxiety.

Recently Andrew Cuomo correctly stated that now isn’t the time for partisan politics or finger-pointing. If this nation is to socially and economically survive, unity is essential. A fractured United States didn’t help win World War II or survive the Great Depression, nor will it prevail over this unforeseen, unforgiving pandemic.

When this immediate crisis ends, however, Americans need to take a hard look at their leadership. President Trump calls the COVID-19 catastrophe a hoax until reality is forced on him and he is pressured to not “reopen America,” but rather save lives. As Maureen Dowd recently wrote in the New York Times, Trump is a “me” president and not a “we” president, dismissing expert advice until backed into a corner.

Crises show true character and currently Trump’s character shows little except egocentrism. This pandemic won’t be the last crisis for this nation. Crises are facts of life. Let’s prepare for the next one, however, with a competent leader who instills confidence and knows when to take direction from experts.

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