The triumph of willful ignorance
Michael Cohen’s characterization of the Trump presidency as “The Era of Stupid” (Ideas, May 17) may be appropriate but is like preaching to the choir: President Trump talks to only half the country, and Cohen is addressing the other half.
This is nothing new. Remember the 2004 election? George W. Bush defeated John Kerry because more Americans thought that Bush was someone they’d like “have a beer with.” Intelligence is to be avoided, to minimize the risk of being labeled “elite.”
The worst aspect of this trend is the willful ignorance, the dismissal of scientific evidence, and the refusal to acknowledge documented facts. This disturbing development has been growing for a long time.
The coronavirus crisis also seems like it’s been here forever, but in fact is a recent phenomenon. It has upended our lives in many ways, especially with regard to education. There have been calls for appreciation of teachers, to increase their status and their pay. We must take it a step further and seize the opportunity to improve the quality of our K-12 educational system for all Americans. Because the best — and perhaps only — cure for “The Era of Stupid” is an educated nation.
We need two vaccines
As we search for a Covid-19 vaccine, it is equally imperative to discover a vaccine for stupidity. Of course, the first in line for this vaccine is reserved for our “stable genius” commander in chief and all others unmasked during the COVID-19 pandemic. Operation Warp Speed applies to both vaccines as our “I alone can fix it” reality-TV president presides over a flailing nation.
Philip S. Hart
It’s all in the timing
Re “Trump targets year’s end for vaccine” (Nation, May 16): President Trump’s announcement of Operation Warp Speed to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 by the end of this year has met with considerable skepticism, but the skeptics are flat-out wrong, because they fail to take into account Trump’s warped comprehension of reality. Attending to Trump’s previous statements, since the virus has not yet magically disappeared, we can be certain that it is not yet April. Judging by the state of the economy, which is not yet fully back to normal, we can also conclude that it is still several months until Easter. Hence, there is plenty of time before year’s end to develop a vaccine.