“The buck stops here” is a phrase that was popularized by U.S. President Harry S. Truman, who kept a sign with that phrase on his desk in the Oval Office. The phrase refers to the notion that the President has to make the decisions and accept the ultimate responsibility for those decisions.
Around midnight on September 22, 1989 the South Carolina coast was hit by an atomic bomb. That was the night Hurricane Hugo made landfall just north of Charleston, South Carolina at Sullivan’s Island as a Category 4 storm with estimated maximum winds of 135-140 mph. Carroll Campbell was the Governor of South Carolina at that time, a popular native son who had to make hard, and ultimately life saving decision in the second year of his first term.
Governor Campbell ordered the complete evacuation of the South Carolina coast in advance of the storm. If any of you know or if you have followed how unpredictable a hurricane’s path can be this was not a popular decision. In the community that I live in it seems that every affluent or prominent family has a beach house and my wife’s family was no exception. The Governor’s order was not only an economic burden but a personal, and social inconvenience as well. September was a great time to be at the beach and instead of enjoying a round of golf and a seafood platter at Murrells Inlet the Governor was forcing people to leave without truly knowing if this massive storm would even hit.
In the end Governor Campbell’s hard decision saved untold lives. If Hugo had taken a hard-right turn and headed north instead of hitting the South Carolina coast directly the Governor probably would have paid a price for that decision as well. But here is the thing, Carroll Campbell was prepared to accept that costly outcome because in his mind, like President Harry S. Truman, “The buck stops here”. He understood that is what he signed up for. As Governor he knew he would have to make hard decisions, unpopular decisions, inconvenient decisions, and decisions that could and would save people’s lives.
My wife and I travelled to her family’s beach house two weeks after Hurricane Hugo hit. We went via Charleston up the coast to Pawleys Island and the devastation shook us to our core. In the end Hugo left 27 dead in South Carolina, thousands homeless and caused billions of dollars of damage.
After the storm Governor Campbell enlisted the full force of the federal government to piece the South Carolina coast back together. Two years later, when he was reelected to a second term there were very few reminders left of that devastating storm.
This week, Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner have been crafting and formulating a new Coronavirus excuse. Rather than acting like a real leader and accepting the responsibility of the “the buck stops here” King Donald and Princess Jared have staked their claim to “passing the buck”. What we are now hearing is that it isn’t the Federal Government’s fault (Donald Trump) that hospitals don’t have the necessary equipment and supplies to fight the Coronavirus battle, it’s the states fault, the Governors fault. If you recall, Trump ran on the campaign mantra that “he alone could fix” the problems afflicting this nation. Today, in this crisis, he is now telling the nation that he is only a “back up”. No longer is he tweeting as he has done in the past that “the full weight of the Federal Government is behind you” now it is “call us if you need us but say nice things about me first”.
If you live in a red state like I do you know that your Governor is taking all their cues from Trump. South Carolina has no statewide stay-at-home order because our Republican Governor Henry “Foghorn Leghorn” McMaster doesn’t want to do anything that might take him out of Trumps good graces. In my community the Mayor and City Council are begging, pleading for the Governor to act. Instead, our Republican Attorney General has said communities cannot override Governor Foghorn Leghorn’s decisions or lack thereof.
In recent days we have seen a few Republican Governor’s succumb to the pressure of its citizens and local governments. Georgia’s dumbass Republican Governor Brian Kemp finally agreed to a statewide stay-at-home order when he said he learned that asymptomatic people could spread the Coronavirus. I would have assumed that Georgia’s health departments are filled with smart people with advanced degrees from UGA and Georgia Tech. So, it is very interesting that it took him three months to finally figure that out despite departments full of smart people telling him otherwise. But I guess when your red state lord and savior is telling the world “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear” that’s what you go with.
As I have written time and time again, Donald Trump will not only go down as the worst and most corrupt President this nation has ever had he will also hold the title as the most ill-prepared President we have ever suffered through. U.S. Senator Kamala Harris recently tweeted that “Fifty days ago I attended a Homeland Security committee meeting about the coronavirus—and no current Trump administration public health officials bothered to show up.” Why did no Trump officials show-up? Because their fearless leader was telling them “…… as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone.”
The last states holding out on a statewide stay-at-home order are Alabama, Missouri, South Carolina, and Utah. All states being led by a Trump friendly, Republican Governor. Watch these states numbers spike like they have in Florida because Ron DeSantis didn’t want to piss off King Trump. Also, pray for the poor souls like me and my family whose Governor would rather please Trump than protect their states citizens. The buck will stop on the dead bodies of the innocent.