2020 Annus Horribilis

22 12 2020

  By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

As 2020 draws to a close, many Americans will be thankful that they have survived the Annus Horribilis[2], or the “horrible year” of 2020, one of the worst years in their lives.  China launched its deadly Coronavirus (or COVID-19), which has decimated the United States and other countries globally.[3]  Many of us know people who have died, or have been at “death’s door” before recovering.  Yet, there are reasons to believe that the virus is mutating, and that it may be even more devastating in 2021 and beyond, notwithstanding the presence of one or more vaccines.[4] 

Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has discussed the schisms in America today, in an article entitled “Can Democracy Hold Us Together?”:

If America were a company and not a country, we would have long ago dissolved the corporation, split the blanket, and gone our separate ways.

What still holds this disputatious and divided people together?

Consider. In announcing the $900 billion stimulus bill to deal with the pandemic, Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not mention that the gifts for her distressed countrymen and women at Christmas would have been twice as large had she taken President Trump’s offer of $1.8 trillion in October.

Why did the speaker slap that offer away?

“The President only wants his name on a check to go out before Election Day and for the market to go up,” she told House Democrats.

Rather than let Donald Trump take credit, Pelosi stiffed millions of Americans.

Sunday, however, the speaker took time for a statement to hail the removal of Robert E. Lee’s statue from Statuary Hall. “Welcome news,” said the speaker. “Congress will continue our work to rid the Capitol of homages to hate.”

Lee had stood in a place of honor in the Capitol for decades. When exactly did the statue of the general become a homage to hate?

Both episodes point up an unpleasant truth.

Our dysfunctional American family agrees upon less and less.

By mid-November, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, 52% of Republicans thought Donald Trump had “rightfully won.” Sixty-eight percent of Republicans thought the election was “rigged.” A third of independents, and even 10% of Democrats, agreed.

This month, a Fox poll found that a third of all registered voters believe the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, with 78% of those who voted for Trump expressing that view.

In the long term, not only is the election of 2020 going to be suspect. Also, belief in one of the sacraments of secular democracy, universal suffrage, is going to suffer.

Moreover, the issues that divide us now go increasingly to the faith of what defines us as a nation and a people.

A slice of our intellectual elite emphatically agrees with the New York Times’ Project 1619, which decrees that the real birth date of this nation was neither 1776 nor 1789, but the year that the first slave ship arrived in Virginia.

To this influential cohort, enslavement of Black people brought from Africa and dispossession and destruction of the indigenous tribes that European settlers found here are the defining events of our history.

And all who participated in these crimes against humanity or refused to condemn them are undeserving of exaltation.

Not only Lee, but Columbus and Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Jackson, TR and Wilson are all racist white men whose disgraceful and even criminal conduct disqualifies them from a place of honor in the American pantheon of 2020. All statues of such men need to come down to cleanse us of the stain of having honored them.

Pelosi says that such statues are “homages to hate.”

She may not have thought so five or 10 years ago, but she believes that now.

What has taken place is a mass conversion.

Yet, there is another America that still cherishes the nation these men created. And, as did their fathers, grandfathers and ancestors, these Americans have shown a willingness to fight and die in her defense.

Thus do we Americans disagree on the most fundamental of issues.

Was America, is America, with all its sins and virtues and all its achievements, a country to be cherished, loved and defended? Or is America a country of whose history we should all be ashamed?

Part of America also believes that discovery in the Constitution of a woman’s right to an abortion and a right of homosexuals to marry were major milestones of progress toward a more moral America.

Others see these as long strides away from the Christian country we used to be, a social and moral decline toward the same quiet death that has come to other civilizations and nations that went before us.

In short, we Americans disagree on whether our country is a good and great nation worth defending, or a place that needs a deep cultural cleansing of its sins.

And we have no common code of morality. One side is rooted in modernism and secularism and the other in the teachings of the Old and New Testament, Christian tradition and a natural law written on the human heart that is superior to man-made law.

People who disagree upon such basic beliefs naturally drift apart, as we Americans are doing today.

Political questions arise out of these fundamental differences, and they are not insignificant.

Can a republic as fractured and splintered as ours is — racially, ethnically, politically, culturally, morally — with a population who do not share the same belief about whether their nation is good and great or failed and evil, endure? And for how long?

What successful models from history do we see of nations that took the kind of risks we are taking with our republic?[5]

The only successful models in American history are our Revolution and our Civil War, both of which resulted in enormous carnage.[6]

Xi Jinping and Coronavirus

© 2020, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and Timothy D. Naegele Resume-20-6-30). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/articles/), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annus_horribilis (“Annus horribilis“)

[3]  See Timothy D. Naegele, The Coronavirus and Similar Global Issues: How to Address Them, 137 BANKING L. J. 285 (June 2020) (Naegele June 2020) (Timothy D. Naegele) [NOTE: To download The Banking Law Journal article, please click on the link to the left of this note]; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin%E2%80%99s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao%E2%80%99s-chinese-holocaust/ (“The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/06/20/can-we-coexist-with-asias-communists/ (“Can We Coexist with Asia’s Communists?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/12/coexistence-with-china-or-war/ (“Coexistence With China Or War?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/16/the-coronavirus-must-become-chinas-chernobyl-hastening-the-collapse-of-its-evil-regime/ (“The Coronavirus Must Become China’s Chernobyl, Hastening The Collapse Of Its Evil Regime”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/07/why-should-the-world-trust-china-ever-again/ (“Why Should The World Trust China Ever Again?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/03/25/china-infects-the-world-then-lies-and-blames-america/ (“China Infects The World, Then Lies And Blames America”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/02/20/expert-warns-quarantine-process-failed-as-china-stands-ready-to-crash-world-economy/ (“Expert Warns Quarantine Process Failed, As China Stands Ready To Crash World Economy”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/13/china-is-americas-enemy-and-the-enemy-of-free-people-everywhere/ (“China Is America’s Enemy, And The Enemy Of Free People Everywhere”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/ (“China Is America’s Enemy: Make No Mistake About That”)

[4]  See, e.g., https://news.yahoo.com/were-going-york-l-hospitals-120027340.html (“‘We’re going to be New York’: L.A. hospitals brace for the worst”) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9068223/Italy-fourth-country-spot-mutated-Covid-virus-British-traveller.html (“Expert warns new mutant Covid will likely become the ‘dominant global strain’ as Gibraltar becomes FIFTH place outside UK to confirm a case”) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9074371/Scientists-Walter-Reed-examine-new-UK-Super-COVID-strain-vaccine-resistant.html (“US Army scientists at Walter Reed begin examining genetic profile of new UK ‘Super-COVID’ strain to see if it’s vaccine resistant – as deaths in the US increase by 1,618 and new cases rise by 195K”) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9079119/2020-deadliest-year-history-COVID-19-surges.html (“2020 is the deadliest year in US history with deaths expected to top 3 MILLION for the first time – as COVID-19 fatalities continue surge to record highs with one American dying every 33 seconds in the last week”)

[5] See https://buchanan.org/blog/can-democracy-hold-us-together-142475https://buchanan.org/blog/can-democracy-hold-us-together-142475; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/12/19/the-high-tech-lynching-of-donald-trump/ (“The High-Tech Lynching Of Donald Trump”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/12/12/the-u-s-supreme-court-must-be-destroyed-as-a-governmental-entity/ (“The U.S. Supreme Court Must Be Destroyed As A Governmental Entity”)

[6] See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/09/this-is-war-abraham-lincoln-and-ronald-reagan-understood-this-and-donald-trump-does-too/ (“This Is War—Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan Understood This, And Donald Trump Does Too”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/24/when-will-the-actual-shooting-begin-in-americas-second-civil-war/ (“When Will The Actual Shooting Begin In America’s Second Civil War?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/americas-newest-civil-war-2017-and-beyond/ (“America’s Newest Civil War: 2017 And Beyond”)








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