Trump and FDR

There are some parallels between America’s response to corona and its response to World War II. Both showed a great deal of ineptitude:

British experience in the first two years of World War II, which included the massive losses incurred to their shipping during the “First Happy Time” confirmed that ships sailing in convoy — with or without escort – were far safer than ships sailing alone. The British recommended that merchant ships should avoid obvious standard routings wherever possible; navigational markers, lighthouses, and other aids to the enemy should be removed, and a strict coastal blackout be enforced. In addition, any available air and sea forces should perform daylight patrols to restrict the U-boats’ flexibility.

For several months, none of the recommendations were followed. Coastal shipping continued to sail along marked routes and burn normal navigation lights. Boardwalk communities ashore were only ‘requested’ to ‘consider’ turning their illuminations off on 18 December 1941, but not in the cities; they did not want to offend the tourism, recreation and business sectors.{snip}

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When the first wave of U-boats returned to port through the early part of February, Dönitz wrote that each commander “had such an abundance of opportunities for attack that he could not by any means utilize them all: there were times when there were up to ten ships in sight, sailing with all lights burning on peacetime courses.”

The main difference was that Rosevelt was a competent politician, unlike bozo Trump. He followed the standard advice of “under-promise and over-deliver.” America had great advantages over Germany and Japan: little reliance on imported materiel, a much larger industrial base, and a larger population. He didn’t harp on these. If Trump were in his position, he would have been saying “we have a great navy, the best navy, we’ll be in Tokyo in three months!” He seemed to honestly believe the voters were inevitably going to lynch him if a disease originating in China caused the Dow Jones to go down, much like they lynched Bush after 9/11.

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