Herb Strentz

The crazy quilt of COVID-19

Herb Strentz reflects on some older quotes about politics and a recent comment by Governor Kim Reynolds at a news conference. -promoted by Laura Belin

It is both odd and instructive how the written word can bring the light of clarity and the spoken word the fog of obfuscation.

That came to mind while piecing together a sort of quilt of quotes relevant to the nation’s and Iowa’s responses to COVID-19.

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Trump and King in the GOP — Shakespeare had a word for it

An essay by Herb Strentz inspired by Caliban, “the original strange bedfellow.” -promoted by Laura Belin

As we approach Iowa’s primary election on June 2, here and elsewhere, Republican and Democratic Party slates often reflect the observation “Politics makes strange bedfellows.”

The “bedfellows” adage goes back more than 400 years, attributed to Act 2 Scene 2 of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which premiered in 161l, probably in The Globe Theatre.

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Two takes on Trump and the religious right: A farce or fright?

Herb Strentz reflects on President Donald Trump’s religious supporters as well as Christian voices of opposition. -promoted by Laura Belin

Take 1: A Farce—President’s ‘Trinity’ trumps Christianity’s

In the mix of politics and religion, President Trump has his own “Trinity” for his supporters on the Christian right, who in Iowa include our U.S. senators and governor.

While Trump strays from Christian principles of humility, sacrifice and service, he and his acolytes do have a threefold creed to offer their faithful.

Instead of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Trump F-S-H translates into Fake news, Satire and Hypocrisy.

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“We the people” or “We the phonies”?

Herb Strentz: Thanks to lockdowns and self-isolation, we don’t have distractions or escape mechanisms to help us cope with COVID-19 and Trump-45. -promoted by Laura Belin

One of the “curses” or “blessings” of the novel coronavirus pandemic is that we may be reading and thinking more. Either pursuit can be unsettling, nerve-wracking, or even hopeful–but it’s the best we have going for us.

Thanks to lockdowns and self-isolation, we don’t have distractions or escape mechanisms to help us cope with COVID-19 and Trump-45. We have no “bread” — like restaurants to go to, libraries and museums to visit, performances to attend. We have no “circuses” — like televised sports, the I-Cubs at Principal Park, or similar diversions.

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Let's not return to normal

Herb Strentz: Senator Chuck Grassley defines his duties as looking out for the citizens of Iowa, as though those duties have nothing at all to do with Trump’s actions. -promoted by Laura Belin

Maybe Chicken Little had something after all in his squawking, “The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling.” 

Maybe I had something just as panic-stricken in an email I sent U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley last year, when I suggested he might be “an assistant gravedigger for democracy.”

Both reflections tie in with concerns about the double whammy now striking our nation: dealing  with the novel coronavirus and having Donald Trump as president. Our country’s odds are good on surviving COVID-19, but not as good on surviving Trump. Virus-related issues crank up the zoom lens in monitoring the president, and that’s un-nerving because even a microscopic look at Trump can be as troubling as a microscopic look at the virus.

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