February was the 'inflection point of failure' for Trump to save America as we know it: conservative Bill Kristol
President Donald J. Trump (DoD Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. James K. McCann)

On Monday, conservative Bulwark editor Bill Kristol broke down how February was the point of no return, at which President Donald Trump's unwillingness to act against the coronavirus sealed his failure of the American people.


"February 2020," wrote Kristol. "I doubt it will ever have the historical resonance, the immediacy of recognition, of either August 1914 or September 1939. But it deserves notice. For like them it marked the end of an era—the collapse of an edifice—the funeral bell for an epoch. The era that ended in February 2020 marked a 30-year stretch of mostly peace and prosperity, not just for the United States, but for the world ... the inflection point of failure, the month when we didn’t just falter or stumble, but tripped and fell, not to get back up easily again, was February 2020."

"February was the lost month to deal with the virus. April, we hope, will be the virus’s cruelest month. But February was the incubation period, the period of presidential misinformation and maladministration that made the disaster of March and April — and everything after — possible," wrote Kristol. "February also marked the Senate’s vote to acquit President Trump, without having heard witnesses, of the charges of impeachment brought by the House. That vote marked the culmination of the acquiescence — nay, the subservience — of the Republican party to Trump. The party which had aspired to the examples of Lincoln and Reagan willingly made itself a mere personal possession of Donald Trump."

"And the conservative movement? Having long since bent the knee to Trump, it fell into full prostration," added Kristol. "The movement which under Bill Buckley had been mostly — not entirely, but mostly — a force for liberty and against populist demagoguery, consummated its embrace of demagogic and authoritarian populism."

"Of course, every crisis is an opportunity, and the end of one era is the beginning of another. There are signs of civic spirit and personal responsibility and capable leadership in this new era that give one hope," concluded Kristol. "In the wake of Easter and in the middle of Passover, one does not want to deprecate signs of hope. "But signs are not enough and hope is not a strategy."

Elsewhere, on Twitter, Kristol slammed the president for not including a single public health professional on his committee to "re-open" the country.

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